Woody's Chicago Style wants to give away a franchise

The company behind Woody's Chicago Style hot dog stands wants to give away the store -- or at least one of the stores.

CEO Kristen Meyer has created a contest that will give away a franchise as a prize. "Our intent is to just grow our business on behalf of the system and get our name out there," she says of the Woody's contest concept.

This isn't your typical contest with a big screen TV waiting, but Meyer insists that the payoff is better. "This gives you something to invest in," she says. "We are not just trying to sell someone a franchise; this is a prize. So there isn't going to be the normal fee that goes with a franchise. You fill out the application and you qualify, then you get the prize."

Meyer says she got the idea as a way to combat the slump that start-ups suffer during the tough economy. "This is our way to grow for small business, and this helps our small franchises to grow as well," she explains. "This concept is a $30,000 franchise fee, but we're not charging that at all. We have everything they need, so they are basically set to go."

There are a dozen Woody's already located in Colorado -- most located by home-improvement stores -- and the contest is open to loyal franchise owners as well as people new to Woody's. "We are giving away two prizes so the franchisee has a chance to win a second location as well," she notes.

This isn't the only contest that Woody's plans to hold this year; the company is already preparing for its annual hot dog-eating contest. "This will be our fourth year of the hot dog- eating competition in July for National Hot Dog Month, and we hold one in Colorado and one in Hawaii, possibly," she says. "We would like to have the preliminaries at Taste of Brighton on June 5."

The hot dog contest has some worthy loot, too. "The prize is a $1,000 travel voucher and we are going to be giving away signed sports merchandise from Vienna Sausage, which is the sausage we use, and our other sponsors, like Pepsi and Frito Lay, are going to add to that as we get closer to the event," Meyer says

For more information on all these contests, visit the Woody's website.

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