Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Japadog Is Olympic Business Winner

You’ll hear all about how everyone wants those red Canada mittens that had been on its way of selling out millions before Oprah mentioned it. But that’s not the best business to hit the Olympics.

Japadog Big Bites
Photo: Stephen Wu

That’s reserved for the Japadog.

It’s a bunch of different hot dogs with Japanese type toppings. I tried the Terimayo, a hot dog with teriyaki sauce, spicy mayo and seaweed flakes and the Okonomi, a hot dog topped with spicy mayo, fried cabbage and bonito flakes.

How good is it?

I waited on line at one of the two stands that exist for 45 minutes and it was only that short because I strategically got on line when the USA-Canada hockey game started and everyone in this country was watching the television.

Darren Rovell

The combination of ingredients? Amazing.

The $6.75 cost? A no brainer.

Wanting to find out more about this amazing creation, I spoke to Japadog’s creator Noriki Tamura. Tamura, who worked in franchise consulting in Japan, says he used to eat a hot dog every day. Frustrated by the lack of creativity, he started putting Japanese condiments on his hot dogs and the rest is history. Bye bye, mustard. See ya, ketchup.

Japadog was born five years ago, but expansion has been slow.

Tamura has pushed back several offers to franchise his business, but he personally will enter the New York market by the end of the year, he says.

He won’t say exactly how much the Olympics has meant to him, but he does say that the lunch time lines, normally 20 to 40 people, is now up to 100 or more. He hasn't run out of his special hot dogs thanks to a warehouse nearby that was ready for the rush.

Questions?  Comments?