With the pandemic causing economic upheaval across a variety of industries, many franchise operators and investors are looking to diversify their portfolio. Consider pet care — a booming $100 billion industry that is expected to grow to $120 billion by 2023. Deemed an essential service, it has long been considered recession resistant and has now been proven to be COVID-19 resistant!

No matter their industry, the skills franchise operators have acquired will easily transfer to pet care. Franchisees are set up for success in this vertical because they are already used to managing complex operations and constantly dealing with recruitment and training, as well as customer relations.

Here, we look at three types of franchise operators who could easily transition into the pet care industry:

Restaurant Operators

Restaurants have incredibly thin profit margins in the best of times, and were hit especially hard during the pandemic. Restaurant owners looking to diversify should consider the benefits of the pet care industry. With no inventory or food costs to manage and cost of goods sold at less than three percent, the only key controllable expense at a dog care center is labor, making it simpler to operate than a restaurant. And when you choose a brand like Dogtopia, which focuses mainly on daycare as the primary service, the majority of the business is Monday through Friday, with limited nights and weekends. This alone is a welcome reprieve from the grind of the restaurant industry.

Health/Wellness Operators

Society’s increased preoccupation with nutrition and health is not just focused on humans, but has shifted to include pets as well. As the humanization of pets continues, it’s becoming important to ensure our four-legged family members have access to exercise and healthy food. Health and wellness operators can easily extend their knowledge to the pet care industry, as they are already well-versed in running a complex, competitive, customer-facing business. And unlike the struggles sometimes associated with finding qualified staff for health and wellness franchises, the pet care industry naturally attracts very passionate people who love working with animals and are willing to be trained.

Childcare Operators

From strict government regulations surrounding caregiver-to-child ratios and square footage requirements, to the struggle to find and retain qualified staff, a childcare business can be difficult to open and the operating costs remain high. Dog daycare centers and kennels are subject to local and state licensing, as well as health inspections and zoning rules, but do not run into the same extensive regulations and restrictions as the childcare industry. Meanwhile, changing family structures and lifestyles mean that pets are now being treated with the same affection as children. Whereas before people saw dog daycare as simply a solution to their busy schedules, more and more pet parents now see it as benefiting their furry family member’s health, behavior and socialization skills, making dog daycare similar to children’s daycare. Child care operators are ideally positioned to transition into the pet care industry, as they are already committed to safety, cleanliness, and maintaining a nurturing environment.

If you’re looking to diversify by joining the pet care industry, consider Dogtopia, which operates more than 150 locations today and has another 250 sold and in development. And with double digit same store sales growth for the past five years, Dogtopia’s financial model is only getting better. Prime territories are still available and we’re aggressively seeking franchise operators interested in diversifying their portfolios. Come take a look today!