Fast-casual concepts weren’t always in love with the idea of franchising. Back in fast casual’s heyday, many fast-casual owners and executives pointed to their high-quality menus and complex operations as reason not to hand the keys over to franchisees; they said they wanted to maintain control.
But the three founders of fast casual Dog Haus thought differently. Quasim Riaz, Hagop Giragossian, and Andre Vener—the trio who came together to launch Dog Haus in Pasadena, California, in 2010—decided to franchise after they’d only opened a handful of locations.
The strategy has paid off; Dog Haus has grown to more than 30 U.S. locations through franchising, and expects to double its footprint this year. And it didn’t sacrifice any of the quality in the meantime. The brand has become a big success through a menu of upscale hot dogs, sausages, and burgers, and it enlists celebrity chefs like Brooke Williamson, Bruce Kalman, and Alex Seidel to chime in on limited-time offers. It also provides a high-quality experience, with full bars and a sports-bar vibe that is unique among fast-casual concepts.
In the latest episode of QSR’s podcast “Fast Forward,” editor Sam Oches sat down with the three Dog Haus founders to learn more about the brand’s genesis and how it’s carving its own niche within the fast-casual category.