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where are the hot dogs???

Wasnt sure if this belonged in chains or not
But does anybody know why none of the larger burger chains dont have hot dogs?

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  1. Hot dogs are a regional thing.

    All beef w/garlic in NYC, Pork in midwest. RED color elsewhere, skinless, w/natural casing, etc.

    The big chains want uniformity of product though the whole country and it doesn't work.

    FYI>>> 5 Guys does sell Hot Dogs, they use a Hebrew National frank

    24 Replies
    1. re: bagelman01

      So why can't the chain (which is usually a franchise) order the regional style of hotdog from the local purveyor?

      1. re: ttoommyy

        because the franchise agreements specify which suppliers and items may be purchased and served. The franchisee has no latitude in buying from an unapproved source and adding to the menu.

        In the past McD tested hot dogs (and pizza) in several areas of the country and found it not to be a match for their business plan.

        McD wants the traveling US customer to get the same taste in every location. If a NYer who is used to an all beef garlic spiced hot dog was served a red color all pork mild dog in New Orleans, the Nyer would be very unhappy.. The chains want no surprises, bland uniformity rules....

          1. re: bagelman01

            McD wants the traveling US customer to get the same taste in every location.

            Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't McDonald's offer regional specialties......e.g., Lobster Rolls in New England and Southern Style Chicken Biscuit /Biscuits with Gravy in the South? In Hawaii, you can get Spam, Portuguese, Eggs and rice with a side of Pineapple.

            The secret menu....


            1. re: fourunder

              "so what's your point?' we are not talking about a regional specialty available in a limited area, but a basic nationwide menu item.

              The lobster roll will taste exactly the same in every location that sells it. That's the problem with hot dogs. There can not be a differnt McD hot dog served in different areas of the USA, they'd have to be the same in every location.

              1. re: bagelman01

                "There can not be a different McD hot dog served in different areas of the USA, they'd have to be the same in every location."

                Why? If they can serve lobster rolls in New England and biscuits & gravy in the south, then why not xxx type of hot dog in the NYC area, xxx type of hot dog in the midwest, and so on?

                Plus, other posters have cited chains that serve hot dogs: DQ, Friendly's, Five Guys, etc. Yes, I know McD's tried hot dogs, etc. But they are not the only game in town (though they would like you to think so).

                1. re: bagelman01

                  My point is you asserted that the menu has to be the same Nationwide and it's not. You made no mention of a BASIC menu, or noting distinctions for any regional exceptions.

                  As ttoommyy notes below., there could be regional hot dogs served if they wanted to do so....in fact, if McD's wanted to serve ONE brand.or type of hot dog nationally, all they would need to do is contract out to have it shipped to their approved Distributors and they would ship it out to their locations nationwide .....or all over the world for that matter.

                  The reason why McD's doesn't sell hot dogs is they do not want to at this time. If they wanted to, I'm pretty sure they could figure out a an efficient way to supply them. serve them.... and implement the equipment and training necessary to do so to their standards.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    A few years ago, in the midwest anyway, McDonald's sold brats. It was an occasional, summer thing like the McRib. (Although I have not seen the McRib in a while now either).

                    1. re: fourunder

                      My point is that I NEVER asserted that the menu has to be the same nationwide. I stated that 'big chains want uniformity of product throughout the whole country'
                      That is if McD sells an item called a Big Mac, it should be the same( not cost the same) at all USA locations.

                      If you want to twist words, please twist soneone else's words.

                      1. re: bagelman01

                        My point is...You say it can't be done and I say it can. Nobody is twisting anything here. .....they could easily have a uniform product in any hot dog, if they wanted to serve one, just like their burger and your position that they would have to serve a regional preference for a style of hot dog would otherwise disappoint is mistaken on more than a few points, such as.

                        They could contract out for one specific recipe hot dog and implement it nationwide

                        They could contract out and serve a regionally preferred style hot dogs and implement them regionally or nationwide...just as Sonic does.

                        US travelers actually do like to taste regional cuisines and menu offerings

                        It's been documented in food media that the reasons why McD's offers the regional exceptions is due to the fact they do not want the local customer to pass them up in favor of any group of potential customers, has one in the group, who wants to have a Lobster Roll or Chicken Biscuit at a competing food business in the same area.....

                        1. re: fourunder

                          The point is you still twisted my words..................
                          Don't attribute to me things that I do not post!

                          1. re: bagelman01

                            McD wants the traveling US customer to get the same taste in every location..

                            The big chains want uniformity of product though the whole country and it doesn't work.

                            If the menu is different , then the taste is not......and if they wanted the same hot dog in every location, they could. Who's really twisting here.

                            1. re: fourunder

                              The taste consistency is per item, not per menu or store. Having a menu be different from one McDonald's store to another is entirely different from having the same menu item taste one way at one store and another way at another store.

                              They want the items to taste the same from store to store to store. They could offer the same hotdog nationally, but apparently they don't think it would work because hot dog preferences are a regional thing. McDonald's isn't in the habit of leaving easy money on the table.

                              1. re: PenskeFan

                                No one is arguing the point that consistency of any one product or menu item as the basic concept chains try to achieve. The taste factor has to do with what is available regionally. as opposed to nationally as the exceptions.

                                Since I live in the New York Metropolitan area, the taste of the South in the form of a Southern Style Chicken Biscuit or Biscuits with Gravy.....or the taste of Lobster and New England in the form of a Lobster Roll is not available to customers outside of those respective regions.

                                As for the hot dog having regional preferences, that's true, but it does not mean someone would not order a quality hot dog of a different style if available. I've had hot dogs all over the country....I've only been disappointed if they were a cheap crappy dog overwhelmed by the roll or toppings.

                                1. re: fourunder

                                  Ah, but there's the rub.... I think that might be exactly the way a New Yorker might describe a Chicago dog (or Chicago Pizza).

