Thriving During the Pandemic, ‘Hot Dog King’ Cooks Up New Ghost Kitchen Franchise
Philadelphia, PA, January 22, 2021 — Aaron Anderson, franchise owner of four The Original Hot Dog Factory restaurants in Philadelphia, partnered with Chef Reuben Harley (“Big Rube”) to launch three Big Rube’s Kitchen ghost restaurants — cooking facilities designed for takeout only — in Philadelphia. Customers can order food online and through delivery services from one of three new locations: Center City, University City and Subaru Park. Chef Big Rube is known for his fried chicken and Philly cheesesteak, among other specialties.
While nearly half of Black-owned businesses were forced to close during the pandemic, renowned Philadelphia entrepreneur Anderson found creative ways to not only stay open, but also to grow, adding to his number of franchises by pivoting and adapting to current trends.
“I will do all I can to make sure I can not only thrive during this time but will motivate others to do the same,” said Anderson.
In addition to his four Original Hot Dog Factory locations in Center City, The Bourse Food Hall, Fishtown and Subaru Park, in summer 2020 he opened another franchise in Philadelphia and is in negotiations for one in New York. Menu items include the Jamaican Jerk Chicken Dog, topped with grilled pineapples, sweet onions and a sweet island sauce; a surf ‘n’ turf dog; an all-beet hot dog topped with lump crab meat and the Italian dog, a deep-fried sausage topped with peppers and onion. The Original Hot Dog Factory also serves chicken wings, burgers, fries and corn dog nuggets.
Anderson credits some of his success during the pandemic to catering to first responders and essential workers, and making sure all of his employees and take-out customers are in a safe environment to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with social distancing, face masks and the installation of self-service kiosks.
Born and raised in the tough inner city of Philadelphia, Anderson credits his mother, a single parent of five, with his unyielding strength, discipline, humility, passion and persistent need to be of service to those in need. Anderson’s foray into being a business owner — the very first in his family — started with the launch of his own screen-printing company in 2009, Union Printing. The idea to start this company culminated while working as an assistant to a top record company executive at Sony in New York City. Anderson realized a need to provide quality merchandise for an affordable price after seeing an invoice at work and convinced his bosses that he could not only meet the demand for the record label’s printing, but most importantly, for a far better price. As the saying goes, the rest is history. Anderson not only surpassed expectations at Sony, but Union Printing established itself as a leader in the industry and is still hugely successful more than a decade later.
Anderson’s success with Union Printing provided not only financial stability, but also the experience needed to open his first restaurant franchise in March 2020, which he did without needing any loans. His immediate success within The Original Hot Dog Factory organization led to him becoming an area representative, trainer for new franchisees and obtaining a percentage of company ownership.
His keen interest in technology prompted him to become an investor in the pharmaceutical application QwikScript and flight simulator application Flype. These strategic investments contribute to his growing financial portfolio and further strengthens his parent company Axxeum LLC, which was formed in 2018. In line with his desire to give back to the community, he became a member of Philadelphia’s Chamber of Commerce and The Pyramid Club. Anderson is an investor in Storehouse, a cannabis chain in New Jersey, and is finalizing a deal to become majority owner of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, a professional baseball team in Maryland. His future plans include becoming an elected official in his home state of Pennsylvania. An inspirational memoir about his life is also in the works to provide invaluable information and encouragement to others who desire to follow in his footsteps.