On the heels of it its fifth anniversary, Dog Haus, the celebrated gourmet hot dog, sausage, and burger concept, continues its ambitious expansion beyond its Pasadena, California, hometown with the announcement of two new franchise deals that will bring the absolute würst to Minnesota, Ohio, and Washington D.C. With the addition of these new regions, Dog Haus now has plans for 125 locations from 25 different franchisees in eight states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, and Utah) and the nation's capital, with more in the works for the months to come.
"It's incredible to see how far we've come in five years because of the enthusiasm people feel for the brand and the quality product we serve," says Dog Haus Partner Quasim Riaz, who cofounded the hot concept with friends and fellow partners André Vener and Hagop Giragossian in 2010. "We wouldn't be where we are today without the passionate franchisees who have joined our team, and the fans who have been so supportive of what we do and where we are going."
The deals with new franchisees Todd Appelbaum and Paul Abramowitz (Minnesota and Ohio), and Faizan Khan (Washington, D.C.), will bring nine locations to the Minneapolis area of Minnesota, six locations to the Columbus area of Ohio, and three Dog Haus locations to the D.C. area. Appelbaum, who formerly founded, owned, and operated Cup O' Joe Coffee House and Mojoe Lounge in Columbus, Ohio, and business partner and long-time entrepreneur Abramowitz, will be the first franchisees to open a Dog Haus in the Midwest region.
"When Paul and I were introduced to the Dog Haus brand, we were truly blown away by not just the quality of the food and its accessibility for a wide audience, but by the whole experience of dining at the restaurant. We visited every Dog Haus location, and each one had a certain palpable, dynamic energy—it's the type of place you want to be," Appelbaum says. "It was a no-brainer for us, particularly after meeting with the partners. They are clearly highly committed to excellence. We are excited to grow the brand with them."
The announcement of the two new deals follows the recent signing of four leases in Dallas as part of a 20-unit franchise deal with local Texas franchisee and veteran restaurateur Ron Ryan. With the new crop of confirmed locations, Dog Haus has 15 signed leases moving forward that will bring its current 10 locations up to 25 in the months to follow.
Giragossian, Riaz & Vener initially made the decision to franchise Dog Haus in 2013, a decision that quickly precipitated a dramatic period of growth for the brand, originally conceptualized to elevate the humble hot dog, sausage, and burger for the adult palate. Since the first franchise restaurant opened in June 2014, the concept has more than tripled in size, with five additional franchise locations set to open before the end of 2015, including Southern California locations at USC and in Long Beach, as well as a second out-of-state location in Yuma, Arizona.
Throughout this rapid expansion, Dog Haus' core leadership and culinary teams, including Giragossian, who oversees menu operations, and Würstmacher (sausage-maker) Adam Gertler, will continue to work closely with the local franchisees to ensure the quality that has made the brand a "haus" name in Southern California is preserved as it crosses state borders. That extends far beyond Dog Haus' signature 100-percent all-beef skinless Haus Dogs, Haus Sausages and 100-percent natural Black Angus beef burgers and their inspired toppings.
"All these numbers are meaningless if the quality isn't there," Vener dsyd. "Dog Haus has distinguished itself in the fast casual sector because we are offering a unique and superior product—from our dogs to the local craft beers we have on tap to the soft-serve ice cream we recently introduced. We are excited about the growth, but more excited when we see the core principles behind Dog Haus taking root and finding a fresh audience in these new communities."