The co-owner/operator of Mayday Dogs, Justin Benson, has a passion for cooking and hot dogs—and a flair for social media and marketing. Using both the restaurant and its entertaining Instagram account, Benson looks to expose locals and visitors alike to new ideas and is excited for the opportunities present in Edmonton. Meet Justin Benson…
What do you love most about cooking? It’s a really good way to express creativity, whether you see something on a trip and try to reinterpret it on a hot dog, or it’s an idea that has nothing to do with food that you can somehow relate to food.
You’ve commented before that a restaurant’s success depends 70% on food and 30% on vibe. How do you balance this? No matter how good the food is, you’ll never go back if you hate the vibe or have bad service or if it doesn’t reach you on some other level beyond food.
What are some upcoming projects or events that you’re excited about? I’m launching Frontier Handhelds, which is a delivery-only sandwich place. We’ll be utilizing the delivery apps so people can get a really great sandwich brought to them. And we have a lot of pop-up events planned for the summer, including a cocktail pop-up night at Mayday with Speak Tiki.
What would you recommend to people who are new to the city? You can jump from these little bars that are all along Jasper Ave., especially in the summertime. You could walk from Bar Bricco to Baijiu to Clementine. There’s something going on every weekend here.
What’s a principle you try to live by? I always strive to gain further empathy, and you can relate it to food very easily. You don’t know what that person’s day is like, and maybe the only thing that was going to brighten that day was coming down and getting a hot dog.
WHERE Edmonton is giving away a 2018 Specimen Coin Set from West Edmonton Coin & Stamp! Canadian artist Pierre Girard captures the beauty of the burrowing owl—an endangered prairie species—on the one-dollar coin.
To enter to win this iconic keepsake, follow WHERE Edmonton on Twitter and watch for tweets about the contest! We will draw for the winner on June 29.