Central Bark

How Central Bark Rebounded After the Onset of COVID-19

At the beginning of COVID-19, everything we thought we knew about the dog industry was upended. Typical customer patterns changed virtually overnight. But even as we all became increasingly worried about the pandemic, we knew that Central Bark could serve as a resource in the communities in which we operate.

We quickly pivoted across our entire system and implemented new COVID safety protocols within days to protect not only our guests, but our staff and our communities as well. Furthermore, we began a push recognizing that while dogs loved having owners at home, Central Bark understood that pet parents might not be able to give them the exercise and socialization they needed due to limited outdoor space, restrictive weather or stay-at-home orders. Furthermore, we accentuated our whole dog approach centered around enrichment while highlighting our other services that include baths, grooming, training, dog boarding, a retail market, and more.

Because of these actions and the hard work of the entire franchise system, Central Bark was able to begin recovering sales after the initial weeks of the pandemic and keep our clients, our teams and our entire community safe. Everything deployed by Central Bark also helped keep our people working at a time when they needed it the most.

Furthermore, and since we were able to stay open throughout the worst of the crisis because of the strong leadership shown by our franchisees and staff, Central Bark has remained top of mind for our customers in the communities in which we operate thanks to the immediate operational changes we implemented.

“From the onset, we knew we had to adapt and make smart, efficient operational adjustments to meet the needs of a completely changed doggy day care landscape. And we had to keep our customers and our teams safe as well,” said Chris Gaba, co-founder of Central Bark. “It took a lot of hard work and determination by our franchisees and their staff to get back on track. But our quick transition and determination to provide the best care for our dogs allowed our brand to adapt unlike many others while continuing to meet the needs of our communities.”

Central Bark has always been a community-first brand and our commitment to our local customers has proven to be of great importance to us and our franchisees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. You can’t fabricate that kind of authenticity.  

“Central Bark is the real thing,” said Gaba. “Since our inception as a franchise system in 2003, Central Bark has been guided by one mission – to make dogs happy, healthy and whole. That passion for animals and their owners is what drives our franchisees today. And therein lies our true growth opportunity.”

With more than 10,000 square feet of averaged combined indoor and outdoor facility and play space, Central Bark has been able to create a really safe, spacious and controlled environment for our four-legged guests, their parents and our staff.

“Without a doubt, our ongoing investment in our facilities and the technology to run them has afforded us the ability to remain connected to our clients in a meaningful way, even during the heights of the pandemic. This kind of confidence helps deepen our connection to our customers and their dogs while building loyalty and growth at a time of real need.”

Moreover, the ability of Central Bark’s operations and marketing teams to quickly pivot at the onset of the pandemic to reinforce our product offerings and communicate two basic principles – 1) we’re open 2) here’s how you can use us – helped reinforce to our customers that Central Bark was not going anywhere. We were going to stick by them.

Moving forward, we also see tremendous opportunity for both new and existing franchisees that are looking to grow their business. As dog adoptions continue to rise and consumer demand for dog care returns to pre-COVID levels, our hyper focus on safety, customer service, technology, and sustainability will continue to position Central Bark for success.

To learn more or inquire why Central Bark is one of the best franchises to buy, visit centralbarkusa.com/franchising.

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