Dog Haus Names Its First CEO

Dog Haus Names Its First CEO

Dog Haus has named a restaurant industry veteran as the chain’s first chief executive as part of the company’s growth strategy. 

Michael Montagano joins the Pasadena hot dog, sausage and burger restaurant chain from Kitchen United, also in Pasadena, a virtual kitchen company that has worked with Dog Haus for the past four years.

The chief executive role is new to Dog Haus. The company has been led since its 2010 inception by founding partners and longtime friends Hagop Giragossian, Quasim Riaz and André Vener. Montagano will report to the three partners, who will continue in their respective roles, according to Dog Haus.

Vener said he believes Dog Haus is positioned for exponential growth and recognized the need to bolster its leadership team with a seasoned executive who can guide the brand, and its franchise partners, into the future – and he said Montagano checks all the boxes.

“Michael’s expertise in growing franchises, expanding virtual brands and delivery, and implementing new technologies and marketing strategies is exactly what we need as we capitalize on our momentum in the marketplace,” Vener added in a statement. 

Montagano, 42, will begin the new position this month. He has served on the Dog Haus board for nearly three years. 

The company has one corporate-owned restaurant in the Los Angeles area and the rest – more than 50 – are owned and operated by franchisees. 

Montagano’s approach is similar to what the company has been doing since it was founded 13 years ago, and that includes three core principles, he said. The first is service to the franchisees, while the second is to focus on the guest experience. 

“The third is to continue to grow the brand and bring Dog Haus’s incredible food to every corner of Southern California,” Montagano added. “We are pretty darn close to doing that, as well as the rest of the country.”

Not only is Dog Haus already in towns and cities in Southern California but 12 states as well, he said.

“Our focus is, again, to continue to serve our franchisees and help their businesses to become even better, continue to deliver great guest experiences to our end customers and to continue to grow and expand into core trade areas we are in today as well as new trade areas across the country,” Montagano continued.

Getting his start

Montagano grew up in the restaurant industry as both sets of his grandparents owned and operated eateries in the Midwest, teaching him from an early age what it took to make a successful restaurant. 

An attorney by trade, Montagano said that he had worked for a large law firm handling private equity matters – and the restaurant industry. It was that experience that got him interested in pursuing a career on the business side of the industry. 

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