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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86 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • SEPTEMBER 2017 DAT DOG Spreading Smiles with Haute Dogs, Cool Digs J ust try watching Dat Dog's new website video for potential franchisees without cracking a smile and wishing there was a unit nearby. The brand, which got its start as a 475-square-foot hot dog and sausage shack in post-Katrina New Orleans, is all about spreading smiles. Its distinc- tively different "haute dog" menu, funky and colorful stores, and passionate com- mitment to community and culture have been doing the trick in that regard since the first unit opened in 2011. And since that time, the Dat Dog brand has grown into an even happier place — a successful four-unit fast- casual chain with a bigger and completely unique menu, larger locations to accom- modate its burgeoning fan base and, as of January this year, big plans for expansion through franchising. When New Orleans native and former federal prosecu- tor Constantine Georges and friend Skip Murray launched Dat Dog, they broke one of the cardinal restaurant start-up rules: They eschewed "loca- tion, location, location" to set up shop in a tiny space on Freret Street in an economi- cally depressed neighborhood high on crime and low on foot traffic. But despite the neighborhood having fallen on hard times, Georges felt that the area — within walking dis- tance of three universities and one of few corridors connect- ing uptown and downtown New Orleans — was ripe for revitalization. It was definitely ripe for a hot dog stand. Lines were routinely out the door and around the block, far exceed- ing the capacity of the little shop and the expectations of its founders. The team soon moved to larger digs, a former gas station across the street, and began expanding while sticking to its color- ful, casual aesthetic. Today, Dat Dog has five company- owned locations in the New DAT DOG SNAPSHOT HQ: New Orleans Concept: Fast casual, gourmet hot dog Founded: 2011 No. of Units: 5, plus 28 in development Ownership: Dat Dog Enterprises LLC Expansion Markets: Southern Louisiana, Texas Franchising: Yes Services: Lunch, dinner, takeout, delivery, catering Average Unit Size: 2,500- 3,000 square feet, plus patio Average Kitchen Size: 820-850 square feet Average Check: $11.20 Average Unit Volume: $1.66 million Average Unit Cost: $475,000-$927,000 Average Kitchen Equipment Package: $100,000-$110,000 Mission-Critical Equipment: Convection steamer, flattop grill, charbroiler, fryers 7 EMERGING CHAINS As colorful as its home city of New Or- leans, Dat Dog is a quirky, fast-casual/ casual-dining hybrid that serves up classic and creative takes on gourmet sausages. Photos courtesy of Dat Dog

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