Naperville Business Lawyer Discusses Family-Owned Hot Dog Stands in Chicago

family-owned, Naperville business attorneyEvery year, thousands of new businesses are started by entrepreneurs and investors with the hope that they will endure for years to come. Unfortunately, many startups never reach a sustainable level of success, often closing their doors within a relatively short amount of time. Some, on the other hand, are passed down from one generation of family ownership to the next, maintaining the spirit of the original business alive while making small changes to keep up with the times.

As a business attorney based in Naperville, I appreciate the history that surrounds us in the greater Chicago area. I also realize the dedication that it takes for a family-owned business to be successful over several generations. Some of the best examples can be found in family-run hot dog stands for which Chicagoland has become well-known.

Unique Stores, Unique Stories

Hot dog stands have long been part of the experience of the city of Chicago. Today, visitors and locals alike frequent establishments that are still owned and run by the same families who opened them decades ago, nearly one hundred in some cases. Some of the stands began as pushcarts, including Fred and Jack’s now located on South Yale Boulevard, while others started as an extension of an existing restaurant, like Patio, whose current location is on Taylor Street. For some of the original owners, the business was meant to be temporary, as was the case at Superdawg on North Milwaukee Avenue, but turned into a successful, multi-generational enterprise.

Challenges for Family-Owned Businesses

While family-run companies comprise almost two-thirds the gross domestic product in the United States, a large percentage of such businesses never make it past a second generation of ownership. It often becomes difficult to find a family member willing—or qualified—to take control when the time comes. It is also not uncommon for stark differences of opinion regarding business strategy to exist within a family, leading to disputes over the direction of the company. Families who are able to weather such storms, in addition to getting a little help from favorable industry conditions, can enjoy success lasting three, four, and even five generations or more.

Looking Ahead

If you currently own a business and are thinking about how to pass ownership down to your children or other family members, an experienced Naperville business attorney can help you plan for the future. Contact The Gierach Law Firm today to discuss your situation and options for succession planning. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation.



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