global franchise newsletter sign up graphic

Stay in the know and receive the latest international franchising news, insight and investment opportunities

close catfish

Interview: Todd Haavind, VP of franchise sales at Camp Bow Wow

Interview: Todd Haavind, VP of franchise sales at Camp Bow Wow

Leading doggy day care and boarding franchise, Camp Bow Wow, has its sights locked on growing its presence in the Great White North in 2020. Todd Haavind, VP of franchise sales, talks key territories, growth strategy and how the brand keeps dog owners coming back for more

Keep up to date with the latest Global Franchise News sent straight to your inbox. Sign up here.

JF: Why a focus on Canada?

TH: We’ve currently got one location in Canada that has been there for around 10 years – it’s run by a friend of the founder, and by default became the sole licence holder for the whole of Canada. It’s one unit in Nova Scotia, which is an unusual first location. However, this shows that we’ve gone to Canada, done it and have been very well received, but folks maybe didn’t realize the brand was a franchise, so we haven’t really grown in the region yet.

JF: Where in the country are you looking to expand to?

TH: The larger markets like Toronto and Vancouver are higher cost markets, and we’ll probably be looking to partner with someone from a franchise background – perhaps even a multi-unit background – who wants to come in and open five or so units and scale the brand. In the smaller and mid-level markets, we’ll be looking to emulate what we did with our growth in the U.S.

With Toronto especially, we’re finding the real estate is very expensive, so we’re looking for a well-capitalized partner – it will help if they’ve already been involved with franchise concepts in that area and already figured out the ins and outs of franchising in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The GTA is an interesting place and requires a different model; it’s like Canada’s New York City, when it comes to franchising.

We’re looking for owners that want to own one or two units, as well as multi-unit owners. We’re probably not looking for a master franchise for the time being, though, as we’re going to be running the operation out of the U.S., and until we have a critical mass, we won’t have a franchisor in the country. We have a successful track record and we believe we can mirror it in Canada. The consumer habits are very similar, and while there are different cultural nuances, we’ve done this for 20 years and we know it’s a viable economic model.

JF: Why should someone invest in a Camp Bow Wow franchise?

TH: We’ve been franchising in the U.S. since 2003. We started in Boulder in Colorado and grew there, and we now have 172 units. We’ve grown thoughtfully and strategically; we haven’t just put flags in the ground and opened a bunch of units. We map out where we want to be and we vet partners thoroughly. First and foremost, we want people who are passionate about dogs. We want well-capitalized people, too – it’s not a small investment, and sits around the $1m mark.

“We have a successful track record and we believe we can mirror it in Canada”

We’ve got a great, strong economic model and grown more internally than externally, meaning that owners will usually open a unit, and grow their portfolio from there. Any time a unit comes up for sale, it’s usually one of our existing franchise owners that put up their hand to buy it. We keep evolving and innovating our model and we’re always listening to franchisees.

JF: 2019 saw a record number of franchises sold with a 16 per cent increase in units purchased. What contributed to this?

TH: We sold 32 new units in 2019. I’ve been in franchising since around 2001 and worked with lots of different brands, but I think with the economy being so strong right now, we get a lot of people wanting to invest in a passion project. Many prospective franchisees may have retired and made their money, and they come and search for us. We don’t seem to have to chase candidates; they find us. It’s a great concept to be involved in if you’re passionate about dogs.

JF: What kind of premises does a franchisee require to run a Camp Bow Wow business?

TH: We look for around 6,000-8,000 square feet of space, so it’s not your usual unit in a retail center. In fact, we don’t want camps in retail centers at all, as for the space we require, the rents will be very high. We prefer to be a few blocks off main and main. We like light industrial commercials, as we want the same demographics of the retail center. We also need a landlord who’s willing to create outdoor space.

Site selection is challenging but we have a real estate team that helps prospective franchisees through that process and it’s included in the franchise fee. When you sign up, you meet the retail estate team straight away and pre-map the markets by looking at the best trade areas and zip codes. Around 50 per cent of households own dogs, so it’s not like we have to go out and find dog owners. It’s more about income, traffic patterns, rent, space – it’s not a perfect science, but we’ve been doing it a long time and we’re good at it. We know how to layout the area [once the site is selected] to get a great return on every square foot to make sure it flows operationally, rather than haphazardly designing a premises.

JF: What sets Camp Bow Wow apart from other doggy day care franchises?

TH: Over the years people have come to know us as a safe place to be – they know that their dogs are going to have a great time and come back clean and happy. Our operational standards are extremely high and safety is our number one priority. We’ve got protocol around how many employees franchisees need to have to account for a certain number of dogs. We have a dog behavioral specialist that teaches our operations team to educate employees to monitor dog behavior, and they can anticipate any situations before they escalate.

There’s also a three-hour process which dogs must pass to be able to stay at Camp Bow Wow. It’s pretty thorough and dogs do get rejected, but it’s all about the welfare of the animals. On average we probably welcome about 70 to 80 dogs per day – some camps have well above that, and we usually say 100 dogs is a good day for camps. 60 per cent of our revenue is from boarding, and we find that dog owners who have used our services enjoyed it so much – sometimes the dog even has a better vacation than the owner! – that they continue to bring the dog back for daycare. We say that if you visit us four times, you’re a lifelong Camp Bow Wow customer.

you may be interested in

franchise directory

  • TaxAssist Accountants

    Business & Professional Services, Financial Services, <100K, Featured

  • Cafe2U

    Food & Catering, Coffee, Take-away, <100K, Featured

  • 800 Pizza

    Food & Catering, Fastfood, Pizza, Take-away, Featured

view more
Connect with Linkedin Logo
Global White Logo Click Here
Close button

WHAT DO WE USE YOUR INFORMATION FOR?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs) To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you) To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs) To process transactions your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature To send periodic emails The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order. Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

HOW DO WE PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be stored on our servers.

DO WE USE COOKIES?

Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information. We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart, understand and save your preferences for future visits, keep track of advertisements and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business.

DO WE DISCLOSE ANY INFORMATION TO OUTSIDE PARTIES?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

THIRD PARTY LINKS

Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.

CHILDRENS ONLINE PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT COMPLIANCE

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

ONLINE PRIVACY POLICY ONLY

This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Please also visit our Terms and Conditions section establishing the use, disclaimers, and limitations of liability governing the use of our website at globalfranchisemagazine.com/terms-conditions

YOUR CONSENT

By using our site, you consent to our online privacy policy.

CHANGES TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page

CONTACTING US

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us using the information below. All correspondence relating to the Website should be sent to: Global Franchise 21/23 Phoenix Court Hawkins Road Colchester Essex CO2 8JY Email: subscriptions@aceville.co.uk