|Food type||Hot Dog Stand|
|Street address||Corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues, Coney Island (original location)|
|City||New York City|
|Other locations||yes – company owned and franchises|
Nathan's Famous, Inc. (NASDAQ: NATH) is a company that operates a chain of U.S.-based fast food restaurants specializing in hot dogs. The original Nathan's restaurant stands at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in the Coney Island neighborhood of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Its headquarters are in Wing A of the second floor of One Jericho Plaza in Jericho, New York.
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, 1892, 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 in 1965. Murray Handwerker was named the President of Nathan's Famous in 1968. All 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.
In the 1990s, Nathan's acquired Kenny Rogers Roasters and Miami Subs Grill, both of which were later divested. As of September 2001[update], Nathan's consisted of 24 company-owned units, 380 franchised or licensed units and more than 1,400 stores in 41 states, the District of Columbia and 17 foreign countries. One unit was lost due to the collapse of Two World Trade Center on the September 11, 2001, attacks.
The original Nathan's still exists on the same site that it did in 1916. Service is provided year-round inside, and during the summer additional walk-up windows are opened to serve the larger seasonal crowds.
Hot dog and buns eating contest 
The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest has been held at the original location on Coney Island since the early 1970s. Although a company spokesman claims that "legend" has it that the contest dates to 1916, the men responsible for originating the contest acknowledge fabricating the earlier inception. Contestants try to consume the most hot dogs (and buns) in a ten-minute time period. The Nathan's event is at the center of the competitive eating circuit. Takeru Kobayashi won the 2006 competition by ingesting a world-record 54 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes. This was his sixth consecutive victory in the tournament. In 2007, although setting his personal record of 63 hot dogs and buns (HDBs), he lost by a margin of 3 hot dogs to Joey Chestnut, who consumed a new world record of 66. In 2008, the time limit was changed to ten minutes. Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi tied with 59 hot dogs, before going to a tiebreaker of 5 hot dogs. Joey Chestnut won, having eaten 64 hot dogs. In 2009, Chestnut won again with a new record of 68 hot dogs. Kobayashi came in second with 64.5, although Kobyashi later claimed in 2011 to eat 69. In fact, a video on YouTube, entitled, "Kobayashi Real Count," showed that he in fact ate 65. Chestnut tied his record and consumed 68 dogs at the 97th annual competition on July 4, 2012, which also garnered him a sixth straight win at Nathan's Famous.The current record for consecutive victories is 9, set by Gerald "Jerry" Kilcourse in 1959.
- "Contact Us." Nathan's Famous. Retrieved on December 17, 2011. "Nathan's Famous Executive Offices One Jericho Plaza Second Floor - Wing A Jericho, New York 11753"
- , accessed July 4, 2010
- Abelson, Reed (2011-05-15). "Murray Handwerker, 89, Dies; Made Nathan’s More Famous". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- "Nathan Handwerker obituary". The Daily Sentinel. 1974-03-25. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- Jakle, John A.; Sculle, Keith A. (1999). Fast Food. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 163–164. ISBN 0-8018-6109-8
- Diane Sokolow. "Nathan's". One for the Table.
- "Murray Handwerker dies at 89; Nathan's Famous owner expanded nationwide". Los Angeles Times. 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- Inside Nathan's – Corporate Profile, accessed August 10, 2006 Archived August 9, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
- ""No, He Did Not Invent the Publicity Stunt" by Sam Roberts, New York Times, August 18, 2010". The New York Times. August 18, 2010.
- Douglas, Stephen. "Joey Chestnut Ate 68 Hot Dogs to Win the 2012 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest". thebiglead.com. Retrieved 4 July 2012.