The history of Chili Dogs at Carl’s Jr. dates back to 1941 when founder Carl N. Karcher and his wife Margaret opened their first restaurant enterprise--a hot-dog cart at the corner of Florence and Central in Los Angeles. They originally sold hot dogs and chili dogs, and they were an instant success, remaining on the menu at Carl’s Jr. restaurants well into the 1990s.
“Everyone knows you can get a great burger at Carl’s Jr. today, but not everyone knows that our founder Carl Karcher’s first menu items 68 years ago were hot dogs and chili dogs,” says Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing at Carl’s Jr. “We’ve had great success in recent years with Chili Cheeseburgers and Chili Cheese Fries, so it made sense to give another all-American standard a try, especially since Chili Dogs have a nostalgic meaning for us. This time around, we brought in Farmer John hot dogs, of ‘Dodger Dog’ fame, and topped them with spicy beef chili, mustard and chopped onions, dubbing the resulting creations, ‘Jumbo Chili Dogs.’”
Originally sold at Carl Karcher’s hot dog cart for .20, the Jumbo Chili Dogs of today remain true to his vision of selling good food at a fair price and are available at 2 for $3 at participating locations.