Dogtopia is proud to be ranked No. 12 as one of the smartest-growing franchises on Franchise Times’ 2020 Fast & Serious list jumping 18 spots from No. 30 in 2019.

As Dogtopia completed its 2018 strategic planning process, CEO Neil Gill came away with an overarching goal for expanding with new locations. “I want to build them faster and cheaper and I want happier franchisees,” he said. Working with Kathy Halter, vice president of new center development, Gill and the executive team improved Dogtopia’s real estate process, brought in commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield and geo-mapping technology, and “cut $100,000 out of our cap-ex just by getting smarter with our vendors and suppliers,” said Gill, referring to capital expenditure. Whereas before it might take some franchisees three years to get their first location open, the standard now is 12 months from agreement signing, with some centers opening in nine. Dogtopia shot up 18 spots on this year’s Fast & Serious list from No. 30 thanks to its 116.2 percent sales growth and 89.3 percent unit growth from 2017 to 2019. Gill credited what the brand calls its noble cause, to enhance the joy of dog parenthood and enable dogs to positively change our world, for providing him with an anchor as he makes decisions. When franchisees are happy and profitable, he posited, it means they’re able to serve that cause. Return on investment is “the ultimate in sustainable growth,” he continued, and to improve ROI Dogtopia developed resources aimed at helping franchisees dedicate key roles to people at the unit level and build the skill sets of their teams. “It helps franchisees step out of the day-to-day a little bit so they can really look at how they can grow the business,” Gill said.

To read the full 2020 Fast & Serious list, click here