Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

SEP 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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SEPTEMBER 2017 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 87 Orleans area and was set to open its newest location in late summer in Lafayette. Bill DiPaola joined Dat Dog in 2014 and spearheads its evolution and expansion. He's a 22-year industry vet- eran with prior management experience at Copeland's of New Orleans, Dickie Bren- nan & Company, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. Now president and chief operat- ing officer, DiPaola says the company's future growth will come primarily through franchising, which kicked off in January of this year. An agreement has been signed with B&G Food Enterprises, a Taco Bell franchisee with more than 100 units in Loui- siana, Mississippi and Texas, to develop 25 Dat Dogs in the Houston market. A second franchisee group, Prime Dog LLC, has three Baton Rouge, La., Dat Dogs in development and more planned throughout the Gulf South. SIGNATURE STYLE As for the concept's style, DiPaola characterizes it as a fast-casual/casual-dining hybrid. "We have the sharp focus of a Chipotle," he explains. "Everything that we serve is in the shape of a hot dog, including our burgers, which are rolled from freshly ground beef, and chicken, which is cut into strips and grilled or fried. Guests order at the counter and we bring their food out to them. But our menu is very diverse and we have an environment that's closer to a Buffalo Wild Wings than a Chipotle. Here, you can come in and watch the game, drink a local craft beer, play trivia or corn hole. You can hang out and be loose and easy." And guests can enjoy the best of Dat Dog's wursts. In true fast-casual style, guests can customize their own meals by choosing their sausage, selecting from more than 30 toppings, and add- ing on a side. Conversely, guests can opt for one of the brand's signature creations. Sausage choices range from traditional European-style wieners, kielbasa and brat- wurst, to veggie and vegan dogs, to Dat Dog originals which blend ingredients such as alligator, duck and crawfish with pork. Alligator sausage ranks a best seller, as does the signa- ture Crawfish Etouffee Dog. Other "haute" selections on the House Specialties menu include the Blue Dat Burger, a rolled beef patty topped with blue cheese, grilled onions, bacon and barbecue sauce; the Guinness Special, an Irish Guinness sausage with Andouille sauce, onions, shredded cheddar, bacon and yellow mustard; the Bacon Werewolf, a Slove- nian sausage with bacon, sauerkraut, dill relish, grilled onions, tomatoes and Creole mustard; and the Dat Chick, fried chicken breast with jalapeños, Mother-in-Law Slaw and Chick Sauce. The Sea Dog Special is sausage-shaped beer-battered cod and the Son of a Saint Dog is a Guinness sausage topped with bacon, onions and barbecue sauce. One dol- lar from every Son of a Saint Dog sold benefits the Son of a Saint nonprofit, which pro- vides mentorship, education, cultural enrichment and emo- tional support for fatherless young men in New Orleans. MISSION-CRITICAL BUNS DiPaola says the chain's buns are as important to its suc- cess as what's served in them. The buns start out in a high- pressure convection steamer before they're quickly Loaded with local flavor, Dat Dog's signature Crawfish Etouffee Dog features a crawfish sausage topped with house-made crawfish etouffee, sour cream, tomatoes, onions and Creole mustard.

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