Mustard still rules, says JJ’s Red Hots, but keep an eye out for a few surprising entries – including Pimento cheese, salsa and caramelized onions — among the Top Ten Hot Dog toppings this Fourth of July, the busiest Hot Dog Day of the Year. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans will consume 150 million hot dogs on Independence Day, enough to stretch from DC to LA more than five times.
JJ’s, the Charlotte-based, award-winning upscale Hot Dog and Sausage brand, which continued to raise national eyebrows when it made Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers list for the second year in a row, today released its annual study of the Top Ten Hot Dog Toppings, based on three years of the brand’s sales data. Ironically off the list, much to delight although not by plan of JJ’s owner and founder Jonathan Luther, who despises the following: ketchup.
JJ’s, the smallest and youngest brand on the Fast Casual list, the only Charlotte-based brand and the only Hot Dog/Sausage concept to make the cut, jumped 7 spots in the prestigious list all the way to #36, says America loves their Hot Dogs with the following toppings, in order of preference:
- Pimento cheese
- Caramelized onions
“People are getting more and more experimental with their toppings. It seems that the dreaded ‘Foodie’ movement is creeping its way into the mainstream. Heaven help us,” said Luther. “And it’s about time people said, ‘Hold the ketchup’ and they will, when given better options.”
JJ’s is celebrating its 3rd Anniversary on July 4th, but considers it a Customer Appreciation Day and will reward guests with an All-American Hot Dog, a virtual Fourth of July picnic on a premium Hot Dog, with Mustard, Relish and Onions, specially priced at $1 all day at both Charlotte locations – Dilworth and Ballantyne – on July 4th. JJ’s “Dog of the Week” for the July 4th week is appropriately named Franky Doodle Dandy and features borracho beans, house slaw, BBQ sauce, cheese doodlez.
“Not sure what Jon is more happy about … the Fast Casual honor or that ketchup fell off the Top Ten list,” said Brandy Newton, JJ’s director of marketing and brand development, “It’s a possible conspiracy but he’s the boss and JJ’s couldn’t be more psyched about the future of Hot Dogs, especially ours.”JJ’s Red Hots is the premier purveyor of “hand-crafted” char-grilled hot dogs and sausages with two locations and several portable vehicles in the Charlotte metropolitan area. The restaurant concept is built on solid, hardworking values and is modeled after venerable establishments like Ted’s in Buffalo, NY, Gene and Jude’s in Chicago, and many others. Still, JJ’s is a true American original featuring house-made, scratch prepared sides and toppings served alongside time tested, revered American brands like Tabasco, Weber’s Mustard, Martin’s Rolls, Coca-Cola and Mt. Olive Pickles. Perhaps most proudly, JJ’s Red Hots serves smokehouse hot dogs from Sahlen’s Meat Packing Company in Buffalo, NY. Sahlen’s is a 143 year-old company that remains family owned and operated, and makes, in our opinion, the best hot dogs in the world.