Sponsored by Dogtopia
What do dog services have to do with food service?
“Both industries require a commitment to cleanliness, safety, and strong customer facing skills,” says Alex Samios, a former 34-unit Papa John’s Pizza franchisee. Since 2016, Samios has been the vice president of development and a partner at Dogtopia, the fastest growing franchise in the entire pet industry. After spending more than 20 years in the restaurant industry, Samios knows firsthand the complexities associated with running a fast-paced restaurant enterprise.
After discovering the opportunity and economics in the pet industry, I can honestly say there’s an easier way,” Samios says. “And it’s a heck of a lot more fun too!”
And Samios should know. He was the first franchisee for a mobile pet grooming company back in 2000 when the industry was only a $26 industry. Now it’s a booming $100 billion industry and is expected to grow to $120 billion by 2023.
“I saw the opportunity then, and it’s even bigger now,” Samios says. With no inventory or food costs to manage and cost of goods sold at less than three percent, the only key controllable expense at Dogtopia is labor, making it simpler to operate than restaurants. And since Dogtopia focuses mainly on daycare as the primary service, the majority of the business is Monday through Friday, with limited nights and weekends. This alone is a welcome reprieve from the grind of the restaurant industry.
Unlike struggles with staffing restaurants, Dogtopia has the added benefit of working with dogs, which naturally attracts very passionate people who love working with animals. “If you’re going to pay a kid $12 an hour,” Samios says, “do you think they would rather work in a restaurant or play with dogs all day?”
Samios is confident the skills restaurant operators learned in the foodservice industry will easily transfer to dog care. Because of this, Dogtopia is specifically looking for successful restaurant franchisees because they are used to managing complex operations and are constantly dealing with recruitment and training as well as dealing with customer relations.
“Restaurant franchisees are the best operators in the franchise industry,” Samios says. “They have transferable business skills to set them up for success in our business model. There is no substitute for someone who has been running a complex, competitive, customer-facing restaurant business. They will flourish in our system while enjoying a more fun lifestyle.”
Dogtopia operates over 150 locations today with over 250 sold and in development. And with double digit same store sales growth for the past five years, Dogtopia’s financial model is only getting better. Prime territories are still available and we’re aggressively seeking restaurant operators interested in diversifying their portfolios. Come take a look today!