Acclaimed gourmet hot dog, sausage and burger concept launches The Absolute Brands while celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020
Despite a year of unprecedented challenges for the restaurant industry, Dog Haus has proved its best days are still very much ahead.
The acclaimed gourmet hot dog, sausage, and burger concept had positioned itself for a monumental 2020 but then, well, 2020… When the COVID-19 crisis forced dining rooms nationwide to close, Dog Haus’ systemwide sales immediately dropped 50%. With its back against the wall, Dog Haus pushed the boundaries of how a restaurant operates and got more innovative than ever.
In March, already at the forefront of the virtual kitchen movement, Dog Haus took it a step (or six) further with something entirely new – virtual concepts – by launching The Absolute Brands – a restaurant group comprised of Dog Haus and multiple unique brands, inspired by Dog Haus’ unique menu. Through The Absolute Brands, Dog Haus began offering three delivery-only brands – Bad Mutha Clucka, Plant B and Bad-Ass Breakfast Burritos – at its virtual kitchens and restaurants. In the year ahead, the company will continue to capitalize on the success of The Absolute Brands with the debut of four new virtual concepts, soon to be announced.
“2020 has been a whirlwind of a year,” said Partner André Vener. “Like everybody else in our industry, Dog Haus faced unforeseen – even historic – trials this year, but we found a way to finish 2020 back on top. Launching The Absolute Brands allowed us to capitalize on third-party delivery at the beginning of the pandemic, and this is really what moved the needle for us. Dog Haus has always been a creative and adaptable brand that’s consistently jumping on new business opportunities, and this year we took that to a whole new level.”
Though the brand quickly pivoted to respond to the pandemic with safe, sales-driving initiatives like curbside pickup, an adapted grocery store model at its restaurants that sold a variety of essential foods, and the debut of The Absolute Brands drove a massive spike in delivery sales. One franchise unit that rolled out The Absolute Brands saw a sales increase of over 300%. Overall, after a brief downturn, Dog Haus’ stores reversed course to exceed pre-pandemic same-store sales numbers by over 13% for the last 6 months.
On the development side, Dog Haus opened a number of restaurants in 2020 in new markets like Cheyenne, Wyoming, as well as both Austin and Houston, Texas. The brand also opened a handful of new virtual kitchens. Looking to 2021, Dog Haus plans to accelerate its growth, with 15 new locations already in the pipeline throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, New York, Texas and West Virginia.
The brand also plans to test smaller footprint restaurants to operate for carryout- and delivery-only, and a new prototype is under development, featuring a traditional drive-thru with a dedicated lane for third-party and mobile-order pickup.
“We are incredibly grateful for the new and existing franchisees that have signed on for new locations despite the uncertainty 2020 has brought on,” said Partner Quasim Riaz. “We have managed to thrive throughout this exceedingly difficult time, and we couldn’t have done it without the unwavering commitment of everyone in our system. With so many new development concepts in the works, the future is looking very bright for Dog Haus.”
In addition to its new brands and expansion efforts, 2020 marked Dog Haus’ 10-year anniversary. The breakout brand also received several coveted recognitions in 2020, including Nation’s Restaurant News’s “Menu Trendsetter” award, as part of its prestigious MenuMasters program. Additionally, Dog Haus was named #3 on FastCasual’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers list, #4 on Entrepreneur’s Top Food Franchises list in the Hot Dogs category, and #12 on Restaurant Business’s “Future 50” list.
Throughout 2020, Dog Haus maintained fan-favorite initiatives that have attracted critical acclaim, like its Chef Collaboration Series and introduced its Mixologist Collaboration, which Dog Haus uses to innovate its menu with new, one-of-a-kind creations. Through special partnerships with the country’s top chefs and celebrity mixologists, Dog Haus has been able to introduce unique limited-time items rolled out regularly to benefit its national charity partner, No Kid Hungry. To date, Dog Haus has raised enough funds for the organization to help feed more than 1 million children in need. In 2021, Dog Haus will continue its fight to end childhood hunger with the return of its fourth-annual Chef Collaboration Series.
“Even with all of the craziness that came with 2020, we have so much to be proud of as a brand,” said Partner Hagop Giragossian. “We celebrated our 10th anniversary, a milestone we’d been really looking forward to. We took home new awards and recognitions that we’re incredibly excited about, and we were able to move forward with our Chef Collaboration Series and work with some of the most talented culinary gurus out there. As we finish up another very successful year, we can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store.”
For up-to-date location and brand information, visit doghaus.com or follow Dog Haus on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DogHausDogs.
Dog Haus is an award-winning concept known for its gourmet hot dogs, sausages, burgers and one Bad Mutha Clucka. Founded by longtime friends Hagop Giragossian, Quasim Riaz and André Vener, the first Dog Haus opened in Pasadena, California in 2010. 2020 marked Dog Haus’ 10th anniversary and the brand is poised for aggressive expansion into concert venues and virtual kitchens across the country. Dog Haus was recently honored with Nation’s Restaurant News’ “Menu Trendsetter” award, as part of its prestigious MenuMasters, and continues to garner critical acclaim for its signature all beef dogs and hand-crafted sausages with no added nitrates, 100% Black Angus beef burgers, and a fried chicken sandwich – all of which are made with hormone- and antibiotic-free meat and served on grilled King’s Hawaiian rolls. With the brand’s mission to sustainably feed everyone who walks through their doors, Dog Haus also offers plant-based burger and sausage proteins. In addition to continuing to establish itself as a “haus”-hold name, Dog Haus has helped raise enough funds to provide over one million meals to kids in need through its national charity partner No Kid Hungry. For up to date location and brand information, visit doghaus.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @DogHausDogs.