Doggie Daycare Franchise Hounds Town USA Proves to Be a Major Player in the Growing Pet Care Space

Why pay $1 million for something you can get for a quarter of that price? That is the core philosophy and growth strategy of New York-based pet care franchise Hounds Town USA-and it’s a philosophy that has led to tremendous system growth in the past several years. In 2018 alone, the pet care franchise added seven new locations, doubling its size, and increased system-wide revenue by more than 45%.

With seven locations open in New York and New Jersey, and an additional seven in development in the Nashville, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh markets, Hounds Town USA is experiencing steady and impressive growth in the increasingly popular pet care franchise industry.

A few of the main reasons for this, says President Jackie Bondanza, are the simplicity of the business model and the dedication of the brand to keeping costs down for franchisees. “Lower buy-in and build-out costs for franchisees mean higher ROIs for them, and more money in their pockets sooner,” she explains. “We want to help our franchisees make money and be successful, thus growing our brand as a team. We don’t want to exploit them for every dollar we can.” Adds Founder and CEO Mike Gould: “Exorbitant initial investment makes it out of reach for the average entrepreneur looking to take control of their own destiny and become a small business owner.”

With system-wide gross revenue at nearly $4 million for 2018, up nearly 45% from 2017, franchise candidates are flocking to the system for its earnings potential and low cost of entry. “If you compare our average unit volume of our veteran stores to those of other franchise systems, you will see that the AUV is very comparable. What that means is, the upwards of $700,000 of additional build-out costs that are required by many other pet care systems are not providing the franchisees with much additional revenue in their stores,” explains Bondanza. “Thus, back to our point about paying $1 million for something you can get for a quarter of that price. Our sales to investment ratio is over 300%, compared to that of our competitors’, which are under 100%.”

The increased system-wide revenue is thanks to two new store openings in New Jersey; two Long Island stores in their first full 12 months of business; and three veteran locations continuously increasing revenue. “We have such a variety of stores in different stages of business,” says Bondanza. “Whether a location has been open for 15 years (such as our corporate store in Ronkonkoma), or two months, each store has met and exceeded revenue goals this year. Veteran stores continue to break revenue records, and our new locations continue to exceed key performance indicators,” she says.

Their best-performing store, Hounds Town – Farmingdale, grossed nearly $1 million this year. “The owners are on their way to scaling their business and profitability, opening a second store any day now,” says Bondanza. The opening of that store in Hicksville, NY, as well as a 5,000 square-foot store in Garden City will bring the total number of stores on Long Island, where the pet care franchise is based and was founded, to seven. “If we can have seven successful locations in a 50-mile range, imagine what we can do in other markets,” says Gould.

Hounds Town is no newcomer to the pet care industry. Founded in 2001 by former NYPD canine unit and police dog handler Gould, Hounds Town USA has had a long history of providing fully interactive doggie daycare, overnight boarding, grooming, and pet taxi services to thousands of customers. Since its inception, the system has hosted more than 1 million canine visitors (as well as some feline ones, too).

What sets Hounds Town USA apart from other pet care franchises (including those large big box stores), is the founder. Gould spent more than 35 years in the commercial dog field, and retired to found the fully interactive pet care franchise. “Hounds Town USA is founded on a deep knowledge and understanding of dogs,” explains Gould. “This knowledge is a significant part of our initial and ongoing franchisee training, and it really enables our franchisees to offer something different than any other pet care franchises out there, who simply lack the understanding of the animal brain to be able to provide what we provide at Hounds Town.”

In addition to not discriminating against dogs because of their breed, Hounds Town USA also keeps things simple–something many of their customers appreciate most. “Many pet care franchises are missing the mark,” explains Bondanza. “They are overcharging for services and taking advantage of customers’ wallets … and their emotions. What customer is going to say no to an up-charged belly rub, a cookie before bed, extra play time, or specialized attention? At Hounds Town, we offer all of these things for FREE.”

The pet care franchise works off of an all-inclusive pricing system, which allows customers the opportunity to drop their dogs off in the morning as early as 6 a.m. and pick them up as late as 8 p.m. for one single price. “We will never take advantage of our customers,” says Bondanza. “Our straightforward and honest approach to pet care has translated very well to our franchise business model, and we intend to gain significant traction over the next 12-18 months with our brand expansion. We have something really great here.”

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