How Did Wienerschnitzel Become a Top Ranked Franchise?
After nearly 60 years in business, family-owned Wienerschnitzel is on the rise
Wienerschnitzel is a family-owned company that got its start back in 1961 with a single location established by John Galardi in Southern California. That location, still in operation, is now a registered historic site in Los Angeles County, and nearly 60 years later, Wienerschnitzel is the largest hot dog franchise in the world.
The key reason behind Wienerschnitzel’s success over six decades is the fact that we’re a family through and through — from our leadership team, to our franchise owners and their employees. Wienerschnitzel puts our franchisees first.
“Our very first franchisee is still with us since 1965, and her children are now franchisees,” says JR Galardi, President of Wienerschnitzel. “This is a family, and if you walked into any one of our restaurants and spoke to our franchisees, they would tell you the same thing. This is personal. We don’t only care about money, we care about the people in this business. My dad started this nearly 60 years ago, and it’s something I want to pass down to my children. I want everyone to feel that same sense of pride.”
Wienerschnitzel is different — and we’re proud of it!
In the $273 billion quick-service industry (Oct. 2019, Statista.com), the market is flooded with hamburger joints, sandwich concepts, fried chicken, and Mexican food. Do you know what’s missing in almost every market? A place to get a hot dog — and Americans love hot dogs. According to The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, “from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs. That’s 818 hot dogs consumed every second during that period.”
Wienerschnitzel excels at elevating the hot dog to the star status it deserves. Hot dogs are front-and-center on the menu, with 11 signature dogs: Chili Cheese Dog, Chili Dog, Corn Dog, Chicago Dog (topped with fresh tomato, fresh onions, pickle spear, relish, sport peppers, tangy French’s mustard, and sprinkled with celery salt), Junkyard Dog (topped with French Fries, chili sauce, a slice of American cheese, French’s mustard, and grilled onions), Deluxe Dog (topped with fresh tomato, fresh chopped onions, pickle spear, and tangy French’s mustard), Bacon Street Dog (topped with a slice of crisp bacon, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and grilled diced onions), Relish Dog, Kraut Dog, Mustard Dog, and Mini Corn Dogs.
Any of the dogs on the menu can be upgraded to all-beef or made with Polish dogs. Rounding out the menu are burgers, sandwiches, fries and snacks, Tastee Freez soft-serve frozen desserts, and breakfast menu opportunities.
“Everything we do, we do with the customer in mind,” says JR Galardi, President of Wienerschnitzel. “The original hot dog is made from prime cuts of beef, pork, and chicken. It’s ground up, and the factory where our hot dogs are produced is meticulous. In fact, the USDA has an office right in the factory, so there’s never a time where someone from the USDA is not present in the factory. Then we have proprietary spices, and we smoke our hot dogs in hickory chips. Our hot dogs are done to perfection and are the very best in the industry. Then our bun is special because it has to be steamed — we never serve a customer a cold bun. Our chili is also proprietary and unique. In our category, there’s no other brand that even comes close.”
The industry is taking notice
In recent years, Wienerschnitzel has remained committed to its core menu, while also becoming one of the most forward-thinking brands in the quick-service segment. Our hilarious marketing campaigns on television and social media attract millennials and Gen Z, and our comprehensive training program includes artificial intelligence and game theory. Because Wienerschnitzel is a family-owned company, it is easy to invest in forward-thinking initiatives, zig where others zag, and focus on how to help our franchisees maximize profitability in their restaurants.
“Wienerschnitzel is an incredible legacy brand with a very unique identity,” says Ted Milburn, Director of Franchise Development with Wienerschnitzel. “We’ve reinvested significantly in our brand: a new restaurant design with a smaller footprint, a marketing team going after the next generation of customers, and the result is that we have eight years of same-store sales increases. Wienerschnitzel hasn’t reinvented our hot dog, instead, we have a forward-thinking plan that will see us growing for the next 20 years and more. The industry is loaded with hamburgers and chicken, and the main question we get is, ‘When are you coming to my town?’ It’s a good position to be in as a different brand on the block, and it’s an extraordinary opportunity for an entrepreneur.”
The industry agrees. Entrepreneur magazine currently ranks Wienerschnitzel as the #87 (up from #126 last year) on its Franchise 500 list, and Wienerschnitzel is consistently ranked as the No. 1 brand in the hot dog category.
Ready to invest in a Wienerschnitzel franchise?
With open territory, new store designs, and a new generation of nostalgia-driven consumers, Wienerschnitzel is a worthy investment for an entrepreneur who wants to bring the best tasting hot dog on the planet to their community. With industry-leading support, a proven business model, and eight years of continual same-store sales increases, the time to invest in a Wienerschnitzel franchise is now!