There are good dogs and bad dogs. Eight years in, and Yummy Dogs founder Olaf is slowly but surely weeding out the rogues. He’s celebrating Yummy Dogs’ eighth birthday with a fresh dedication to quality hot dogs, bake-fresh buns and a range of lip-smacking relishes.
For chef Olaf, born and raised in Germany, it’s all about creating the ultimate taste experience. He won’t rest until he’s won the fight against soggy dogs. Boring burgers. Stale buns. Tasteless relish. Pickles lacking pep. Here’s Olaf’s take on the importance of making food YUMMY, and why his dogs are such a success.
So how did it all begin?
“After years working in offices in Europe and Asia, it was time to move back to my true passion - working with real people, face-to-face,” Olaf says.
“March 2009 clinched it for me. Facing my midlife crisis head on, I knew it was decision time. The red sports car or a hot dog stand? The hot dog stand won, and I’ve never looked back!”
What’s the secret of appealing to customers?
“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You simply have to take a product and make it taste sensational! People are not stupid. They know if you are cutting corners and compromising on quality and service. Follow some simple rules and you can’t lose.”
So you offer gourmet hot dogs?
“What’s a gourmet hot dog anyway? There are no gourmet hot dogs here, only yummy dogs. A hot dog is a hot dog, and the only rule that counts is that it tastes amazing. If you serve it the original way, use quality ingredients and top with authentic relishes and condiments, you can’t go wrong.”
Can you define your main challenges?
“Back in 2009, the hot dog had earned quite a bad reputation in Australia. Sausages were the bland, red-skinned varieties you found at sports matches and in the supermarket, while toppings were hugely predictable – tomato sauce or mustard. If you were really "lucky", you encountered one with the luxury of barbecue sauce!
“It took a lot of hard work, sampling and taste sessions to educate customers about the power of an authentic, finely grilled hot dog – and to convince businesses that it’s fine to serve quality hot dogs to their clients and staff.”
What other products do you offer?
“Yummy Dogs doesn’t just offer hot dogs. We provide the ultimate hot dog experience with our unique hot dog carts and our own range of authentic hot dog toppings.
“We also supply our own range of top class relish, hot pepper, pickle and salsa products to restaurants, food trucks, sandwich bars, caterers, hot dog vendors and food outlets all over Australia.”
What kinds of business and customer do you cater for?
“Our customers come from all types of industry – media, advertising, banking, airlines, car manufacture and retail to name a few.
“Today we cater for everything from small, intimate office meetings to large company and corporate lunches where we serve over a thousand hot dogs in less than two hours.
“We undertake product promotions, cater for exhibitions and conferences, and can provide a hot dog stand for weddings, family gatherings and birthday parties.”
The final words from Olaf?
“In 2017, I want to free Australia from bad dogs. If you want to join me, ask me how!”