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A View From The Top

3 ways Mutts Cantina CEO 'recession-proofed' his business

Kyle Noonan, co-owner of Mutts Canine Cantina, discusses three ways the concept’s flexibility and adaptability is helping it grow.

3 ways Mutts Cantina CEO 'recession-proofed' his businessyle Noonan, co-owner of Mutts Canine Cantina, says flexibility and adaptability is helping him grow the business. Provided

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most challenging crises the restaurant industry has ever faced. While many restaurants are continuing to focus on takeout and delivery in response to the suspension of indoor dining operations, diners still long for the social experience of going out to eat with family and friends so they can regain a sense of normalcy.

At Mutts Canine Cantina, our "eatertainment" concept combines the fun and safety of an outdoor, unleashed dog-park with a unique craft-casual dining experience, enabling our operations to continue with social distancing measures and enhanced cleaning protocols in place. At the peak of the pandemic, many parks were also closed, making Mutts a haven for not only guests looking to dine out, but also for pet owners looking to give their pups a safe place to play with other dogs.

The resiliency of the Mutts operating model has been vital to keeping operations moving forward over the past 10 months. Here are some of the key elements that have enabled us to thrive.

Recurring revenue stream
Mutts runs on a membership-based model, making our revenue stream recurring and reliable. Guests have the option to purchase daily passes, monthly subscriptions or annual memberships that allows members (the dogs) and their owners to roam free across our one-acre, off-leash dog park while enjoying craft-casual food and drinks from the cantina.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an influx in interest, with membership at our Dallas location increasing by 40% and membership at our Clearfork location increasing by 20%. The recurring membership revenue stream provides unlimited growth potential for entrepreneurial franchise investors.

Flexible footprint and prefabricated buildings
A major benefit of our cantina and dog park layout is that it can be modified to fit a piece of land that may not suit any other type of real estate. The layout can be adapted to fit in an oddly shaped lot, an undevelopable tract or even on a rooftop. In cold-weather states, we are also exploring the possibility of renovating old warehouses or repurposed retail space. The flexibility of site selection is a bonus for commercial real estate developers, and it gives franchisees endless design options.

Mutts also helps its franchisees save time and money with the use of our prefabricated buildings. Franchisees can choose a cantina option that is manufactured and constructed in prefabrication.

Booming pet industry and desire for eatertainment
The Mutts concept taps into a booming market — the pet industry — which topped an estimated $99 billion in 2020. Not only do we provide exercise and play for thousands of dogs in the U.S., but we also provide dog owners with a clean, safe place to relax, eat, drink and socialize. The desire for eatertainment concepts is on the rise, with many Americans wishing there were more venues near them that combine an activity with food and drink. As our venue combines both growing markets, Mutts falls into the pet eatertainment category, appealing to the increasing population of consumers in search of safe activities to enjoy with their pet by their side.

The Mutts cantina and dog park is recession and reasonably pandemic-proof as an outdoor concept, and the key elements that make Mutts resilient and adaptable —including our recurring membership revenue stream, flexible footprint, use of prefabricated buildings — coupled with the buying power of a booming pet industry and market for eatertainment, have enabled us to continue to attract new franchisees and close deals, even amid crises.

A View From The Top

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