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How to Run a Hot Dog Eating Competition in 4 Easy Steps

September 10, 2014

How to Run a Hot Dog Eating Competition in 4 Easy Steps

Step 1: Own a Specialty Hot Dog Restaurant

We’re just joking! This step is actually optional, but for us it was integral. Who better to sponsor a hot dog eating competition than a hot dog restaurant? It just makes sense. Ironically, Up Dog was not responsible for cooking all the competition dogs. Two of our lucky summer interns got that job. 382 dogs later, we were ready to party.

Step 2: Partner with a Boss Charity Organization

We know that children are our future. We also know that the volunteers at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City are keeping our future bright by working with some of the coolest kids in the KC area. Using BBBS to spread the word about the 5th annual hot dog eating competition on the Independence Square made this event twice the shin-dig it would have been with just us. We got a little face time on NBC 41’s morning show where Amber Frisbee and her little sister promoted the event and beat the host in a mini dog eating competition. When you work with a charity that focuses on children, donations of inflatable bounce houses, face painting, and caricatures were given with pleasure. All these activities along with the competition as main event and a free movie afterward turned the Pharaoh Cinema 4 parking lot into a frank festival.

Step 3: Incentivize the Talent

It takes a brave soul to belly up to this challenge. Signup for the battle of the buns was available online, in store at Up Dog, and through your friendly neighborhood interns bugging everyone they know in the 816. With two categories for children and amateurs, we looked for prizes everywhere. $300 for first place proved enticing, and prizes donated from the Kansas City Zoo, Royals, Oil Change, Walmart and others were tempting enough for a whole range of competitors. Having all the proceeds go to Big Brothers Big Sisters was a good incentive as well. Your tummy might not feel good after this stuff-your-face off, but you can feel good about yourself.

Step 4: EAT! EAT! EAT!

Self-explanatory. Losing your dogs during the competition merited disqualification, as well as cheating. Volunteers got up in the potential splash zone to make sure the dogs were eaten and counted correctly. Winners were crowned, prizes were given, and most importantly, all the dogs were eaten.