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A rendering of the model restaurant for the Dog Haus Biergarten concept.
A rendering of the model restaurant for the Dog Haus Biergarten concept. (provided)

California-based Dog Haus, a fast casual restaurant chain featuring gourmet hot dogs, sausages and burgers, plans to expand into Florida in 2017 with one or more franchisees, and is seeking undeveloped sites or existing buildings to retrofit for its new Biergarten concept, partners with the company told GrowthSpotter.

American Development Partners has signed a development agreement with the group that includes facilitating the land acquisition and construction for more than 300 new franchise locations in 12 states over the next seven years.

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First opened in Pasadena in 2010, Dog Haus now has 21 stores open in five states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah).

The company's expansion eastward involves 14 states -- 12 through the deal with ADP, 10 of which are new including Florida -- with more than 450 franchise locations the company's goal by 2023.

ADP is actively looking for commercial real estate in Central Florida for the franchise locations, partner Quasim Riaz said on Wednesday. That includes undeveloped sites of 0.5 acres to 1.5 acres for build-to-suit, or existing restaurant buildings of 2,000 square feet to 3,000 square feet that can be retrofitted.

"Like everyone, we're looking for good visibility, high traffic counts, and for existing buildings they must have ample parking and anywhere from 750 to 1,500 square feet for a patio," Riaz said. "All of our developments will be the Dog Haus Biergarten model," meaning new sites must have local government approval to sell the chain's selection of craft beer and wine.

The partners expect Dog Haus to have its first stores in Florida under construction or open by the end of 2017, but the right real estate will dictate how fast they can move, Riaz said.

"We have to acquire the land and get local planning approvals, but development in Florida is a Phase 1 focus," said partner André Vener.

The company's Florida franchisee now under contract will be expected to open a cluster of stores in the state beginning next year, as opposed to a piecemeal effort. They've agreed to develop more than 60 locations across the state in seven years, Vener said.

The partners already approved one franchisee in Florida who will develop territories that include Orlando. It's a veteran multi-unit operator that Dog Haus partners declined to name on Wednesday, due to the franchisee still being in the process of exiting relationships with other restaurant brands.

"He will be developing quite a bit of Florida, but there may be an opportunity for another multi-unit operator," Vener said.

Investment in the construction of a new Dog Haus location is estimated between $600,000 and $750,000, excluding land acquisition.

Riaz, Vener and partner Hagop Giragossian decided to franchise Dog Haus in 2013. The chain features all-beef skinless hot dogs, hand-crafted sausages and hamburgers made from humanely raised cattle, all served on grilled Hawaiian rolls.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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