Ketchup on a Hot Dog & Entrepreneurs

ketchup on a hot dogI’ve always had a thing about putting ketchup on a hot dog. It just seems so unnatural to me. Don’t get me wrong, I like ketchup. I put ketchup on fries and sometimes eggs, but I NEVER put ketchup on a hot dog!

Like the folks who appear on Shark Tank, I am an entrepreneur. I’ve been an entrepreneur since the tender age of ten! For six years, I lived my life-long dream of owning and operating a hot dog truck. When I made hot dogs for my customers, I’d put anything on them, EXCEPT KETCHUP. Ketchup was available, but it was self-serve. Sometimes, when I was in a particularly playful mood, I’d rain down some good-natured abuse on folks decorating their dogs with the crimson condiment.

Since selling my truck in 2009, I still keep abreast of developments in the hot dog world; you can read about and view my escapades on Hot Dog Stories and The Hot Dog Truck. I even have a site called How to Start a Hot Dog Business. Since starting the Shark Tank Blog, I’ve made an amusing little side line of asking the entrepreneurs I interview THE QUESTION: “do you put ketchup on your hot dogs?” The other day, I decided to do a little amateur statistical analysis to see if there was any correlation between ketchup on a hot dog and success on Shark Tank.

Ketchup On a Hot Dog Statistics

I broke down the interviewees into three categories: male or female, funded or not funded, and east vs west (I defined west as anyone from the Rockies to California – everyone else is east). Here are the results.

As of the date of this post, I’ve spoken to 47 Shark Tank entrepreneurs. Out of that 47, 25 DO NOT put ketchup on their hot dogs. 20 DO put ketchup on a hot dog, and two vegetarians confess to not eating hot dogs at all. This scrubs out to 53% of Shark Tank entrepreneurs do not put ketchup on a hot dog, 43 % do put ketchup on a hot dog, and 4% don’t eat hot dogs at all.

I wanted to see what happened when I applied different variables, so I broke things down on gender lines. 13 men do not put ketchup on a hot dog and 10 men confessed they do. That scrubs out to 57% for no ketchup and 43% for ketchup.

12 women do not put ketchup on a hot dog, 10 women do, and our two vegetarians are women. This scrubs out to 50% for no ketchup, 42% for ketchup and 8% vegetarian.

As for the geographic sample, in the “east,” 14 entrepreneurs do not put ketchup on a hot dog, 10 do; that’s 58% and 42% respectively. In the “west” it was 10 for no ketchup, 8 for ketchup, with the 2 vegetarians hailing from the west. That’s 50%, 40%, and 10%.

The real interesting test was to see if people who don’t put ketchup on hot dogs were more successful at getting a deal on Shark Tank or not. Out of the 21 entrepreneurs who DID get a deal on Shark Tank, 11 do not put ketchup on a hot dog, 8 do, and our two vegetarians got funded as well. On a percentage basis, that’s 52%, 38%, and 10% (I’m rounding these percentages off, OK – put the calculator away).

Entrepreneurs who did not get a deal were 13 for no ketchup and 12 for ketchup. That’s 58% and 42%.

I can draw several conclusions from this data:

1. More entrepreneurs do not put ketchup on a hot dog than those that do.

2. The statistical co-relation is fairly consistent over the differing variables.

3. Vegetarianism drastically increases your chances of being funded on Shark Tank.

4. 53% of Shark Tank entrepreneurs have impeccable culinary taste.

5. Ketchup on a hot dog still sucks!

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.

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