MUTTS Canine Cantina, the fastest growing pet eatertainment brand in America provides a unique urban oasis for dogs and their owners, has signed its first multi-unit franchise deal for the city of Austin. Slated to open three new locations in the next three years, the new dog parks and restaurants will be located in various neighborhoods within the greater Austin area. The neighborhoods being considered for development are Round Rock, West Lake, Leander/Cedar Park, and Central/Downtown.
“We have never seen anything like this and wanted to bring MUTTS to Austin for several reasons. First, we are dog lovers and big animal people in general. Secondly, because Austin is such a dog-centric place, we knew the Austin area would really embrace the concept of an upscale dog park with a cool cantina attached,” says Austin franchisees Darrell and Laura Landers and Lisa Ladewig of K9 Entertainment. “In 2018, Austin was ranked #4 overall for dog-friendliest cities and #2 in pet health and wellness. Many Austin area restaurants and bars are becoming increasingly dog-friendly, however, most of those only allow dogs in the patio area and they have to be on-leash. At MUTTS, our members can socialize, eat, drink and relax while their dogs run free and play in the park, making it the best part of a dog’s day and we’re excited to give our local pups that benefit!”
MUTTS, which operates on a membership model (daily, monthly, or annual plans available), has earned a reputation in Texas and beyond for its social dog parks, each featuring a walk-up bar offering local craft beer, a full bar famous for its Barkarita’s, HD TV’s, and Adirondack lounge chairs throughout the small, or large dog parks. A separate patio features concession-style food options specializing in the MUTTS Original Chicken Sandwich, burgers, milkshakes, and a “Doggie Menu” for the four-legged patrons. Each MUTTS location will have two fully-enclosed, fenced lawn spaces—one each for small and large breeds—that expand over an acre of land. This gives pups the space to release energy, exercise, run freely and play safely in both shaded and unshaded areas, while their owners relax and socialize. Additionally, members can take advantage of the free Wi-Fi, Bark Rangers who provide water and keep the park tidy, and a dog washing area.
The MUTTS concept was created in 2013 by Kyle Noonan and Josh Sepkowitz, founders of FreeRange Concepts. MUTTS was one of many “first of its kind” concepts that the two restaurant pioneers created under the FreeRange Concepts umbrella. Noonan and Sepkowitz have also brought on Michelle Boggs as the managing partner to help spearhead franchise development.
“Expanding the MUTTS pawprint within our home state and to Austin seemed like a no-brainer. It’s a thriving city and fanatically dog-friendly, making it the perfect fit,” says Michelle Boggs. “MUTTS forces us to slow down, allows guests (both two and four-legged) to enjoy the moment and separate themselves from the hustle and bustle of life. With our major expansion plans (Arizona and Nevada being next), we’re looking forward to giving the top 40 major markets this benefit and a community that’s unlike any other in the U.S.”
MUTTS Canine Cantina has partnered with Fransmart, the industry-leading franchise development company behind the explosive growth of brands like The Halal Guys, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and Qdoba Mexican Grill, as their exclusive franchise development partner to grow the brand. The concept is currently looking for experienced multi-unit foodservice operators to develop franchise territories in top 40 major media markets across the U.S.
"Laura, Darrell and Lisa are ideal partners. They are local, passionate, successful, and experienced business people, who are excited to be the first franchisees to help shape the franchise program,” says Dan Rowe, CEO of Fransmart. “More than anything, they recognized MUTTS was a step above the average off-leash dog park. They understand that Austin is a hub for millennials and home to many dog-lovers, who are the driving force behind the booming pet industry, expected to top $64 billion by the end of 2019.”