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Worst Work Uniforms: Hot Dog on a Stick


Your batter-dipped wiener is served with a side of humiliation.

"I sometimes have to remind myself that I actually chose this job," Taylor Hynes, a student at the College of Southern Nevada, shamefully admits in her Las Vegas City Life article, "Confessions of a Hot Dog on a Stick Girl."

Regrettably, Hot Dog on a Stick was the job she opted for to financially support her way through school. Little did she know the magnitude of social repercussions that would plague her throughout her tenure at the establishment.

"Before I knew it, I became a 'hotdogger' and was welcomed as such," Hynes explains. "The instant I slipped into that uniform, I slipped out of my identity. I was a part of the image Hot Dog on a Stick had cleverly created for itself. I lost myself to become part of 'the show.'"

And "the show" is what Hot Dog on a Stick is all about. Boasting that its uniforms, methods, and attitudes make it stand out in a food court of banality, the franchise founded in 1946 at Muscle Beach, Santa Monica, spares no humiliation when dandifying its always smiling, sprightly employees.

As highlighted on the chain's website, Hot Dog on a Stick's uniforms were inspired by a quirky 1960's trend that saw jockey caps and hot pants in fashion. What's considered "stylish" tends to change with time, however Hot Dog on a Stick must not have gotten the memo. Sporting primary colored "mod" influenced caps, shirts, and skirts, the employees resemble something you'd expect a futuristic airline stewardess to be flaunting -- not someone serving you 'dogs and lemonade.

The company was founded by entrepreneur Dave Barham, who said he understood the importance of treating clientele to an "experience" as opposed to a mere "service." The business, therefore, is built around people first, and the goal is to provide everyone with a show -- at the expense of humiliating the staff. Not only must the "hotdoggers" wear the ridiculous uniforms, they also have to mix up barrels full of lemonade by pounding lemons with a stick -- and this in full view of the customers.

Oddly, the chain hasn't run into any trouble attracting employees. In fact, after Barham passed away in 1991, the once privately owned company was transformed into an employee owned corporation led by the management team Barham had mentored years prior. Now, Hot Dog on a Stick has 102 stores in 17 states as well as international outlets in places such as the Philippines and Venezuela.
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