|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2014)|
|Traded as||NASDAQ: NATH|
|Founded||1916 Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United Statesin|
|Headquarters||Jericho, New York, United States|
|Key people||Howard M. Lorber
(Chief Executive Officer)
(President and Chief Operating Officer)
Nathan's began as a nickel hot dog stand in Coney Island in 1916 and bears the name of co-founder Nathan Handwerker (June 14, 1890, Kraków, Poland – March 25, 1974), who started the business with his wife, Ida Handwerker, née Ida Greenwald (September 25, 1897 – December 24, 1976). Ida created the hot dog recipe they used, and Ida's grandmother created the secret spice recipe.
Handwerker, an employee of Feltman's German Gardens, was encouraged by singing waiters Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante to go into business in competition with his former employer. He and Ida spent their life savings of $300 to begin the business.
Handwerker undercut Feltman's by charging five cents for a hot dog when his former employer was charging ten. At a time when food regulation was in its infancy and the pedigree of the hot dog particularly suspect, Handwerker made sure that men wearing surgeon's smocks were seen eating at his stand to reassure potential customers. The business proved immensely popular.
The expansion of the chain was overseen by Nathan Handwerker's son, Murray Handwerker. A second branch on Long Beach Road in Oceanside, New York, opened in 1959, and another debuted in Yonkers, New York, in 1965. Murray Handwerker was named the president of Nathan's Famous in 1968.
All locations were sold by the Handwerker family to a group of private investors in 1987, at which point Nathan's was franchised and a great number of establishments were opened around New York City and beyond.
The company went public in 1993 and Bill Handwerker, the founder's grandson, left the company three years later.
As of September 2001[update], the company consisted of 24 company-owned units, 380 franchised or licensed units and more than 1,400 stores in 50 states, Guam, the District of Columbia and 17 foreign countries. One unit was lost due to the collapse of Two World Trade Center from the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Original location today
The original Nathan's still exists on the same site that it did in 1916. Having been open for business every day, 365 days a year, the stand was forced to close on October 29, 2012, due to Hurricane Sandy. Despite a small fire on May 4, 2013, the stand re-opened later that month. Service is provided year-round inside, and during the summer additional walk-up windows are opened to serve the larger seasonal crowds.
Hot dog eating contest
The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest has been held at the original location on Coney Island since the early 1970s. Contestants try to consume as many hot dogs as possible in a ten-minute time period. The Nathan's event is at the center of the competitive eating circuit. Recent winners include Takeru Kobayashi (2001–2006). After Kobayashi left Nathan's, the hot dog contest was down year-to-year. With an average 0.7 HH U.S. rating, it was off just a tenth of a point from 2012, when it aired on ESPN. ESPN averaged 1.949 million viewers for 2011's Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, but went down 41 percent to 1.15 million viewers in 2013.
- "Contact Us". Nathan's Famous. Retrieved December 17, 2011. "Nathan's Famous Executive Offices One Jericho Plaza Second Floor – Wing A Jericho, New York 11753".
- [dead link] . Nathon's Famous. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- Abelson, Reed (May 15, 2011). "Murray Handwerker, 89, Dies; Made Nathan's More Famous". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
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- Jakle, John A.; Sculle, Keith A. (1999). Fast Food – Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 163–164. ISBN 978-0-801-86109-3.
- Sokolow, Diane. "Nathan's". One for the Table.
- Staff (May 22, 2011). "Passings: Murray Handwerker". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- [dead link] "Inside Nathan's – Corporate Profile". Retrieved August 10, 2006 Archived August 9, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
- Pruitt, Sarah (December 4, 2012). "Historic Hot Dog Stand Shuts Its Doors for the First Time". History. Retrieved June 8, 2013.
- Weichselbaum, Simone (May 21, 2013). "Nathan’s Famous, Destroyed During Sandy, Reopens with Hot Dogs, Fries and a New Clam Bar – Coney Island Is Bouncing Back – Grand Re-Opening Is Thursday". Daily News. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- "Roberts, Sam (August 18, 2010). "No, He Did Not Invent the Publicity Stunt". The New York Times.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nathan's Famous.|
- nathansfamous.com, the company's official website
- A tribute page
- A tribute to Nathan's in Oceanside, New York