This fable is loaded with lessons and metaphors for any business. It has stayed with me since I first heard it in university. Over the years, interpretations have popped up at conferences, meetings and in articles. It is an entertaining tale offering varying instruction depending on what is emphasized. Apologies to the original author. I would gladly give credit if I knew who you are. Here is my version.
There once was a man who ran a roadside hot dog restaurant. It was located far outside the city. For years he worked hard to make it a success. That effort was rewarded. People would travel long distances for one of his hot dogs. It became a popular and sentimental institution. Families formed traditions around visiting the stand and tourists were told to fit it into their schedule if possible.
So what made it special? It was not one thing, it was a combination of passion, quality and care that was difficult to match or copy.