                  2. re: fourunder

                    Biscuits and gravy is a regional thing? I assumed all McDonald's had that. Granted, I don't order it, so I don't look for it... but I live in Columbus, Ohio and we have it here.

                    1. re: Ditdah

                      Although I'm not a regular at McDonald's I have never seen biscuits and gravy served there.

                      1. re: Ditdah

                        Yes, biscuits & gravy is a regional thing.

                        1. re: ttoommyy

                          Not sure if our local McD;s has biscuits and gravy but you can get a decent bowl of grits there.

                          1. re: kengk

                            Okay, so here's the argument here in a nut shell. BTW, everyone is right. The problem with "Hotdog" is, as BM points out, that to go nation wide there's too much regionality. The counter argument that regions have variations is also valid however no one in NE is gonna confuse Biscuits and Gravy in NO for a Lobster Roll. So you'd have to do dogs regionally and mark them as such.
                            The point that McD's isn't selling dogs simply because they don't want to is also valid. They could market them regionally but choose not to. Heck, they could roll out a nation wide campaign around 4th of July for regional dogs and entice people to visit different area and try different variations.

                            Just my 2¢


                    2. re: ttoommyy

                      One of the most important factors for most chains is product uniformity. McDonalds wants the food you get in Salt Lake City to be the exact same as in Miami. They want people to know, before they go in, exactly what their food will be like.

                      1. re: bagelman01

                        I think a skinless all-beef hotdog would suffice nationwide. I believe there isn't enough nationwide demand for hotdogs at McDonald's and in those areas where hotdogs are consumed there are enough hotdog stands/restaurants already in place such as Chicago, New Jersey/New York and other places. I actually wish there were more hotdog places in the Twin Cities but I do not desire whatever kind of hotdog the fast food places would come up with.

                      2. 2 type of answer from a practical standpoint

                        Hot dogs don't necessarilly hold as well as burgers and there will be waste.

                        Wendy's came up with Chili as a way to use burgers that sat to long to serve.
                        Burger King cooks their burgers, puts them in a holding drawer and then microwaves your sandwich. Can you imagine how rubbery a microwaved hot dog would be???
                        McD cooks on a flat top and hold in plastic warming drawers that have steam. It's one thing to steam or boil hot dogs, but you wouldn't grill them and them steam them.
                        Major Hot dog opearations such as Nathan's keep the dogs on the flat top until served. This would take much too much room in McDs.

                        Here in southern CT we have a regiobal fast food chain called Duchess. They serve burgers and a lot of hot dogs. BUT the dogs are on a separate flat top and are there all day from breakfast through closing. During lunch and dinner hours the hot dog cook is not the burger or sandwich cook.

                        34 Replies
                        1. re: bagelman01

                          "Hot dogs don't necessarilly hold as well as burgers and there will be waste."

                          7-11 has been serving hotdogs and sausages on roller heaters for decades. Come to think of it, they're probably the SAME hotdogs put there in the 1970s!

                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                            ever notice how long it takes to heat the dogs on the roller grill? They are never hot when served. I was in a 7-11 Tuesday and the local health inspector did a temperature test on the dogs and shut the grill down.

                            Could you imagine a high volume fast food burger chain trying to produce hot dogs on a roller grill? They'd need a 20 foot grill to handle lunch or dinner volume.

                            1. re: bagelman01

                              Ben's Chili Bowl in DC has been selling millions of dogs and halfsmokes since the 1950s, all on a 3'x3' grill. If a high volume chaine wanted to sell them and thought they could clear a decent profit, they would do it. I don't think they can, personally. Yet places like Wendys blow millions on freaking bun toasters to make their nasty buns taste worse.


                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                exactly my point, you can cook quickly on a flat top, but NOT on a roller grill. The picture you link to is a flat top, the same thing McD and Wendy's uses to cook burgers.

                                1. re: bagelman01

                                  But they COULD cook the dogs on the flattop and keep them on a roller as a kind of "heat lamp" prior to purchase. It's all a moot point anyway, since I just don't see the demand. On the other hand, I'd prefer a decent natural casing hotdog to yet another halfassed "reimagining" of their core burger product. Just give me a decent, consistent, quality Shake Shack burger and I'm more than happy to pay a couple bucks more. Making a burger with chilis and cheese mixed into the meat? If I'd wanted meatloaf, I'd go to TGI McMeatloaf's.

                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                    You know what would cook a hotdog even quicker? Deep fryer. I think after years of county fairs and deepfried Snickers/funnelcake/butter, America is ready for fastfood Jersey rippers. Yum Foods, please make this happen.

                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                      Deep fried hot dogs are around... this is actually a good idea as a restaurant may be able to use existing cooking equipment. I have seen hotdogs wrapped in bacon and deep fried.. this is an item the fast food chains could run as a special, as they could probably charge a decent amount for it.

                                      1. re: barryg

                                        Given the way burger chains keep tinkering with the basic burger formula (mixing chilis and cheese in with the burger) I'm suprised they haven't offered a burger with bacon mixed in with the meat. Or serve burger flavored bacon on top.

                                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                                          This presents a legal problem in some jurisdictions. Here in Connecticut an item sold as a hamburger may not contain anything except 100% ground beef, no additives, no extenders. Technically, a restaurant would sprinkle spice on the poutside when cooking, but not blend it in the meat mixture before forming the patties.

                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                            Really? I get the point of the regulation (to avoid having a bunch 'o crap added into your burger and passing it off as meat) but it seems a bit overly restrictive to me. (Oh, the joys of lawmaking!)

                                            So, can they create a patty of meat and other items and label it as something else? For example, is the word "burger" ok to use, or would that also get them in trouble? I'm thinking a mixture of ground beef, feta, onions, and seasonings, and calling it a 'Greek-style burger?"

