Dat Dog, a popular New Orleans franchise chain that specializes in gourmet hot dogs and sausages, is eyeing Gainesville for expansion.
While there are no set locations at this point, company president Bill DiPaola believes the market can hold as many as two restaurants.
“From ball parks and fairs to backyard grills and street vendors, hot dogs are one of America’s favorite foods,” says DiPaola. “At Dag Dog, we have created a fast casual concept and culture that resonates with each customer. Dat Dog offers a unique menu selection, ranging from our Crawfish Étouffée Dog to our Alligator Sausage, which is guaranteed to put a smile on each customer’s face. Gainesville has so many exceptional neighborhoods with terrific food scenes. As we plan our next growth phase, we look forward to beginning our search for enthusiastic franchise partners to lead Dat Dog’s local expansion.”
Dat Dog’s plan for Gainesville expansion also comes less than seven months after DiPaola announced his intentions to expand the brand’s footprint across the South through franchising and corporate-owned restaurants. He said he would like to see “about 40 to 50” restaurants open up in the next five years in an area stretching from Texas to the tip of Florida.
Founded in 2011, Dat Dog has garnered a cult following of customers drawn to the brand’s vibrant atmosphere, local beer, late-night hours and, of course, its hot dogs. The menu features a slew of gourmet sausages made from crawfish, alligator, chicken, hamburger, and duck, in addition to the traditional beef wiener. The more than 30 toppings available at no extra charge – including unconventional options like blackberry sauce, guacamole, Sriracha mayo and Crawfish étouffée – allow customers to create their very own “jazz improvisation in a bun.”
The restaurant also offers vegetarian and vegan sausage options to accommodate each customer’s dietary needs, in addition to a hot dog wrapped in a lettuce leaf instead of a traditional bun for carb avoiders.
“Dat Dog is a place where amazing and affordable food, fun-loving staff, and bright colors provide you with a sanctuary of joy from the moment you cross its threshold. Combining the soul of Louisiana with the sophistication of Europe, our artfully crafted cuisine of hot dogs and sausages are a thing of beauty,” says DiPaola. “I have no doubt that the local community in Gainesville will love our quirky culture – along with our crazy delicious dogs.”
Including a franchise fee of $50,000, the total investment necessary to begin operation of a Dat Dog franchise is between $475,405 and $927,675.