The term franchise feels antithetical to the craft beer industry, but with the right mission, a franchise can help further the long-term growth of the industry. Part of what makes a franchise feel sterile or inauthentic (i.e. anti-craft) is how the model traditionally works: create a homogeneous experience and product that can be easily replicated across the country. That wide spread tactic just screams Big Beer, but if you keep the strategy of spreading a single concept far and wide, and infuse it with craft beer — viola, you have exposed more people to the craft beer experience.
We know some chains like TGI Fridays and the like are featuring more craft beers on their tap lists, but there are other growing franchises making craft beer integral to their brand, which is cool.
Dog Haus to open 300 new locations with local beer focus
Dog Haus, the celebrated Pasadena, Calif.-based gourmet hot dog, sausage and burger concept, for example, just announced a development agreement with American Development Partners which will include the construction of over 300 new Dog Haus franchise locations in 12 states over the next seven years, making it one of the fastest growing food concepts in the United States.
The new locations are slated to be constructed on land primarily purchased for “built to suit” and stand-alone Dog Haus Biergarten concepts, and will be operated by veteran franchisees with extensive multi-unit and multi-brand experience.
Dog Haus currently has 21 stores open in five states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah) which will now grow to 19 states across the country with stores set to open in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Wyoming.
Alongside the signature all beef skinless Haus Dogs and the Haus Sausages and premium Haus Burgers the company’s inspired toppings, premium soft-serve ice cream and ambitious craft beer program that highlights local beer further pushes the envelope of what is expected in the upscale fast casual sector.
Rock Bottom launches Tasting Tuesday
The Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery franchise doesn’t have a direct line to help you sell your wares like the Dog Haus, but every new Rock Bottom franchise that opens up instead of an Applebees helps to further ingrain the idea of “local beer” among casual eaters and drinkers.
Rock Bottom’s latest promotion, “Tasting Tuesday,” is meant to celebrate craft beer nationwide and promote the exploration of unique beer styles. At all 32 Rock Bottom locations throughout the country, every Tuesday guests can select from five 1 oz. pours for only $4. With five-featured beer styles to choose from, guests can enjoy a variety of craft beer creations brewed on-site by local award-winning Rock Bottom brewers.
Featured beer styles include: Hoppy, Wheaty, Fruity & Spicy, Crisp & Refreshing, Malty and Dark & Roasty. Customers can use a simple guide as a menu tool when they select a beer style to complement the menu item they will be enjoying during their visit. Rock Bottom offers a fun infographic that includes beer and food icons to make pairings easy and interactive for guests.
These are certainly small news items, but Rome didn’t get addicted to IPAs in a day — every little bit can help.