                                            1. re: Ditdah

                                              They can top it with feta, onions and seasoning and call it a Greek Burger, but can't mix it in and call it a burger. It took years for the term Turkey burger to be allowed.
                                              This is to ensure the consumer gets what is ordered, not something full of extenders or other meat than beef.
                                              1/4 lb hamburger has to have 1/4 lb of beef before cooking, not 1/5 lb of beef and the rest filler.

                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                Can a frozen beef patty with onions or peppers be sold in CT supermarkets and still be called a burger,? You say the word burger cannot be used if made with mixed ingredients, but how about a vegetable burger or turkey burger?

                                                Last, , you state seasonings cannot be mixed in and still be call a burger.....in the past, you have said spices are allowed. Is there a difference between seasonings and spices? Also. you have said you cannot call it a *hamburger* if not 100% meat....but *burger* was acceptable when using fillers.....the information is conflicting, so I only pose the queries for clarification.....I'm not trying to stir the pot.

                                                1. re: fourunder

                                                  Note: The law I'm talking about applies to the sale of cooked hamburgers in restaurants, not raw product in groceries.

                                                  It's not about a difference between spices and seasonings, I stated that they could not be mixed in, but when cooking the spices and/or seaonings could be sprinkled on the burger. The legislative intent was that the actual patty be 100% pure beef.

                                                  An insoector from the local health district explained to me by excluding the seasonings from being mixed in to the meat beforwe cooking prevented restauarnts from masking the odors of meat that was past its prime, made the inspectors' jobs easier.

                                                  Turkey burger, and Veggie/Vegetable burger are now allowed to be used as descriptions by restaurants in CT, but the Turkey burger is subject to the same rules as to 100% as the beef hamburger.

                                                  While the public may equate burger and hamburger, the law restricts hamburger to 100% beef product, The term may not be used t describe a bison patty or lamb patty (for example)

                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                    THanks for the clear explanation. I'd think you were a lawyer or something...!

                                                    1. re: Tripeler

                                                      I am---practicing in CT, but was in the bakery, pizza and catering business more than 30 years ago

                                                    2. re: bagelman01

                                                      Do they regulate the fat content of the burger? Cuts of beef?

                                                      1. re: barryg

                                                        Fat content and beef cuts are regulated in the form of labeling of meat sold at retail to the public or wholesale to restaurants. Restaurants are not held to the same standards, as prepared food, they can be doctored in any way as long as they give an honest and accurate description of the burger. An example would be a custom blend burger or gourmet type burger including different types of meat... or something like foie gras or truffles.

                                                        Meat labeling guidelines from the Consumer Protection Agencies/Departments of both New Jersey and Connecticut.....both are similar and take their lead from Federal guidelines.

                                                        From NJ Consumer Affarirs

                                                        "Hamburger" means chopped fresh andlor frozen beef,
                                                        other than from the heart, esophagus, tongue or cheeks,
                                                        with or without the addition of beef fat as such andlor
                                                        seasoning and shall not contain more than 30 per cent of fat
                                                        and shall not contain added water, binders or extenders.

                                                        From Connecticut

                                                        (h) "Hamburger" means chopped or ground fresh or frozen beef, other than from the heart, esophagus, tongue, or cheeks, with or without the addition of beef fat as such and shall not contain added water, binders or extenders. "Hamburger" shall not be composed of more than 30% fat.
                                                        (1) Hamburger identified as "lean hamburger" shall contain not more than 22% fat.
                                                        (2) Hamburger identified as "extra lean hamburger" shall contain not more than 15% fat.
                                                        (3) Hamburger identified as "diet lean hamburger" shall contain not more than 10% fat and shall state the maximum percentage (%) of fat contained in the hamburger on the label adjacent to and of the same type size as the product identity.




                                                        Below is a direct communication I received from the Director from the Department of Consumer Protection:Food and Standards/Connecticut

                                                        There are established Federal standards of identity for different food products, not for every food product but for some. Hamburger is one such food product see below. Labels according to Federal and State law have to honest and accurate and have to use the standard of identity if one has been promulgated for that food - which is why you see some things indicated as patties and other as hamburger. Food cannot use a standard of identity label if they cannot meet the requirements of that standard.

                                                        These laws concern the sale of packaged raw or cooked meat under USDA inspection or the State of Connecticut which adopts the Federal Standards by reference. Ready-to-eat product prepped for individual service, e.g. burger joint burgers, doesn’t have to meet the same standard for its own prepped food. It needs to be honest and accurate but the restaurant can doctor its recipes any way it chooses as long as that is appropriately disclosed to customers.

                                                        Title 9, Sec. 319.15 Miscellaneous beef products.

                                                        (a) Chopped beef, ground beef. "Chopped Beef" or "Ground Beef"

                                                        shall consist of chopped fresh and/or frozen beef with or without

                                                        seasoning and without the addition of beef fat as such, shall not

                                                        contain more than 30 percent fat, and shall not contain added water,

                                                        phosphates, binders, or extenders. When beef cheek meat (trimmed beef

                                                        cheeks) is used in the preparation of chopped or ground beef, the amount

                                                        of such cheek meat shall be limited to 25 percent; and if in excess of

                                                        natural proportions, its presence shall be declared on the label, in the

                                                        ingredient statement required by Sec. 317.2 of this subchapter, if any,

                                                        and otherwise contiguous to the name of the product.

