Purveyor Of Hot Dogs Trots Out A New Concept That Will Sell Sandwiches In A Storefront, Not From A Push Cart

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Everyone has heard of the Chicago-style hot dog: a hot frankfurter in a steamed bun topped with mustard, relish, pickle spears, onions, sport peppers, tomatoes and celery salt. "We drag the dog through the garden" said Coe Meyer, President and founder of Woody's Chicago Style. "All of that ‘schmoo' really makes the Chicago Style Hot Dog." But have you heard of a Chicago-style sandwich? Woody's Chicago Style has sold specialty hot dogs out of mobile carts at events, museums, outdoor attractions and home improvement centers since 1987. Now, in an effort to expand even further, they're opening permanent store locations and offering a full menu of sandwiches. "The transition to the store will supplement our cart locations and the daily grind of lunch locations," Meyer said.

Woody's, which has more than 100 cart-owning franchisees, will continue to sell their Chicago-style hot dogs wherever their carts can go, and their stores will sell a full-sandwich menu and hot dogs. (Most fresh sandwiches can't be sold outdoors due to state health codes.) Meyer began Woody's Chicago Style with a single cart in Hawaii in 1987. Back then he was fine with making $300 a day, but when he realized the growth potential of his business he got the franchise bug. "Since then, it has been my goal to become the national hot dog king," Meyer declared. "And with our new permanent store destinations we're really going to slug it out with the big sandwich chains." Meyer began franchising Woody's in 1990, and most of his initial growth can be attributed to agreements with home-improvement centers in Hawaii. One of his first agreements was with Eagle Hardware, which signed Woody's for as many locations as it could handle, including sites in the continental United States. In 2001, Lowe's acquired Eagle Hardware, and Woody's moved their headquarters to Denver after they were given the opportunity to cover more than 300 stores in the Western U.S. for Lowe's. To date Woody's is still filling that initial order.

Though hot dog carts are more suitable for the warmer climates, Woody's new stores will allow them to expand anywhere, Meyer said. To date, Woody's has one corporate model in Denver offering a full sandwich menu and Meyer expects to open another location in Charlotte, NC by early June. "We think the store destinations will help drive the impulse (cart) locations and the impulse will help drive the destination," he said. Jennifer and James Coffey, franchisees with two mobile carts in Colorado, think the new store locations will generate increased competition for other food chains.

"The stores will be food marketing tools," Jennifer said. "People will see our name more and recognize the quality that is consistent at every cart and store. Our sales will increase because of that." Meyer plans to open 20 or 30 Woody's sandwich and hot dog stores in the Colorado area within the next few years.

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Woody's Chicago Style
2190 Kipling St.
Lakewood, CO

Phone: (303)697-3962
Toll Free: (877)469-6639
Fax: (303)697-3965

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