"The first day on the job, they teach you how to make the waffle hot dog batter," says Okabe. He recalls pouring the ingredients into a large, round machine, which kneaded the batter. "When you dump everything in -- the eggs, flour, and sugar -- you get a mess. Especially when you’re first doing it, you don’t know what you’re doing, so you get even more of a mess. You can tell everybody the first day they work because they look all white, like Casper. It was like an initiation."
"We used to sell probably 200 or 300 hot dogs a day," says Asato, who began working at the family business when he was 13 years old. "We would never be able to keep up, so we had to pre-cook back then."
Okabe often manned the French fry and waffle hot dog station during his shifts. "It was a hand-burning station," Okabe laughs. The machine made six waffle dogs at a time, and Okabe recalls that on one particular day, he managed to make something like 80 hot dogs in just 45 minutes -- for a Little League baseball team who had dropped by without warning. "We only had 12 in the warmer -- actually maybe 18, because I usually made extra. We just cooked them like crazy. A lot of people would come from all over, just for that -- for the waffle hot dog."