Hot Dog Economics

The Upper School Economics class hosted its annual Hot Dog Stand competition on November 9 in the Stokes Hall/Dining Hall Commons courtyard. The seniors in History Department Chair Clark Thomson’s class were divided into four teams to learn about managing a business in a real-world setting, and the hot dog companies had to model the 5 P’s of marketing (product, price, place, people, and promotion) to sell the most hot dogs.

For this hands-on lesson, the four hot dog companies developed their own pre-event marketing strategies, including creatively titling their stands, designing humorous flyers, developing specialty menu items, and engaging in faux Twitter wars.

The day of the event, each group also promoted a unique event at their respective booths to attract more of their target audience of Middle and Upper School peers, faculty, and staff.

“Each group created an exciting, unique environment embracing the concept of ‘place’ in the 5 P’s of marketing, as well as the P for ‘people’ being how they served and presented themselves,” said Economics Teacher Mr. Thomson.

One group recorded their own song called “Hot Dog Bling,” a parody of Drake’s “Hot Line Bling,” that a live DJ performed on the day of the event. Alex Ounjian ’16 was the lead vocalist of “Hot Dog Bling.”

“Our goal with the remix and the proxy Twitter fight was to create energy and electricity for the brand,” said Zach Day ’16.

Another hot dog company decided to use customer interaction as a lead marketing technique to appeal to customers during the event.

“During freshman year, Mr. Thomson gave me the nickname ‘Fast Eddie’ so people know me by that nickname,” said Edward Gelernt ’16. “So we’re using that and calling our company Fast Eddie’s Franks and any buyers on the day will get a selfie with me in a hot dog suit, which will then be posted on our social media accounts.”

The hot dog stand competition is a popular event each year, and three out of the four hot dog stands sold out of their hotdogs.

After the event, the Economics class debriefed about the finances and realities of what is involved in running a business, including inventory stock, profit percentages, price points, and competition.