Business

Hot dog! It's game on for the best dog on the Coast

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHECKERS 
 A Checkers' Chili Dog is in the middle of a wiener war that began when Burger King added grilled hot dogs to the menu in February. South Mississippi hot dog fans can bite into one at a ball game, drive-in or their favorite family restaurant.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHECKERS A Checkers' Chili Dog is in the middle of a wiener war that began when Burger King added grilled hot dogs to the menu in February. South Mississippi hot dog fans can bite into one at a ball game, drive-in or their favorite family restaurant.

There are few places a hot dog tastes better than at a baseball game, but the Biloxi Shuckers baseball park now has more competition for the title of best dog in town.

Baseball season just started this month but a "wiener war" was touched off in February when Burger King announced the addition of two flame-grilled hot dogs to its menu.

"With this launch, Burger King restaurants will serve hot dogs in more restaurants than any other restaurant chain in the U.S.," the company said in a press release at the time. "Grilled dogs will be available in Burger King restaurants and drive-thrus every day of the week throughout the year, dispelling the myth that hot dogs should be relegated to summer barbecues and baseball games."

In South Mississippi, many restaurants and snack bars feature hot dogs and fans can pull into Checkers and Sonic for a hot dog and a cold drink any time of the year.

Terri Snyder, chief marketing officer for Checkers, pointed out Checkers has featured wieners for more than 30 years.

"For us it's an opportunity to piggy back on their media investment," Snyder said. Burger King's advertising worked to whet people's appetite for hot dogs and triple the amount of hot dogs Checkers sold the week of the launch, Snyder said.

"We're having so much fun with the wiener war," she told the Sun Herald. "We've just got a better deal on dogs." Both Burger King and Checkers serve all-beef hot dogs, but Snyder said Checkers' dogs are half the price of Burger King's.

Americans eat more than 20 billion hot dogs a year from local eateries such as Edd's Drive-Inn at Pascagoula, whose chili cheese dog is a family favorite, to national chain restaurants.

Sonic restaurants across South Mississippi upped their hot dog game in 2011 with the introduction of premium beef hot dogs. Those selections have evolved since then and this year the drive-in is featuring a Pretzel Dog on a pretzel roll for something different, because whether they top it with mustard, ketchup or chili, hot dog lovers seem ever willing to try the latest creation.

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