Anniversaries can take on an air of modernism, even when the celebration is for a centenary.
Jericho, N.Y.-based Nathan’s Famous Inc., which was founded in Coney Island, N.Y., in 1916, is twice the age of 50-year-old Nation’s Restaurant News, but is observing its centennial with a year-long celebration based on modern mediums.
Tapping into social media and cable television, Nation’s Famous is giving away chances for a Backyard Movie Kit and a trip to New York City, sampling dogs in a mobile food truck tour of 20 cities from coast to coast, airing its annual ESPN-broadcast of its July 4 hot dog-eating championship, posting historic photos, and honoring “ultimate fans” of brand on Facebook and Twitter.
Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker borrowed $300 to open his first hot dog stand in 1916. Since then, the company has grown to sell more than 500 million frankfurters a year in more than 53,000 foodservice and retail locations, including arenas, stadiums, theaters, convention centers, travel plazas, amusement parks, casinos, hotels and groceries.
“Nathan’s Famous hot dogs are an integral part of the New York City experience and the American experience,” said Wayne Norbitz, president of Nathan’s Famous, in a statement. “The unmatched quality of the hot dogs and their cultural significance has helped the brand to grow throughout the United States and around the world.”