In summer of 2022, franchise veterans Steve and Jennifer Skomski entered into a new franchise deal with Central Bark, the doggy day care industry pioneer that combines its industry-leading doggy day care expertise with the latest in canine behavior science. The Skomskis are just some of the increasingly larger number of multi-unit franchise owners with Central Bark, which is quickly emerging as a go-to investment opportunity for growth-oriented career franchise owners trying to diversify out of QSR and food.
“When we were looking at opportunities to expand our portfolio, we weren’t looking for more single-unit restaurants that we had to operate ourselves on already thin margins,” said Jennifer. “We wanted an opportunity to take a major bite out of a territory and grow a business quickly while being part of a $120+ billion industry that has shown to be recession and even pandemic resistant.”
The Skomskis said Central Bark was the perfect brand for that strategy because it combined their innate love of dogs with a best-in-class operation, high customer loyalty, and excellent available territory.
“We’re an experienced team that runs a top QSR burger restaurant and we saw a partnership with Central Bark as a major investment opportunity that would help move diversify us out of the food space,” said Jennifer. “Starting a business from scratch can be fun, but it’s slow and can be risky. We were looking for an entry point into the pet industry that we could hit the ground running and scale quickly.”
Still, the Skomskis said they were not willing to partner with just any pet care brand that could offer growth. “We weren’t going to invest in a brand that we didn’t believe in as guests,” said Steve. “Our dog Chase, a Sheepadoodle, had been going to Broadview Heights Central Bark for some time and we were a fan of the product and the Central Bark service long before we ever considered investing in the business. In that respect, Central Bark checked every box.”
The Skomskis assumed ownership of Central Bark in May of 2022 and after increasing revenue in just a few short months, they are already looking at additional expansion across the Midwest.
“The Skomksis are representative of the shift we’re experiencing as a brand due to more experienced multi-brand owners entering our system,” said Bob Crawford, Central Bark CEO. “Central Bark is proving to be a reliable diversification option for these types of operators because they are looking to grow without cannibalizing their existing markets or becoming too grounded in one vertical. And Central Bark is the perfect complement to so many existing portfolios in that respect.”
One of the reasons franchisees are so eager to invest in Central Bark is that our brand is beloved by our customers, and we have not yet reached market saturation. So not only do we
have tremendous growth opportunities available geographically, but we also see a ton of brand growth coming, which is continuing to drive sales up across our whole system.
For more information on franchise ownership, visit centralbarkusa.com/franchising.