Oscar Mayer Wieners Versus Ball Park Franks: What Say Your Customers?

Have you decided which hot dog tastes better Oscar Mayer wieners or Ball Park franks?If your customers havent yet voted, its not too late.When youre in the refreshment services business, youre in the marketing business. Dont let the chance to spread the fun pass you by.Sara Lee Corp. and Kraft Foods Inc. have gone to court over Krafts claims that its Oscar Mayer wieners are 100 percent beef and won a national hot dog taste test.There are some important legal issues going on, but I doubt that either companys marketing department regrets the publicity this dispute has wrought. Especially during the dog days of August and the upcomingLabor Day Holiday, one of the top selling hot dog days of the year.WKYC-TV in Cleveland didnt miss the chance to cash in on this dispute. Yesterday, the anchors did their own taste test on the 7 p.m. news. The results: dead even. Which led some viewers to question the authenticity of the test, which has people talking, which is exactly what the TV station wants.The news anchors didnt forget to mention the upcoming dog days at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians. (Hot dogs are $1).With the story still in the news, refreshment service operators have a chance to spread the fun. Operators can sponsor their own taste tests and ask customers to vote via the Internet or with ballots passed out at the vending bank.To make it even more exciting, offer customers free hot dogs for participating in the taste test. Product suppliers may be willing to help out with the cost. It doesnt hurt to ask.Sponsoring an actual blind taste test will take more work than simply asking customers their preference, but it will be a lot more exciting.Offer something special the day the test results are announced.If this type of thing isnt youre cup of tea, theres a good bet someone else on your staff will run with it. Just make sure they dont have their own dog in the fight.Refreshment service operators are in the business of making people happy. So are Kraft Foods Inc. and Sara Lee Corp., no matter whose hot dog the judge prefers.