May 01, 2017 // Franchising.com // NEW ORLEANS – Dat Dog, a popular New Orleans franchise chain that specializes in gourmet hot dogs and sausages covered with toppings that range from guacamole to crawfish etoufee, is headed to Houston. The delicious sausage slinger has signed an agreement to develop 25 locations throughout the metro area over the next several years.
The agreement marks Dat Dog’s first outside of New Orleans and has been signed with franchisee group B&G Food Enterprises, LLC, which currently operates more than 100 Taco Bell, KFC and Long John Silver’s restaurants across Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
“Dat Dog is different. It’s a fresh concept, and we’re very excited to bring a little bit of offbeat New Orleans to Houston,” said Greg Hamer, CEO of B&G Food Enterprises, who admits to trying “just about everything on the menu” during his due diligence of the brand.
While there are no set locations at this point, Hamer said his team is aggressively eyeing several areas, including Downtown, Midtown, Montrose and The Woodlands, among others. He expects the first restaurant to open in early 2018.
Founded in 2011, Dat Dog has garnered a cult following of customers drawn to the brand’s vibrant atmosphere, local beer, late-night hours and, of course, its hot dogs. The menu features a slew of gourmet sausages made from crawfish, alligator and duck, in addition to the traditional beef wiener. The more than 30 toppings available at no extra charge – including unconventional options like blackberry sauce, guacamole, Sriracha mayo and crawfish etouffee – allow customers to create their very own “jazz improvisation in a bun.” The restaurant also offers vegetarian and vegan sausage options, in addition to a hot dog wrapped in a lettuce leaf instead of a traditional bun for carb avoiders.
“Dat Dog is a place where amazing and affordable food, fun-loving staff, and bright colors provide you with a sanctuary of joy from the moment you cross its threshold. Combining the soul of Louisiana with the sophistication of Europe, our artfully crafted cuisine of hot dogs and sausages are a thing of beauty,” said Bill DiPaola, President and COO of Dat Dog. “I have no doubt that Houstonians will love our quirky culture – along with our crazy delicious dogs.”
Philanthropic giving and social good are also built into Dat Dog’s DNA. The company regularly hosts fundraising events on- and off-site for causes of all kinds, especially those related to animal welfare, at-risk youth, and education. According to Hamer, Dat Dog’s Houston locations will regularly host charitable events and fundraisers, in addition to responding directly to people in need.
Dat Dog’s expansion into Houston comes less than six months after DiPaola announced his intentions to expand the brand’s footprint across the South through franchising and corporate-owned restaurants. He said he would like to see “about 40 to 50” restaurants open up in the next five years in an area stretching from Texas to Florida.
Founded in 2011 and franchising since 2017, Dat Dog is a New Orleans-based restaurant chain that specializes in gourmet hot dogs and sausages that can be dressed in a selection of over 30 different toppings. The critically acclaimed restaurant – touted by The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The Food Network – currently has four locations open and operating in New Orleans and numerous others in various stages of development. For more information, please visit www.datdog.com.
SOURCE Dat Dog