MUTTS Canine Cantina, Buzzed Bull Creamery and Stoner’s Pizza Joint are offering engaging customer experiences that are worth buzzing about.
Today’s consumers gravitate toward brands that play up the innovative fun factor—even if that means the sole motivator for a purchase decision is a solid Instagram post.
For franchises emerging amid this “Okay, but who cares?” market, branding must be strong enough to break through all the noise while offering up a new experience worth talking about.
Here are three new brands that are building buzz—and helping their customers maintain theirs.
MUTTS Canine Cantina
From paint and sips to “boozy” anything (more on that later), fusion concepts are all the rage right now.
MUTTS Canine Cantina, a fast-casual/bar/dog park hybrid, takes that idea to the next level.
“We thought this was a great opportunity to be able to tap into the millennial market where they don’t want to leave their pet at home or hire a pet sitter,” MUTTS co-founder Kyle Noonan recently told QSR Magazine. “They want to be able to take their dogs to work or go out to eat with their dog. There was no concept built with that in mind, so we thought it was a great opportunity.”
MUTTS currently has two units in the Dallas-Forth Worth area and is targeting growth in the Sunbelt states. Though it only began franchising in 2018, the brand is already licking the competition with its differentiated offering.
While many restaurants claim dog-friendly patios, MUTTS’ off-leash premises provide an environment hard to find anywhere else. The concept encourages human guests to hang out for hours, eating and drinking while their pups romp freely.
The concept capitalizes on another patio staple—alcohol—with a full bar and nostalgic, boozy popsicles intended to be added to its popular frozen margaritas. And because no one deserves to be left out of the photos, there are also (non-alcoholic) pupsicles for the hounds.
Buzzed Bull Creamery
As more millennials and Gen Z-ers dabble in #SoberCuriosity, the option to explore (or forgo) booze-infused foods can encourage moderation while shifting focus from getting drunk back onto spending quality time with friends.
Buzzed Bull Creamery provides a unique booze-infused experience outside of traditional bars and restaurants. With more than 30 available flavors and 20 toppings, the brand offers both alcoholic and non-alcoholic ice creams and milkshakes.
According to QSR Magazine, Buzzed Bull is the first U.S.-based creamery to infuse alcohol into ice cream with liquid nitrogen—an experience certainly worth posting about.
“Kids and adults alike love the smoke that the nitrogen creates,” writes QSR Magazine. “Adults can enjoy their favorite cocktail transformed….while kids are captivated by the mad scientist experiment to create their custom ice cream.”
The Cincinnati-based brand began franchising in 2018. With one of four units now open in North Carolina and another coming soon to Georgia, Buzzed Bull Creamery is reportedly bringing its unique take on dessert across eight states.
Stoner’s Pizza Joint
Sometimes the buzz already exists, and franchises just have to capitalize on it with proper branding. That’s what Stoner’s Pizza Joint is doing by strategically targeting colleges towns and markets that will appreciate its overt name. In March, the brand even hired a certified pizzaiola with experience cooking with cannabis and CBD to tap into current cultural shifts and trends.
In 2018, HospitalityX purchased and revamped the mom-and-pop brand by closing failing stores, integrating mobile ordering and redesigning units from the inside out. Now, the Charleston, South Carolina-based chain plans to grow from 15 to 100 stores by 2023.
Even as brands answer the demand for delivery and ordering technology common in the food industry, Stoner’s Pizza knows to focus on the experiences and personal touches that are crucial to building buzz.
“We want to be more than just a pizza parlor, but a 360-degree experience where everything you see, touch, hear and smell in the store has all been curated into an experience to make you ultimately feel better than you did when you walked in,” Nick Bergelt, Stoner’s chief concept officer, told QSR Magazine.
When it comes down to it, an emerging brand can certainly build buzz around itself—but by simply focusing on creating a fun, engaging experience, consumers may just do it themselves.