While many small businesses contracted during the 2020 global pandemic, Central Bark expanded.
Doggy day care is an innately “high touch” business model, but the brand’s leadership team innovated quickly to help franchisees adapt to COVID-19 restrictions and pandemic lockdowns. The home team’s agile pivot allowed Central Bark to open 5 new locations nationwide in 2020 and early 2021 as well as continue providing customers with the essential services they needed for their furriest family members.
From branded masks and specialized cleaning protocols to providing policies and marketing communication materials for best practices in health and safety, the Central Bark franchise headquarters supported its franchisees so they continued to remain in business for themselves but never by themselves. And the laser focus on customer service and a positive experience in each Central Bark location remained at the core.
For example, take Lenny Hoisington in Rochester, Minn. He became a franchisee in mid-2019 and his location has become one of the top performing locations, largely because he embraced Central Bark’s customer service priority before and during the pandemic after experiencing it first as a customer.
Lenny and his pit bull/hound mix Baxter were raving Central Bark customer fans in the Milwaukee area and when it came time to make a career move, Lenny jumped at the chance to go all in as a franchise owner.
“I had always discussed with my wife the idea of starting a business,” said Lenny. “We explored some options, but I kept coming back to Central Bark because of that initial, incredible experience we had as customers with Baxter. Plus, what attracted me to the brand is Central Bark’s larger mission of whole dog care and enrichment that creates a safe environment for dogs to play, exercise and socialize.”
The same is true at the opposite end of the country for Central Bark co-owner Monika Janczuk and her life (and business) partner James. While living in Wisconsin, they weren’t happy with any doggy day options for their pit bull mix Jordy Nelson (named for the Green Bay Packers wide receiver) until they found Central Bark. When they began their entrepreneurial journey in Eugene, Ore., Central Bark was their business of choice. In late 2020, despite the pandemic – now Jordy gets to come to “work” every day with Monika and James as they spread the franchise’s trademark excellent customer service experience in the Pacific Northwest.
Founded by Jackie Jordan and Chris Gaba in 2003, the two co-founders have been and still are integrally involved in all aspects of Central Bark. Jackie is a co-owner of a location in the Milwaukee area and handles financial and administrative aspects of the business. Chris runs his own Central Bark in South Florida as well as leads marketing and communication initiatives at the corporate level. In its nearly 20 years of existence, the brand has grown to nearly 40 locations across more than a dozen states and has hosted more than two million dog visits.
“Being a small business owner requires a certain mindset,” Jackie said. “But we’ve created a business model that incorporates all of the best business practices to help new franchise owners achieve success. It’s about using our system, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”
Orlando owners, Lisa and Mike Roth launched their Central Bark in East Orlando during 2020 and found the franchise’s guidance, support, training and marketing to be some of the most robust of all the franchise business models they considered.
“If you have the right attitude and work hard while taking advantage of all the support that Central Bark provides, then the sky’s the limit,” Lisa said.
With a strong brand identity and excellent franchise relationships already in place, Central Bark’s passionate executive leadership team is firmly established and fundamentally involved in the day-to-day operation of the business. For nearly 20 years, Central Bark has drawn in dogs and their owners across the country to experience its signature Enrichment Doggy Day Care, which combines Central Bark’s industry-leading doggy day care expertise with the latest in canine behavior science. Enrichment Doggy Day Care provides a healthy and balanced blend of exercise, social group play, learning, rest, and “TLC” to help dogs be healthy, happy, calm, and well-rounded members of the family. Furthermore, all Central Bark locations also offer dog boarding, baths, grooming, a retail market, training and more.
Central Bark boasts an affordable average initial investment beginning at $520,063 for a single location, depending on the real estate selected. To learn more or inquire why Central Bark is one of the best franchises to buy, visit centralbarkusa.com/franchising.