Hot Dog on a Stick

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"Hot dog on a stick" redirects here. For the food, see corn dog.
HDOS Enterprises
Employee-owned company
Founded June 1946 (Santa Monica, California)
Founders Dave Barham
Headquarters Carlsbad, California
Number of locations

HDOS Enterprises, commonly known as Hot Dog on a Stick, is a fast food company originating in Santa Monica, California, originally founded by Dave Barham.[1] It is known for their signature eponymous food item and the colorful, carnival style uniforms that the employees wear.


Their first store opened at the original Muscle Beach location next to the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California, in 1946. They started serving lemonade and hot dog on a stick to people on the beach. Hot Dog on a Stick soon expanded and became a large food chain. Barham later branched into Giant Slides, and the combination of food and entertainment were staples throughout fairs in Southern California. After Dave Barham's death in 1991, the company became an employee-owned corporation. Today, Hot Dog on a Stick is 100% employee owned. Hot Dog on a Stick currently has more than 105 company-owned U.S. locations, which are primarily located in popular regional shopping malls. There are also internationally franchised locations, located in the Philippines and Venezuela.[2] After the death of CEO Fredrica Thode on January 13, 2007, Dan Smith assumed her position.

In February 2014, HDOS Enterprises filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy after citing high lease costs. In their filing, Hot Dog on a Stick stated that their total debt was between $1 and $10 million. In addition, the company's assets were estimated at $10 to $50 million.[3] In August 2014 the company was bought by Global Franchise Group in a $12.2 million deal.[4]


Their signature foods are hot dogs on sticks and lemonade. Although commonly referred to as corn dogs, the employee manual claims that the item is actually known as a Hot Dog on a Stick, with the reasoning that corn dogs are frozen and reheated, while these are made fresh to order. The lemonade is made fresh at least every 2 hours and is available in original flavor, cherry, lime, blue raspberry and frozen in all flavors. The menu selections include hot dogs, American and pepper jack cheese on a stick, veggie dogs on a stick, French fries, hot dogs on buns, funnel cake sticks, and at a few locations, fish and zucchini in a tempura batter.[5] According to the corporate website, Hot Dog on a Stick uses only turkey in their signature hot dogs on a stick, while their hot dogs served on buns are made from 100% beef.

Locations in the U.S.[edit]

Location of the first stand, still standing today.

Commonly located in mall food courts, a Hot Dog on a Stick is usually white countered with mirrored walls. The employees' uniforms are the main source of color.


  1. ^ Amestoy, Louis (2008-12-14). "Comfort in cupcakes". The Business Press ( Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  2. ^ "Hot Dog on a Stick". 2007-05-07. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  3. ^ "Hot Dog on a Stick files for bankruptcy, cites high lease costs". Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ Melvin Backman (22 August 2014). "Hot Dog on a Stick gets new life". CNNMoney. 
  5. ^ "Taking comfort in fast and affordable meals around town". 2001-08-17. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 

External links[edit]