When Frank and Paul Tripi started Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs, they were simply on a mission to do something different with the classic American fare. But the brothers’ food truck, turned fast-casual eatery, quickly became a local community staple. Now known for its unique toppings and friendly service, Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs has been serving the people of Buffalo, New York, for over a decade.
The restaurant’s commitment to their local community and innovation earned Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs the 2022 CO— by U.S. Chamber of Commerce Dream Big Award for Community Support and Leadership.
We recently visited the small business to learn more.
The Tripi brothers started Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs with no cooking experience and even less food truck experience. “We spent most of our first year just learning the nature of the industry,” says Paul.
As the food truck traveled throughout Buffalo’s neighborhoods, the brothers not only gained experience and a loyal following, but also an appreciation for their community. In 2018, they put down roots and moved into a permanent location.
From the start, the restaurant has made service a top priority. Whether they’re dining in or taking out, customers are sure to receive a warm welcome. The small team at Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs goes out of its way to remember customer names, keep the restaurant clean, and ensure a quality product.
“My brother and I, and our team, show up every day and work hard to put out good food and provide good customer service,” Paul tells us.
In addition to creating an authentic environment in-house, Frank’s works to create a genuine online presence as well. Through social media and e-mail marketing, Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs has been able to expand their audience, tell their story, and get more deeply involved in their community.
Read more about Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs’ story on CO— by U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s website.
The Dream Big Awards
The Dream Big Awards program honors the achievements of small businesses and highlights their contributions to America’s economic growth. Learn more about the award categories, prizes and application information.
About the authors
Communications Coordinator, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Victoria is a communications coordinator at the Chamber. She previously worked at the U.S. Small Business Administration as a program support assistant.