If you’ve lived in California for any period of time, then you’ve probably heard of Pink’s Hot Dogs. You probably are in love with favorites like the Bacon Burrito Dog, the Jaws dog, the Philly Cheesesteak Dog, or the Lord of the Rings Dog as much as anyone else. There are so many choices, it’s hard to choose a single item off the menu–which is why so many people fill their bellies with every visit.
Pink’s Hot Dogs is a family owned establishment conceived by Betty and Paul Pink. It started as small as any business could, with a measly $50 loan from Betty’s mother. She used the meager funds to purchase a hot dog cart way back in 1939, and managed to transform it into the far-reaching enterprise it is now. The space where the cart was to be used cost $15 a month. This was a business that would succeed or fail quickly.
Prices then were obviously a lot less than what they are now. Hot dogs would set you back a dime, and a soda pop only a nickel. If Pink’s sold a hundred dogs a day, its owners counted themselves as lucky. Only two years later, the lease amount catapulted 67 percent to $25 a month. It was too much. Unless they could purchase the property directly, the business would go under.
Bank of America gave them a massive loan of four grand, inspired by the passion the Pink’s had for their small business. They used the loan to procure the land from the one-time landlord and used some of the rest to invest in the business. When they opened a small hot dog shack in La Brea, California–where it is still maintained today–they hired up to four employees to help them manage daily affairs. By 1985 the duo retired, and their children took over operations. Today, the business has around thirty employees at any given time.
What’s so special about Pink’s Hot Dogs? It’s gotta be the undeniably unique menu. With items like the Martha Stewart Dog, the Ozzy Spicy Dog, or the Giada De Laurentiis Dog, it’s not surprising that the Pink’s family has been so successful for so long. It’s still growing, too. The grand opening of the first international location was in 2016 in the Philippines. Wow!