                                                        (b) Hamburger. "Hamburger" shall consist of chopped fresh and/or

                                                        frozen beef with or without the addition of beef fat as such and/or

                                                        seasoning, shall not contain more than 30 percent fat, and shall not

                                                        contain added water, phosphates, binders, or extenders. Beef cheek meat

                                                        (trimmed beef cheeks) may be used in the preparation of hamburger only

                                                        in accordance with the conditions prescribed in paragraph (a) of this


                                                        (c) Beef patties. "Beef Patties" shall consist of chopped fresh

                                                        and/or frozen beef with or without the addition of beef fat as such and/

                                                        or seasonings. Binders or extenders, Mechanically Separated (Species)

                                                        used in accordance with Sec. 319.6, and/or partially defatted beef fatty

                                                        tissue may be used without added water or with added water only in

                                                        amounts such that the product characteristics are essentially that of a

                                                        meat pattie.

                                                        1. re: fourunder

                                                          I would love to know what hot dogs contain!

                                                          1. re: jayt90

                                                            No you don't......: 0 )

                                                            Actually, I've seen segments on food shows that show how frankfurters are made, both skinless and natural casings.....in a variety of meat or meat combinations..beef ,veal and pork. I saw no hint of mystery meat or parts....but I'm sure the manufacturers of inexpensive products may not be so particular of what goes in the process.

                                                            1. re: fourunder

                                                              Hot dogs today, for the most part, do not contain what many call "mystery meat", snouts, lips, etc. Ingredients have to be listed on the package. If you see the term "variety meats" then you can be sure that you are getting the undesirable parts of the pig or cow. These are the cheap hot dogs that you can buy for 99 cents a pound. A lot of cheaper hot dogs contain poultry and "mechanically separated chicken or turkey. Average supermarket hot dogs contain beef and or beef/pork trimmings.

                                                              Then you get to the better hot dogs that you pay more for. Hebrew National, Sabrett, Boars Head are some of the more familiar brands that are widely distributed. Some use high quality meat like choice beef and smoke them in smokehouses.

                                                              As you get to even better quality franks, you have regional brands like Best's and Thumann's out of New Jersey that use whole cuts of quality beef or beef/pork and little or no trimmings. There are pork stores that charge $6.99 for German style beef and pork franks that are made from top quality cuts of beef and pork from old world recipes passed down from generation to generation. These are wonderful and worth seeking out. And they totally dispel the negative stereotype of hot dogs being lips, snouts, peckers, and fillers. In the North East and other areas people take their hot dogs seriously. It's regional. Other areas (mostly the south) use cheap hot dogs made from beef/pork and chicken. Still not lips and peckers. The focus here is on the toppings (chili and coleslaw), not the actual frank.

                                                            2. re: fourunder

                                                              Thanks, I understand about "hamburger" as sold unprepared, I meant what constitutes a prepared hamburger under the strict CT definition that bagelman was referencing.

                                                              1. re: barryg

                                                                Read the communication from the DCP:Foodand Standards......

                                                                These laws concern the sale of packaged raw or cooked meat under USDA inspection or the State of Connecticut which adopts the Federal Standards by reference. Ready-to-eat product prepped for individual service, e.g. burger joint burgers, doesn’t have to meet the same standard for its own prepped food. It needs to be honest and accurate but the restaurant can doctor its recipes any way it chooses as long as that is appropriately disclosed to customers.

                                                                The strict definition bagelman was referencing may or may not have existed at one time, but it definitely does not exist today.

                                                          2. re: bagelman01

                                                            Thanks for the reply, but with regards to seasoning, spices and *burger*, the conflicting information was from your information on an old thread asking the difference between a hamburger and meat loaf.

                                                            You used the Duchess restaurant in your example in the prior thread, and the information is different and not consistent with what you have cited here. There you said you must call it a burger if it has additives..... and that *spices* are allowed to be mixed in a hamburger.

                                                            You are consistent in citing a hamburger must be a 100% all beef/meat product, but the use of spices or seasonings is still unclear, and whether it it should be called a burger or something other.

                                                            1. re: fourunder

                                                              laws are in flux, it's not a good idea to look at an old thread and compare with current responses. In the law when we look at a case to see if it would help in a current argument in court, we 'Shepardize' the case, this tells us if it's still good law, or has been overturned, accepted by which courts and not by others.

                                                              CT changed from 12 (?) years of a Republican administration to a Democratic administration not too long ago. While the law may not change, the executive appointee as a commissioner has some latitude in enforcement and interpretation of the law.

                                                              My understanding from my last discussion with the appropriate state enforcement agency, is that a restaurant may sprinkle spice or seasonings on the burger when cooking. For example: The restaurant can sprinkle onion powder on the hamburger, but NOT mix pieces of raw onion in the ground beef and then make the patties. McD puts raw onion on the bun, White Castle (and there aren't any left in CT) used to press the onion pieces into the patty while cooking.

                                                              I tend to use spice and seasoning interchangably, as you season with spices, but some spice mixtures are labelling seasoning.

                                                              Basically, if it is put on the patty when cooking and/or assembling it can be called a hamburger, if it is mixed in, the use of hamburger could get the restaurant in trouble.

                                                                1. re: barryg

                                                                  maybe not a dumb law, but odd interpretation and enforcement at times.

                                                                  If you are paying for an 8 ounce hamburger, you should get 8 ounces of 100% beef (before cooking weight) NOT 6 ounces of beef and 2 ounces of soy, bread crumbs, onions, peppers, etc.

                                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                                    Yea I get that but if it excludes salt , pepper, garlic clove, spices, it is a dumb law.

                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                      It's actually quite common for a menu item to describe a certain pre-cooked weight.....but in fact, receive less......whether it be a hamburger, steak, fish fillet or other sea foods. I would not call out a place over an ounce or two, but I probably would not go back if they described their burger as 8 ounces, but in reality was six....received on multiple occasion. in my area, there a more than a few restaurants that advertise a 24 ounce Rib Eye Steak......I can honestly say only place is honest in what is served. Most miss the mark by at least 6 ounces every time.

