Little Caesars veteran brings Dog Haus to West Virginia
Vicki Dunn-Marshall, l, with Carissa Marshall
Vicki Dunn-Marshall and daughter Carissa Marshall were in California on their way to the Dog Haus headquarters in Pasadena when they spotted a restaurant of another concept they were considering. “They were neck-and-neck,” recalled Vicki of deliberations between the two brands. But after stopping to try the food of the other contender, “we were not impressed,” she said, and once they met with Dog Haus execs and toured some restaurants, both mother and daughter agreed the concept serving gourmet hot dogs, sausages, burgers and beer was the right fit.
The two will bring Dog Haus to West Virginia, signing a three-unit development agreement and “hopefully expanding beyond the initial three,” said Vicki, who as president and CEO of The VDM Management Group also owns 27 Little Caesars locations in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. Carissa, who’s worked in her family’s restaurants since she was 15, will help lead development. “I know the ins and outs of working in the restaurants,” Carissa added. “And luckily I have the best mentor possible to fall back on.”
They’re targeting their home base of Huntington for the first Dog Haus but are being selective with the location.
“In West Virginia we don’t have a lot of new shopping centers so we have to carefully evaluate,” said Vicki. “We don’t want to settle.”
While the food is what turned them away from that other concept, Vicki and Carissa touted the Dog Haus menu and its quality food as a key reason for signing the deal. They also visited locations in Tennessee and Texas, and Vicki said she talked to several franchisees who validated her research. Carissa, meanwhile, sought compatibility with Dog Haus’ leadership team. “Everyone involved, there’s so much enthusiasm and passion for the brand,” she said.
Dog Haus Biergartens, like this one, are the larger model of the brand’s restaurants.
The duo signed to open locations of Dog Haus Biergartens, larger restaurants than the brand’s fast-casual model, at 1,800 to 2,200 square feet and with at least 24 beers on tap.
Average gross sales for the biergartens are $1.18 million, according to the brand’s FDD, and with a total investment range of $591,500 to $1.02 million.
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