KU alumnus relishes chance to be top dog on Food Network show

Posted on Apr 13, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Walk in with an idea … walk out with a fortune: That’s the premise for the Food Network show, Food Fortunes, and it’s exactly what Brent Joseph hopes to do. Brent, j’98, and his wife, Hannah, owners of Indianapolis’ King David Dogs, will pitch their product to a panel of investors and a live studio audience on tonight’s episode, and perhaps walk away with the funds to take their hot dog business to the next level.

Brent Joseph | www.kualumni.orgThe Josephs currently juggle two King David Dogs restaurants and manage sales of their signature, 1/4-lb. all beef hot dogs to consumers in central Indiana through an online store and local retailers. But they don’t want to stop there.

“We’re looking to expand our distribution and the reach of our product in more grocery stores around the country,” says Brent. “We just don’t have the money to put behind it marketing effort-wise.”

Getting the show’s investors, which include restaurateur Willie Degel and the owner of Planet Hollywood, Robert Earl, to buy into their product on Food Fortunes would provide the boost they need, he says.

This isn’t the first time the Josephs have attempted to land a spot on national TV to promote their product to potential investors. In 2012 and spring 2014, the couple applied for another reality show, ABC’s Shark Tank, but didn’t make the final cut. However, a casting director for that show who now works for Food Network remembered them and encouraged them late last year to apply for Food Fortunes. Months later, after a series of interviews and a live audition in Chicago, the Josephs got the green light to head to Los Angeles.

Tonight, if they can wow an audience of consumers who will sample their hot dogs and give immediate feedback to the investors, they could get the financial backing to increase King David’s presence in grocery stores nationwide. But regardless of the show’s outcome, Brent knows the exposure will be tremendous and likely boost sales considerably.

“I mean, who could afford to advertise on Food Network?” he says. “No one could pay for that. It’s like, ‘Hey, here’s a free Super Bowl ad. You want it?’ Yeah, that’d be just fine.”

Tune in at 10 p.m. EST April 13 on the Food Network to see whether the Josephs can cash in on their hot dog dreams.

—Heather Biele

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