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6 Hot Dog Topping Ideas for National Hot Dog Month

Creative Hot Dog Topping Ideas

July is National Hot Dog Month – because one day is just not enough to celebrate delicious hot dogs! Of course, it’s important to start with a quality dog and the best hot dog equipment but to keep customers coming back for more, you’ll want to focus on your toppings to add variety. Beef up your selection and sales this month with some of these creative hot dog topping ideas that will get your customers talking.

hot dogs with varying toppings like cheese, jalapenos, etc.

1. Themed Toppings

Toppings for hot dogs can incorporate familiar flavors in a surprising way. Set up a national or regional theme for your dogs this month. Create a Mexican dog with enchilada sauce and jalapenos or salsa, cilantro, and Cotija cheese; try an Asian-inspired dog with Thai chili sauce or Sriracha; use pesto with mozzarella for an Italian dog. You can also advertise a Hawaiian-style dog with pineapples and ham or a Philly cheesesteak dog loaded with sautéed peppers and onions.

hot dog on blue background with cheese and bacon

2. Indulgent Cheeses

Hot dog toppings can also boil down to one thing people love: cheese! Invite customers to embrace their love of dairy with toppings like nacho cheese, fried mozzarella sticks, mac and cheese, or even gourmet options like brie or gouda.

3. Extra Meat

Bring on the meat! Just because a hot dog is made of beef, that doesn’t mean you should stop there. Load up extra meats for a truly filling meal. Try wrapping hot dogs in bacon, topping with pulled pork or chili, or even adding meatballs.

Pretzel wrapped hot dogs

4. Concession Favorites

We all know there’s no better treat than concession foods, so why not use them to create specialty hot dogs? Wrap a hot dog in a pretzel; top a dog with nacho cheese, olives, onions, and nacho chip crumbles; create a pizza dog with marinara, mozzarella, and pepperoni. Add a fried onion ring as a bonus. When you get creative, the hot dog topping ideas are endless.

5. Breakfast Foods

A hearty breakfast is a great idea any time of day! Make breakfast dogs a new trend for your customers by offering a hot dog topped with fried or scrambled eggs, hash browns, and bacon or sausage. You can also wrap a hot dog in a cinnamon roll and drizzle it with frosting or serve the hot dogs on a biscuit and slather it with sausage gravy. Be sure to provide utensils if serving this option.

american hot dog with banana, chocolate and candy

6. Dessert-Flavored Toppings

Don’t forget dessert! Add a sweet twist by selling dessert dogs: make Funnel Swirls, churros, and fudge puppies and serve in French toasted hot dog buns for a sugary treat customers will crave. Or substitute and use a banana in place of the hot dog. Drizzle with powdered sugar, chocolate sauce, syrup, or cinnamon, and offer additional fruity toppings like apple or strawberry.

Mix and match these options to work for your hot dog cart or concession stand, and browse for more topping ideas and recipes. Then think about presentation. If you have the space, create a hot dog toppings bar where customers can create their own combinations. Or offer a special of the day or week. If you have a lot of regulars, you could ask them to vote on next week’s topping, either via social media or through two competing jars for tip money.

At the end of the month, take a vote or tally up receipts to determine if any of the toppings performed well enough to become permanent staples on your menu. And there’s no need to stop if sales are successful – continue offering unique hot dog toppings throughout the year! Find hot dog cookers and bun warmers to grow your hot dog business.