Hot Dog on a Stick files for bankruptcy, cites high lease costs

HDOS Enterprises, owner of the employee-owned Hot Dog on a Stick snack shacks ubiquitous in malls, filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, citing expensive lease costs among the factors.

In its Chapter 11 filing, Hot Dog on a Stick said its total debt was $1 million to as much as $10 million. The court filing also shows the company estimated its assets between $10 million and $50 million.

“Like many mall-based businesses, HDOS signed some very expensive leases during the booming economy of the mid-2000s,” Dan Smith, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement. “In addition, declining mall foot traffic over the past several years has had a negative impact on sales at most company locations.”

The chain, which operates primarily in malls in the western U.S., has about 93 locations and was founded in Santa Monica in 1946. The company sells lemonade, battered and deep-fried hot dogs on sticks (as well as cheese on sticks) and other snacks.


Smith said the company is pursuing new leases in other locations and that it would try to renegotiate leases with landlords. Smith also said that the Chapter 11 filing would allow the company to reorganize and find more efficient ways to run its business.

The company will operate as usual during the bankruptcy proceedings, he said. 

The case was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Central District of California in Los Angeles.


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