That dog park aspect, however, did present one of the biggest logistical challenges for the college-friends-turned-business-partners. It took about five years for them to work the kinks out on the first Dallas location. “We were creating a completely new segment in quick serve,” Noonan says.
Landing on a system that managed the dog park memberships was a big hurdle. “We didn’t initially invest in the technology that we have now,” Noonan says. The partners underestimated what kind of app they’d need at first, partly because the system they needed—cloud-based that uses a barcode to allow customers in and out of the park—didn’t exist. “It took a little bit of time for technology to catch up with exactly what we needed,” Sepkowitz says.
But, eventually, the team figured it out, along with the best placement of the brand’s elements: the kitchen and bar building, parking lot, outdoor eating area, small dog park, and large dog park.
The result is something not many quick serves have been able to achieve: a concept that taps into customers’ daily routines.
People come every week, or multiple times a week. “Dogs have to get out and go to the bathroom every day,” Noonan says. When people come, they can stay for hours, hanging out with friends and purchasing dinner and a drink or two, perhaps a dessert, along the way.