                                                                  2. re: bagelman01

                                                                    Basically, if it is put on the patty when cooking and/or assembling it can be called a hamburger, if it is mixed in, the use of hamburger could get the restaurant in trouble.

                                                                    I can fully understand and accept the guidelines for *hamburger*....but

                                                                    Above, you cite that you cannot call it a burger either.....but if you go to the Duchess menu, they clearly have what they call burgers on their menu.

                                                                    Whether it is enforced or not based on interpretation....that is really just confusing the issue with the statute you reference, or by indicating it cannot be called a burger as well in your post to Ditdah....(if additions are mixed in, which you indicated Duchess includes).

                                                                    Duchess seems like a pretty well established company with many locations. It would seem odd to me that they would flagrantly skirt or challenge the law so openly and prominently..

                                                                    1. re: fourunder

                                                                      Duschess and its predecessors have been around for 50 years, Locations are individually owned and its website is highly innaccurate. Many locations have closed, such as Hamden, Newtown and Danbury, although the website as of last week (the last time I looked) still lists the Danbury location as open (It's now a small grocery that also sells 'Duchess' style fast food.
                                                                      They tend to fly under the radar, as they are not statewide and inspections are done by small health districts. No real advertising that would attract state authorities.
                                                                      I do remember when they had to change the formulation of their 'Big D Cheeseburger' in the 90s when the state caught them adding soy as an extender. They were not permitted to use the term burger with a non-beef additive.

                                                                      The state has taken a somewhat lenient position on the term 'burger' IF it is properly labelled with a prominent adjective such as "Turkey" burger, "Veggie burger" where the consumer in no way expects 100% ground beef. BUT if an establishment uses a 'blind' term as "BIG burger" or "Heavenly burger" it has to be 100% beef with no add ins before cooking.
                                                                      In many ways this is about truth in advertising as well as food purity.

                                                                    2. re: bagelman01


                                                                      With due respect....I have no idea who you spoke with, but as a person who likes to stay in touch with food trends in the the food industry as best i can when something piques my interest......nothing against you personally, but the information and explanations you have provided just did not pass muster for me and my curiosity got the best of me, simply for the reasons it seemed odd and made no sense..... plus. it's in contradiction and against what businesses are actually doing in terms of describing and selling burgers and hamburgers on their menus, examples of such, which are available on their websites.....so I did some research with the Departments of Consumer Protection:Food and Standards, for both Connecticut and New Jersey to see what information I could find, and it was contrary to the information told to you.

                                                                      In a nutshell, the standards are in fact, quite similar for both states. ....and the information you received is inaccurate. Yes, Hamburger does have to be made from beef products (Meat, no offal), but can also contain spices, seasonings and up to 70% beef and 30% beef fat, not necessarily 100% beef, as in all meat, no fat.......but as prepared food, Restaurant Burgers can have anything mixed in, as long as it is honest in describing the additions accurately, they can doctor them any way they wish and are not held to the same standards. Restaurant Hamburgers can have seasoning mixed in.

                                                                      If you would like the response I received from the director of CP from CT, I would be more than happy to share it with you.

                                                                      For the record, I dealt with my share of health inspectors....as well as inspectors of all various department for multiple municipalities and counties. I never take their word 100% to be true or accurate if I am opposed to it in actual situations that concern me....I need to see the proof to meet my satisfaction so I could comply with any code.

                                                        2. re: monkeyrotica

                                                          Not fast food but IHOP makes one, presumably comes premixed.

                                                      2. re: monkeyrotica

                                                        that is the method used by "frankie's" a Connecticut chain based out of Watertown, CT....Instant Heartburn

                                            2. Sonic has hot dogs. I'm reeeeealy picky when it comes to hot dogs, so I've never tried them, but I think they have quite a few different toppings. I know they aren't one of the largest chains, but they're growing. Maybe if they become popular enough, other places will find a way to do them, too?

                                              1. Hardees, Sonic & Five Guys all have hot dogs. Makes me sad Five Guys doesn't have chili for theirs.

                                                8 Replies
                                                  1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                    Friendly's has hot dogs. While most everything else they serve (especially their ice cream) borders on terrible, they do serve decent hamburgers and an excellent hot dog.

                                                    1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                      5 guys doesn't have chili because they cook each burger to order and don't have leftovers to use up in the chili

                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                        Lots of places make chili that does not involve hamburgers.

                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                          yes but we're talking about fast food chains who make chili to use up leftover burgers

                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                            That's not the only way to make chili, whether a chain or not.

                                                            1. re: carolinadawg

                                                              correct, but that's the reason Wendy's (the first of the national burger chains to serve chili) added chili to the menu

                                                            2. re: bagelman01

                                                              Nope, only you mentioned making chili from leftovers.

                                                      2. Our local Dairy Queen makes a real good hot dog. "Two chili dogs, an order of onion rings and a small slaw". Bliss.

                                                        This crappy little town (pop. < 3,000) doesn't have much going for it but at least the owners of the Dairy Queen and the McDonald s are in there working their butts off every day trying to make a living.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: kengk

                                                          The problem I have with the Dairy Queen chili dogs is they usually have low quality chicken and/or turkey wieners instead of beef, pork, or beef and pork.

                                                          We have a couple of Chicago guys in the Twin Cities that have three restaurants, Chicago Taste Authority that have great hotdogs, Vienna Beef, and good buns with poppy seeds but have crappy chili. The chili they put on their hotdogs is thin with little meat and lots of beans. That's not hotdog chili. I'd rather go across the street and buy a couple of chili dogs from the SuperAmerica convenience store.

                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                            Because putting chili on a Chicago dog is an abomination. If you want chili on dogs, you SHOULD be eating from the convenience store.

