The world overfloweth with business gurus, Wall Street wizards, and economic academics. Yet out of all these brilliant biz folk, not one person has suggested the ridiculously obvious: To make money, you should start selling hotcakes.
One day, having become bored scrutinizing my belly button lint, I began to ponder the idiomatic expression, “Selling like hot cakes.”
Just what in the hey does that phrase mean? Where did it come from? And why was it so much more interesting than belly button lint? Employing my crack-team of crackhead Alterthecourse researchers, we researched the phrase for a good three minutes.
We found this article, which provided a few different theories, including one that stated that hotcakes (i.e. pancakes) contain many ingredients that people give up for Lent. This led to huge sales of hotcakes right before fasting ensued. (Curious: Can you give up Lent for Lent?)
The Lent story seemed like a stretch, so are left to assume that this phrase is an immutable truth. It has withstood the test of time with little or no debate about its meaning. Thus, things sell like hot cakes because hot cakes sell. Big time. (You’d never know I never had a logic course.)
So why doesn’t anyone sell them? Look at the top products in the world – oil, corn, iphones, the Clapper. Lots of products, but not one of smarty pants Fortune 500 are selling hotcakes.
Not that some haven’t tried. The International House of Pancakes is a failing restaurant because it misnamed itself (International House of Hotcakes, you maroons).
WaffleHouse languishes as well. Another poor business decision, likely attributed to management’s purchases of a surplus of waffle irons instead of a hotcake iron.
The world needs a hotcake merchant, people. And who better than yours truly, the world renowned leader in course-altering epiphanies?
Spatula in hand, I began to assemble the business model behind my hotcake selling empire. This would not be a conventional approach to the food service, mind you. No, I would stay true to the idiomatic expression. I would sell hotcakes, and not a damn thing else.
I scoped out the end of our street, where a couple neighborhood kids had set up a lemonade stand. Cars were speeding by their sad little attempt at commerce, leaving the children forlorn and fumigated in the exhaust.
I picked the opposite street corner and set up my Hotcake Stand. “Lemonade doesn’t sell like hotcakes, kids,” I called out to them as I plugged in my pancake griddle. “Hotcakes sell like hotcakes.”
Moments later, after propping up a “Hotcakes for Sale” next to my card table, a car came to a screeching halt in front of me.
“Hotcakes for sale?” the driver asked with raised eyebrows.
“Yes indeedy. $5 a piece.”
“I’ll take three!” he cried out, and flung cash my way.
I spatula-slung three hotcakes through the air, which he consumed in three gulps.
Those bad boys were sans syrup. Why none of the sweet stuff, you ask? That’s one of the great misconceptions of modern-day commerce. The saying is not, “They’re selling like hotcakes saturated in syrup and butter.” It’s just hotcakes, people. Hotcakes.
The cash started rolling in. Big time. I employed the kids at the crumbling lemonade stand to open up branch locations in streets throughout our little burg. In no time, we were franchising Hotcake Stands across the nation.
Some of my epiphanies result in dismal failure, but not this bad boy. As I write, I sit upon a global financial empire, my Hotcake Stands rapidly climbing up the Fortune 500 listing. I’ve proven once and for all that hotcakes do indeed sell like hotcakes.
Put your money in those food idioms, folks. It’s a great way to have your cake and eat it too.