All American Pet Resorts
Unleashing Success: The All American Pet Resorts Growth Tale
A sanctuary for pets and a rewarding business for franchisees; All American Pet Resorts remains a unique franchise model with a customer-centric approach that fuels its remarkable success
Imagining an ideal setting for your beloved pets to vacation in your absence seems almost fanciful. What would such an accommodation look like? What would it provide? All American Pet Resorts LLC answers these questions with a definitive model that sets a new standard for pet care services.
Stephan Dimitroff, the Executive VP, succinctly describes it as an ecosystem that offers an “uncompromised level of care and comfort to our pets and peace of mind for their parents”. By going the extra mile, they ensure that their services are not just of a high caliber but are designed to ease the stress of parting with your furry friend.
Their secret is unending diligence. Every facility of All American Pet Resorts houses staff members around the clock. Dimitroff emphasizes the significance of their continuous presence,
“There is never a moment in any of our facilities where employees are not present in the resorts.” This remarkable dedication translates into quality care for your pet and helps pet parents unwind, knowing their pets are in capable hands, even at two in the morning.
However, it doesn’t stop there. All American Pet Resorts bids adieu to the conventional crate boarding system. Instead, they pioneer in providing ‘suites’, with comfortable raised beds, for the animals. “We do not board our pets in crates. They are in suites”, Dimitroff elucidates. These suites, no less than a pet paradise, promote a serene and relaxed atmosphere for your pet.
Adding another layer of reassurance for pet parents is the 24-hour webcam service. Anxious parents can monitor their pets’ activities and environment, ensuring that their fur babies are safe and well taken care of. Dimitroff asserts, “We have 24-hour webcams throughout our resorts so pet parents can watch and review and keep an eye on their dogs when they’re away.”
The primary goal of All American Pet Resorts is twofold. The company aims to offer an unparalleled experience for pets while simultaneously ensuring that pet parents can enjoy their time away. In Dimitroff’s words, “We want the pet parents to enjoy their time away as much as the pets are enjoying themselves while they’re staying with us at the resorts.”
Unleashing the Passion: A Personal Journey
Dimitroff’s journey with All American Pet Resorts commenced with a personal quest back in 2005. “My wife and I had a bull mastiff. His name was Hugo, and we were going on vacation and looking for a place to board Hugo when we lived in Royal Oak, Michigan,” he shares. The search was intensive, driven by an earnest desire to find the best care for their fur-baby, their first ‘child’. Dimitroff found solace in the Royal Oak location of All American Pet Resorts, the only facility that boasted round-the-clock staff and webcams for constant monitoring.
Intrigued and satisfied with the level of care and communication at the resort, Dimitroff found himself drawn to work with them. He recalls, “I took him there for a half day of daycare, then a full day of daycare, then an overnight stay while I was still in town. After I let Hugo stay there for a couple of nights, I happened to run into the owners, Art and Yolanda Rimbold, one day when they were visiting their resort, and I said to Art at one point, ‘I’d like to work for your organization.’
This personal narrative underscores the genuine affection and care that underlie All American Pet Resorts’ operations. “We want people and owners to feel good about what they do. Yes, it’s about lifestyle. It’s about income. But we also want to make a difference in the pet parents’ lives. And we love caring for pets,” Dimitroff asserts.
The Backbone of Care: Veterinary Support and Network Expansion
Access to veterinary care sits at the core of All American Pet Resorts’ service model, assuring the health and safety of the pets in their care. Yet, the corporation doesn’t tether itself to a singular national veterinary clinic or organization. Instead, they have strategically opted for affiliations with local vets at each of their locations.
This approach offers a layer of flexibility and autonomy to franchisees, allowing them to forge relationships within their local communities. “We deal with dogs from puppy to geriatric. We take them all, including diabetic dogs. The care of that dog is the most important part of what we do,” asserts Dimitroff.
Transitioning to the heart of All American Pet Resorts’ business model, Dimitroff elaborates on their franchising and expansion plans. “We currently have nine resorts in operation today. One is an affiliate location, and we have another location which has a soft opening scheduled this July in New Bern, North Carolina,” he shares. The corporation is also on the cusp of adding two more resorts, scheduled to be operational by 2024 in Asheville and Greensboro, North Carolina.
The Power of Rebranding: A Fresh Face for a Flourishing Franchise
A potent blend of enterprise, branding, and technology lies at the heart of All American Pet Resorts’ success, a fusion that has propelled its growth. Dimitroff recalls, “We took a holistic look at everything we did, our web presence, our marketing, digital presence. We looked at how we communicated with the customer and the market in general.”
