The Life of a Road ‘Dog’: Hop Aboard the Wienermobile with a Wisconsin Hotdogger

By Christina Lorey
September 21, 2023

You have a better chance of getting into Harvard than becoming a Hotdogger. While the Ivy League University accepts 4% of applicants, Oscar Mayer accepts just 1%. Let that sink in.

Every year, the meat company scouts 12 new “Hotdoggers” to drive its iconic Wienermobile cross-country as part of the brand’s most well-known marketing strategy. Since the Hotdogger program launched in 1988, recent college grads must commit to a one-year contract and travel 20,000 miles across 20+ states to promote the brand through social media posts and personal interactions.

MORE: How This Year’s Hotdoggers Got the Job

It’s a good thing most hotdoggers consider the experience “priceless,” because the role only pays about $36,000/year. One of this year’s Hotdoggers is recent UW grad Samantha Benish. She answered a few of our questions:

How did you come across the job?
I actually never knew that being a Frankfurter was a “legit” job growing up—it seemed too good to be true! I first came across the job during my senior year of college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Oscar Mayer recruits at a number of universities across the country, and UW-Madison was one of them.

What compelled you to apply?
My advisor sent me an email about applying and said I would be a great fit. The day I received that email, I was waking out of one of my lectures and the iconic Wienermobile drove right past me. It was a sign, and the rest is history!

What’s been the best part so far?
I get to travel to places I’ve only dreamed of, and I get to meet some incredible people. However, I think I’m happiest spreading smiles in even the smallest of communities. Everyone deserves a little bit of joy in their life, and I’m the lucky one who gets to bring that to them. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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