Central Bark's Dog-Gone Good Year

New Initiatives, Continued Involvement Make for a Successful 2008

October 16, 2008 // Franchising.com // (West Allis, WI)---Most people don't want to hear their business is going to the dogs but these days it could be just the ticket for a successful business; just ask Chris Gaba and Jackie Jordan, co-founders of Central Bark Doggy Day Care, who have introduced a variety of new initiatives this year in addition to maintaining their commitment to their franchisees, clients and every community where there is a Central Bark presence.

The first of Central Bark's changes is a highly visible one: The company recently launched a redesigned Web site at www.centralbarkusa.com. The new site includes common components like frequently asked questions (FAQs), location finder, company background information and franchising facts but also employs a variety of new features like comments, filters, social networking capabilities, newsletters and even YouTube digital videos. Gaba, Jordan and designer Conrad Ayala of Milwaukee-based Spin Group considered both consumer as well as franchisee needs and feel the finished product provides the information potential and existing Central Bark clients want and the autonomy that Central Bark franchisees craved in order to successfully build their operations.

In addition to giving its virtual presence a makeover, Central Bark is also implementing a physical facelift as well by entering into a business relationship with BR Signs, Inc., an award-winning company based in Pompano Beach, Florida that has completed over 5,000 projects in 10 countries and has previously worked with clients including Starbucks, Jamba Juice and Sprint. The company will supply Central Bark with all of its interior and exterior signage and, according to Gaba, this partnership will give Central Bark an increased control over the brand by providing greater consistency across all locations and allowing the company to take advantage of discounts that come along with volume purchases. Central Bark has also partnered with St. Louis-based OneSource to refine the company's entire interior store look and feel, creating a seamless system for planning, manufacturing, sourcing and then installation. Gaba said Central Bark's involvement with both BR Signs and OneSource will reduce his franchisees' time involvement, financial investment, and the time it takes to open a facility.

Lastly, 2008 marks the seventh year of Central Bark's involvement with Dog Bless America, a program the company created in response to 9/11 where prison inmates train dogs to assist disabled veterans. The program also raises future assistance dogs and guide dogs for the blind for existing training schools, thus cutting back the time that a disabled person must wait for a dog to assist them. Since 2001, Central Bark's company and franchised locations have raised thousands of dollars for the Dog Bless America cause, which has been used to provide bulletproof vests for K-9 teams in Florida, food, supplies and cooling vests for K-9 teams serving in Afghanistan, food and supplies for dog victims of Hurricane Katrina, provide funding for the training and matching of a Pathways to Hope dog and helped to transport several dogs from a prison program in Maine to their final training at a women's penitentiary in Southern California. Central Bark plans to continue the Dog Bless America program for years to come in order to give severely injured and handicapped veterans a "new leash" on life.

Central Bark Doggy Day Care is a franchised provider of personalized doggy day care in a clean, healthy, fun and nurturing environment for dog parents whose busy lifestyles often make it difficult to give their dogs the attention, structure, exercise and mental stimulation they need. Central Bark is the nation's largest network of day care for dogs that offers programs specifically designed to enhance the safety and well being of dogs in its care, while still providing a social outlet for "dogs to be dogs." Central Bark currently operates over 30 locations in seven states. Growth is being focused on markets primarily east of the Mississippi River, where Central Bark has existing or soon-to-open locations. Plans are to sell at least 12 new franchises in 2008 with a goal of having 50 to 60 locations open by the end of 2010, when a focus on westward expansion would be launched. For more information, visit www.centralbarkusa.com.

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