                                                            1. re: NE_Wombat

                                                              Ridiculous. Even I know you would NEVER put chili on a Chicago dog because a Chicago already has neon relish, onions, mustard, pickle spear, tomatoes, peppers, celery salt, on a poppy seed bun. Why would anyone put chili on a Chicago hotdog?

                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                Do they actually put hot dogs on them? LOL.

                                                        2. I think they are here: http://www.wienerschnitzel.com/defaul...

                                                          Though, sadly the one that was right in Seattle closed. Now it's a long drive away and I haven't had one in years. They seem to be mostly in California and the Southwest.

                                                          Or, Hot Dog On a Stick which I have to admit are pretty tasty.

                                                          Our local chain The Burgermaster serves a sliced grilled hot dog on a hamburger bun which is actually pretty good.

                                                          But I don't know why the big chains don't do them.

                                                          9 Replies
                                                          1. re: knowspicker

                                                            I tried both the Wienerschnitzel and Hotdog on a Stick in Arizona. I was not impressed with either. I especially did not like the Hotdog on a Stick. They only offered turkey hotdogs which are far inferior to either beef or pork. Only a California-based hotdog chain would not offer a real hotdog.

                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                              If you ever make it to the Tempe AZ area, try Ted's Hotdogs if you get a chance. They are a satellite location of the Ted's Hotdogs of Buffalo, they use Sahlen's Hot Dogs. I beleive they are a beef/pork combo, and are char grilled.

                                                              I haven't been to the one in AZ but been to about 4 of their locations in Buffalo and never got a bad dog

                                                              Sadly in my neck of the woods, they only have all-beef dogs, which I have never particularly liked. When I moved up north, I found I like the hot dogs in Western NY better, which are generally pork/beef combos, or all pork white hots. Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse area all had their own local brands but all 3 were pretty good.

                                                              1. re: PenskeFan

                                                                Since seeing Ted's Hotdogs on various hotdog specials (I think it was a PBS show) I have been meaning to get over there. Two years in a row my father (Minnesota snowbird in Mesa) had significant health issues which is why I spent an extended time down there and a hotdog run was not feasible. Last winter I just forgot. I'm interested in the pork white hots. While I've seen them on TV I've never eaten one. Are they unsmoked hotdogs with spices? (Like a fresh brat is sort of white).

                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                  Hmm, I have actually never tried a white hot from Sahlens, 95% of my white hots were Zweigles (Rochester's hotdog) and the rest were Hoffmans (Syracuse brand) , I always have gotten red hots from Ted''s (actually I think it only carries white hots in AZ)
                                                                  In general white hots being uncured the taste is definitely different. its not really like a brat, the texture seems pretty similar to a hot dog.
                                                                  Its been a number of years (over 10) but the spicing and taste are definitely different than a red hot. I remember Hoffman's being spicier than Zwiegles, and not sure which of the two (if either) that Ted's in AZ uses.

                                                                  1. re: PenskeFan

                                                                    My interest is because I have never had a white hotdog of ANY kind or brand. As I understand it they are an upstate New York thing. I recall one of the hotdog programs refer to the white hot as a 'coney' dog, not to be confused with hotdog with chili.

                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                      Yes, especially in Syracuse they call them Coney's

                                                                      Since I moved back south I haven't had one in years, they just aren't found here, even in places where I can find upstate NY brands.
                                                                      Not everyone likes white hots, so I advise you to try both kinds at Ted's

                                                                      1. re: PenskeFan

                                                                        I'm going to make an effort to get to Ted's next winter. I remember writing a post on a hotdog thread a long time ago mentioning the 'coney' thing in New York and got roundly criticized for being so stupid. It's nice to know I'm not as stupid as some might think. ; )

                                                            2. re: knowspicker

                                                              According to their website, there's still a Wienerschnitzel in Everett and Vancouver, WA. I was never a big fan of their dogs but they were cheap and their chili was good as a dog topping, not so much on its own.

                                                              Nathan's made a stab at going national a while ago but that failed and they have retreated to mostly their East Coast roots with a few other locations around the country. God I miss them.

                                                              1. re: acgold7

                                                                Yes Weinerschnitzwl chili is very tasty on a dog or burger.

                                                            3. Because it is easier to replicate a "fast food" hot dog at home than a fast food hamburger.

                                                              Exhibit A: http://www.chow.com/topics/851371

                                                              1. Could be a lot of reasons but I wonder if the profit margin is just too low at the prices people are willing to pay for a hot dog--which they would be buying at the expense of a higher margin item.

                                                                10 Replies
                                                                1. re: barryg

                                                                  This is actually what I would surmise to be true. Chains focus on what they do best and point you in that direction. They want to limit your options on choice to reduce costs for the franchise owners. Why offer something for a buck when they can sell something else for two. The Dollar menu is clearly not a favorite of the Franchise owner....In the end, if there is no hot dog available, then the customer orders something else.

                                                                  1. re: fourunder

                                                                    It was Taco Bell that years ago started the 'value' menue and every franchise owner of every company would like to strangle the guy who came up with that idea. I cannot remember the last time I had a quarter pounder with cheese. I bet the per person sale at McDonald's is less now than it was 10 years ago.

                                                                  2. re: barryg

                                                                    I considered this but then discounted it because McDonald's figures out how to sell a double cheeseburger for a dollar at a profit.I suppose they have done nough research on consumers' perceivee value and the hotdog pricepoint, profit, and perceivd value don't meet at the right spot on the chart.

                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                      Well, they did take the true double cheeseburger off the dollar menu, at least in my area. Now the item on the dollar menu is the "McDouble" which has two patties but one slice of cheese. If you order a double cheeseburger (two patties and two slices of cheese) then it costs more. I forget how much, but maybe $1.20?

                                                                      1. re: Ditdah

                                                                        I was not aware of the change. If I am going to have a small fast food burger it usually will be at Wendy's.

