Hamburger and hotdog have been the de-facto fast food for as long as one can remember. Globally, fast food generates revenue of over US$570 billion. In the United States alone, fast food revenue was a whopping US$200 billion in 2015 – a mind-boggling growth since the 1970 revenue of US$6 billion.
While everyone knows McDonald’s, not many know that it was the nomadic Mongols who created hamburger back in the early 1200s. Under the leadership of legendary Genghis Khan (1167–1227), the Mongol army occupied the western portions of the modern-day nations of Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan.
The army of Genghis Khan was deadly primarily because they were dominated by cavalry who needed to move so fast that they had little time to stop for a meal. Therefore, they often ate while riding. They wrapped a few slices of meat – lamb or mutton – under their saddles so it would crumble under pressure and motion and be cooked by heat and friction – giving the birth of modern ground beef.
There are over 230,000 fast food restaurants in the United States and it is estimated that 50 million Americans eat at one of them every single day, employing over 4-million people. The Americans consume around 50 billion hamburgers every year. But forget about hamburger or hotdog. The next fast food hit could be the combination of both – the “Hamdog”.
Mark Anthony Murray, an Australian from Perth, has successfully patented “Hamdog” – a hybrid between a hamburger and a hotdog. He reveals – “I had the idea on holiday when I was leaving a bar in Nashville. I grabbed a burger and a hot dog as I was really hungry. I was sitting in the car eating them both at the same time and my wife was looking at me like I was an idiot.”
That was in 2004. By January 2009, he secured a U.S. patent for the “Combination hamburger and hotdog bread bun (US D584478 S1).” His Hamdog is pretty easy to make – a Bunbury beef patty cut in half, with a Hunsa Frankfurt inserted in the middle – and garnish with lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheese and 3 types of sauces – American mustard, tomato sauce and mayonnaise.
The bun is created in special made-to-order moulds by hand in a Perth bakery. Mr. Murray said – “We use all local ingredients, except the pickles. At the moment there is a fair bit of labour involved in making the buns because they’re made by people, not machines. We’re still developing a way to semi automate production.”
Interestingly, when Mr. Murray first pitched his idea on Channel 10’s Shark Tank program last year, he was laughed and mocked at by a group of unimpressed judges, despite having secured a U.S. patent. “Everyone told me it wasn’t possible, because you’d need a patent lawyer and it would cost millions of dollars” – Murray exclaimed.
Currently being sold for 8 Australian dollars (US$6; £4.65; RM25), Murray’s company claims that it’s the world’s only patented burger, and is available at market stalls at sporting events in Australia like Speedway and Australian rules football. He’s currently in negations with resellers in the U.S. and expects to bring the product to the country in 2017.
Mr. Murray and his team is expanding the single menu of “Hamdog”, while inviting those interested to buy into his business through his “reseller” program so that the Hamdog can be sold around the country. For $10,000 you can become a “reseller”, similar to a franchisee, with your own Hamdog marquee.
However, considering how easy Hamdog can be made, don’t bother if you come from country which does not appreciate Intellectual Property (IP) such as China. Chances are, before Hamdog could make it to the Chinese market, there would be tons of stalls selling fake Hamdog with some minor modification to the shape of the bun and sauces.
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