Dog Haus Deal Started With Dream Email
Dog Haus partners Quasim Riaz, Hagop Giragossian and Andre Vener.
Usually huge development deals never actually get completed, especially when an emerging brand with just 21 units is the franchisor. But a massive contract to build 300 Dog Haus locations in 12 states for $500 million over the next seven years just may be the exception, if co-founder Andre Vener’s math holds up.
Vener said he and his two partners at first were incredulous, too, as a deal involving three parties came together: American Development Partners is a full-service real estate developer and general contractor with the ability to build in all 50 states; a family office, which Vener would not name, backs American Development with private equity investment; and eight separate franchisee groups have signed on to operate the 300 stores.
“These franchisees own between 15 and 300 units each already, with one to three brands each already,” Vener said. “So these guys are people who know what they’re doing.”
When I said these massive deals rarely get done, Vener said, “We agree with that in general. But if you divide it by eight groups, over seven years—in the first year of this deal they have to open 24 stores; that’s three stores each. That’s nothing" for experienced operators and a family office with billions in assets.
The deal started with a franchise development VP’s dream come true: an email from long-time operator Shawn Eby on Dog Haus’s contact form on its website, Vener said. Eby was visiting his daughter in California and they went to a Dog Haus Biergarten, which both loved. Eby also had an appointment with American Development Partners about adding stores of another brand, but ended up convincing them to look at Dog Haus instead, Vener said.
There’s more to the story, which I’ll tell in an upcoming edition of Franchise Times, but suffice it to say: franchise development execs, keep checking your website contact forms. Every once in a while you’ll find a real gem.