In Dimitroff’s opinion, the original brand image did not mirror the quality of service and unique business model All American Pet Resorts provides. With the help of several partners and franchisees, they set about crafting a new logo, developing a brand new website, and reengineering their approach to customer interaction. Dimitroff remarks, “We’ve revamped the business and turned the company upside down, with significant improvements on core company processes which has paid significant dividends in growing our business.”
Also integral to this transformation has been the implementation of cutting-edge technology.
Despite pet boarding’s personal and emotional nature, Dimitroff maintains that technology’s role is critically important. For example, the new operational software in use at franchised locations facilitates online reservations and text message communication with customers, delivering real-time updates about their dogs and offering a glimpse into their pets’ experience.
The Investment Landscape: The Costs and Returns of a Canine Franchise
When it comes to joining the All American Pet Resorts family as a franchisee, the financial investment is substantial, but so too are the potential rewards. Dimitroff breaks down the figures: “The initial investment rounded off, ranges from $690,000 on the low end to a little over $1.5 million on the high end.”
These estimated costs relate to outfitting the property and commencing the business. As Dimitroff delineates, “It’s going to be your front of the house, your lobby, your reception. It’s going to include your pet suites, grooming area, food prep, storage, IT infrastructure, HVAC and air filtration systems, indoor and outdoor play areas, and parking.” These costs do not account for the physical building or land.
Return on investment, however, is a different matter. Dimitroff candidly admits, “Each location is a little bit different. It’s all dependent on where they’re located, their initial investment, and how quickly they can start generating positive cash flow.” He cautions, though, that specific timeframes for returns are not guaranteed and can vary based on location and market conditions.
Once a franchise agreement is signed, the journey to becoming a franchisee is a collaborative process. The corporate office, possessing valuable experiential knowledge, assists with the development process. Dimitroff explains, “We have some extremely powerful demographic tools that allow us to assist the franchisee in determining how that business might perform in that specific area.”
The evaluation process is not based on absolute value but is instead a comparison with existing locations, aiming to replicate and ideally surpass their success. Dimitroff illustrates this with an example: “If an individual picks a location in North Carolina, we will compare their location with other locations in our system to evaluate how well the new location would perform based on the other locations in a similar area with similar demographics.”
The Journey to Mastery: From Franchisee Onboarding to Celebrated Success
All American Pet Resorts has mastered the art of turning a new franchisee into a seasoned owner-operator. Once a franchise agreement is signed, the hands-on training commences. As Dimitroff explains, “We talk about workflow analysis and resort setup and design, marketing, IT staffing, business planning, kennel operations, basic and advanced pet care, site management, and financial training.” With over 200 hours of training, on-the-job guidance, and even an immersive experience in an operational resort, the program prepares franchisees to manage their resorts effectively.
This intense focus on quality and exceptional customer experience has not gone unnoticed. The company has recently been decorated with accolades. Dimitroff proudly points out, “In metro Detroit, there is what’s called a ‘Vote for the Best’ competition, and for two years in a row now, the five locations in metro Detroit have won Best Pet Boarding.” This recognition, according to him, is not merely about trophies and plaques but is a testament to the strong bond they’ve established with their customers.
When asked why he believes All American Pet Resorts outperforms its competition, Dimitroff is quick to credit their customer reviews. The positive online testimonials from pet parents tell a story of a place where dogs are excited to be, where owners feel they are care partners, and where remarkable experiences are created regularly. “Our handlers, our managers, our owners know the pet parents and know these dogs,” Dimitroff emphasizes, “It is a relationship between franchisees and pet parents.”
With their eyes on the future, All American Pet Resorts has set an ambitious growth target.
“We’re looking to grow 10 to 15 units per year. That’s the strategy right now,” Dimitroff shares.
“We are looking at markets throughout the United States. We’re working with people right now in Texas, Florida, Indiana, and Virginia.”
It is clear that he is confident they’ll hit these targets. However, growth for Dimitroff isn’t simply about numbers or expansion. “This is about creating successful business partnerships with our franchisees. It’s about helping people become successful business owners and achieving their dreams,” he concludes.
AT A GLANCE
All American Pet Resorts
What: A sanctuary for pets and a rewarding business for franchisees.
Where: Novi, Michigan (HQ)
Alpha Tech Pet, Inc. – www.alphatechpet.com
Alpha Tech Pet is a leader in the development of animal care cleaning products that are Scientifically formulated to get the dirtiest job done right. Founded in 1989 by Dr. Shawn Seitz, his 40 years of knowledge and education has helped the animal world be a cleaner and safer place.