A simple photo has brought unexpected fortune to a struggling hot dog stand.
Scott Hosek, owner of Spirals Hot Dogs & More in Norman, Oklahoma, faced the disheartening reality of a struggling business with long, quiet stretches at his restaurant.
But a single Facebook post, capturing his solitary wait for customers, has transformed his fortunes, drawing in a week’s worth of business in a single day.
Nick Chappell, a regular customer and Oklahoma Army National Guard, snapped the now-viral photo of Hosek gazing longingly out the window of his restaurant.
“If you find yourself in Norman between 11am-8pm stop in and get a hotdog. They are so sweet and happy to have us. The food was amazing and the hospitality was off the charts,” Chappell wrote in the post, sparking an outpouring of online sympathy and support.
The image resonated deeply with social media users, touching a nerve about small businesses battling against the challenges of economic uncertainty.
Social shares climbed rapidly, spreading Hosek’s story far beyond the borders of Norman.
“We immediately started doing double digits in sales,” Hosek told USA TODAY. “It happened really fast to me.”
The influx of customers has been overwhelming, with Hosek fighting to keep up with demand. He has reported that people have said they are heading to the restaurant from as far as Colorado and East Texas.
With the help of his small team, Hosek has been working tirelessly to keep up with the demand.
In an interview with local media, the owner said: “I never expected this kind of response. It’s heartwarming to see so many people appreciating our passion for serving quality hot dogs.”
The viral boost has brought more than just financial relief. It’s instilled a renewed sense of hope and purpose in Hosek and his staff.
As a thank you to Nick Chappell, who sparked the shift in momentum, he was awarded a certificate and a new menu item named in his honor.
The Thunderbird is a hot link sandwich with bacon, cream cheese and jalapeños.
‘He’s such a humble guy; he didn’t name the hot dog just for himself, he named it for his unit. It doesn’t get more wholesome than that,’ Hosek wrote in a photo caption of them.