                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                          Except that Wendy's no longer has hamburgers on their menu. You will have to order (and pay for) a cheeseburger, requesting that they hold the cheese (and hope they do).

                                                                          1. re: Clams047

                                                                            I didn't actually write hamburger. I always order a cheeseburger and never order a hamburger. I likes my cheese.

                                                                        2. re: Ditdah

                                                                          and yesterday, I ordered a double hamburger and got stuck for $1.19. After being corrected several times by cashiers over the years that a McDouble without cheese is a double hamburger, I started just asking for the double hamburger. McDonalds now charges a premium if you omit the cheese.

                                                                          1. re: Clams047

                                                                            I just order a McDouble PLAIN for my dog, and it comes with just the two patties on the bun for $1. If I try ordering a McDouble no cheese, they try to tell me to order a double hamburger.

                                                                      2. re: barryg

                                                                        Most of the profits come from soft drinks.

                                                                      3. There's a lot to be said for regional hot dog differences, but I honestly don't think that is why McD's and others aren't selling them. The hotdog equivalent to a McD's burger is something like Ball Park or Oscar Meyer, and the cheap version at that. McD's could easily sell a plain dog on their dollar menu, but they probably wouldn't sell enough to justify in the investment (sourcing, storage, tweaks to the cooking infrastructure, even the cost of changing the menu board). Why pay $1 for a McD's hotdog when I can get the equivalent product at home for 70 cents (based on current prices for Ball Park brand dogs and rolls at my local grocery store, yes I checked). McD's as a whole is a well oiled machine. If they saw hot dogs as a viable way to make money, they would be selling them.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: mpjmph

                                                                          Why pay a dollar for fries from McDonald's when you could make them at home for 2 cents? I don't have the necessary equipment in my car to produce fries or hot dogs. : )

                                                                          1. re: mpjmph

                                                                            Even if McD's could settle on a particular brand / type of hot dog, there are way too many preferences in toppings to be practical for McD's simplistic / unified approach, even if catering to regional differences. Would they serve them with spicy Guldens or French's yellow mustard, red or green relish, onions or sauerkraut, chili (and its many variations) or no meat topping, grilled, steamed or plain buns, etc.

                                                                            If the condiments are not yellow mustard and ketchup (either of which will drive away most who might want a hot dog), McD's would have an inventory / cost problem.

                                                                            That said, I think the primary reason McD's will continue to avoid hot dogs is presentation. Every hamburger, bag of fries, etc comes out looking the same everywhere, time after time. A decent hot dog does not typically photograph well / uniformly.

                                                                          2. I goggled McD's and hotdogs. Apparently Ray Kroc forbade them in the early years but they have been tried in the past. I agree with others above that a machine like McDonald's could easily add a hotdog to the menu if they thought it would be profitable.

                                                                            Don't think the tasty Krystal "chili cheese pup" has been mentioned yet.

                                                                            I think it's much easier to make a good hamburger at home than it is to make a good hotdog. Maybe if I could find some little paper boxes to put them in...

                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                            1. re: kengk

                                                                              I believe that Ray Kroc thought hotdogs would distract from their main product which is hamburgers.

                                                                              Next we'll start a thread about why doesn't KFC sell hamburgers.

                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                "Next we'll start a thread about why doesn't KFC sell hamburgers."

                                                                                Why, that would be as crazy as McDonald's selling chicken!

                                                                                1. re: kengk

                                                                                  Selling chicken is one of the big strategic blunders of Carl's Jr./Hardees.

                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                    It might not have been if it was better tasting. At least in our area, many Hardees are in areas under-served by other restaurants (not just fast food restaurants)

                                                                                    But even though I love fried chicken, I would rather have KFC (which I don't like) , and obviously the fried chicken represents capital and opportunity costs.

                                                                                    I wonder if it was to try and be like Roy Rogers? I remember liking their chicken ok, but then again I was a dumb kid who rarely got to eat out at all, much less at an "exotic" out of state restaurant like Roy's lol.

                                                                                    1. re: PenskeFan

                                                                                      Roy Rogers' Gold Rush Chicken Sandwich is, IMHO, the best fastfood chicken sandwich available.


                                                                                      1. re: PenskeFan

                                                                                        In our area, the Hardees fried chicken was pretty good but of course did not taste like KFC original. The blunder is that people don't expect fried chicken at a burger joint and they had to sell 300 pieces a day just to break even and that's without waste. They could not keep fried chicken ready to sell without waste because after a while it is not sellable because it has been sitting around too long. Somebody did not think it through.

                                                                                        Hardee's used to have a similar role in small towns in Minnesota years ago. So many of them closed I don't think it works that way here anymore.

                                                                                        1. re: PenskeFan

                                                                                          Yes, it was an attempt to be like Roy Rogers. IIRC, they were even using the Roy Roger's recipe. There are still some locations selling fried chicken - it worked well as a regional menu extra, but didn't go over well nationally.

                                                                                    2. re: John E.

                                                                                      Haha now that's funny right there :) Good point

                                                                                  2. 5 Guys does a decent Hebrew National dog. Great loaded up with bacon.

                                                                                    Checkers does cheap chili dogs. Edible is about the best you can say about them.

                                                                                    Every once in a while I'll get a craving for a Dairy Queen footlong, but then I remember it couldn't possibly measure up to my memory of them.

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                      >>>5 Guys does a decent Hebrew National dog. Great loaded up with bacon.<<<

                                                                                      Love the irony.

                                                                                      1. re: acgold7

                                                                                        The potential of "fusion abomination" cuisine is limitless. Latkes stuffed with shrimp. Matzoh corndogs. The mind reels.

                                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                          If the wieners inside a matzoh corndog were all beef kosher dogs would it be ok then?

                                                                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                            I guess I could market my family's traditional Christmas breakfast - latkes and country sausage patties.

                                                                                      2. For any chain offering hot dogs near a Costco, it would be difficult to compete.
                                                                                        Costco has a 4 ounce poached hot dog and a Polish dog (more garlicky) made from beef and sourced from their dedicated plant in California. They sell these for $1.50 including a refillable drink, in their food courts, which are open to non members. There are line ups but they seem to have enough staff to deal with the crowds. I find one of their hot dogs very filling, and better than most others, although not up to Nathan's very high standards.

                                                                                        Maybe it's easy for them. They tried burgers a few years ago and it was a complete fail.

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: jayt90

                                                                                          it is especially difficult to compete when Costco sells this as a 'LOSS LEADER'

                                                                                          Fast Food chains really aren't interested in selling meals at a loss in hopes that you'll buy some high end items

                                                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                            Not true. (I know I shouldn't get into a prolonged battle here!)
                                                                                            Their business model is familiar to investors and includes an average mark up of 14%. Each department has to be profitable. They sell the same Kirkland quarter lb. hot dogs in bulk for about $2.50/lb, and the food court probably gets a slightly lower price, maybe $.50 each; soda is pennies, and probably subsidized by Coke, so there is still plenty of room for wages, taxes, and at least 10% profit. The model works because of volume and quality, that much is well known.

                                                                                            1. re: jayt90

                                                                                              worked there in MGT from 1993-2003. that item is a loss leader. ESPECIALLY with the unlimited (during one visit) soda refills. The department can be profitable overall while one item is not.
                                                                                              BTW The kirkland dog is over 1/4 lb, the $2/50 lb price is not nationwide, while the Hot dog and drink price is. The cost went down when Costco switched from Hebrew National to their own non-kosher hot dog

                                                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                How many people stop in at Costco to grab a quick lunch? I've never set foot in one seeing as the nearest is over a two hour round trip.

                                                                                                It occurred to me today that our local Mexican restaurant has a hot dog on the menu for picky children. This is a three person operation, husband and wife and some guy I think they keep chained up in the back to cook.

                                                                                                1. re: kengk

                                                                                                  Re: How many people stop in at Costco just to grab a quick lunch?

                                                                                                  Depends on location..............
                                                                                                  My MIL often suggests to my wife lets go to Costco and have a hot dog for lunch. They go and eat and don't shop as the store is far too big for my MIL to walk through.

                                                                                                  The Costco in Waterbury, CT adjoins a CoCo Key Hotel and Water Park Resort. A hot dog in the water park costs about $5, I've seen many trek across the parking lot to get food at Costco (both Hot Dog meal and Pizza). I don't think it's worth the effort to park at most Costco Locations just to get lunch, But this past winter I had to take some continuing education credits to keep up one of my professional licenses. The courses were held at the convention center side of the same CoCo Key Resort, I often went into Costco to pick up a Hot Dog lunch (or chicken bake).
                                                                                                  I belong to Costco, but rarely shop there unless I'm getting new eyeglasses. My kids howevr are regulars there.

                                                                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                    Very true, it would have to be highly location dependent .

                                                                                                    I would surprised if too many people who had any value to their time went for lunch at the one in the west end of Richmond. The parking lot is terrible to get in and out lots of congestion, poorly designed entrances and bad traffic flow around it as well.
                                                                                                    The worst part is the gas pumps. Finally made me shift over to Sam's Club. Taking 5 minutes to find a parking space and 10 minutes to wait in line for fuel is a deal breaker (for me) especially when I know I will have to wait 10 minutes or more in the checkout line as well.

                                                                                        2. And for the record, when the Skydome (Now Rogers Centre) opened in '89 concessions were awarded to McDonalds. They sold hotdogs. So they could do it if they so chose.


                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                                            Of course they would have a captive market at the Skydome where repeat business would not be much of a concern. Who really expects much more than a steamed hot dog with yellow mustard at a sporting event. Who would really order such away from a captive tourist attraction?

                                                                                            1. re: Clams047

                                                                                              Don't assume that just because a McDonald's franchisee or the parent corporation gets the exclusive to sell food at a venue that it is McDonald's selling the hot dogs. On the Massachusetts Turnpike and The Connecticut Turnpike, McDonald's won the competitive bidding to control/operate the food court operations in the rest areas/service stations. The government authorities required a variety of foods. Here in Connecticut, service areas that formerly only had a McDonalds have been rebuilt with a multitude of choices such as Sbarro, Moe's. Robeks and Dunkin Donuts. BUT it is McDonalds who has purchased and operates these other franchises. In Masschusetts I've been at the Charlton rest stop where McD operates Auntie Anne's Pretzels as well as Papa Gino's Pizza and subs.
                                                                                              So it may be that the Hot Dog window at the Superdome was merely another business owned by McDonald's or leasing space from and operating under the authority of McDs.

                                                                                              And don't lose sight of the fact that McD bought Boston Chicken/Market after their bankruptcy.

                                                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                McDonalds sold hotdogs at Skydome. McDog or something like that.


                                                                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                  Anyone can sell hot dogs at a sports complex. People expect to eat hot dogs there.

                                                                                                  1. re: cwdonald

                                                                                                    Not just anyone in Toronto. There would be a committee, a focus group, and council approval before one rather expensive hot dog gets the nod.

                                                                                                    1. re: jayt90

                                                                                                      That may be (and my mother was from Toronto.. I know the city well.. ). But my point is sporting venues regardless of the location are one of the prime locations to sell hot dogs. The real question here is why there are not more hot dogs available as part of normal fast food.

                                                                                                      I think the food car phenomena that is sweeping NA (and beginning to hit Europe if the stories about food carts are to be believed... ) has the potential for people to produce hot dogs elevated to another level. As well as trendy things like Korean Tacos, etc.