Wired for work in the fast-paced, nimble world of those companies in the early stages of growth or orchestrating a turnaround, Paul G. Tuennerman, Chief Executive Officer for Dat Dog, brings 40 years of progressive experience in the hospitality industry and a distinguished record of accomplishments in both operations and development, with exceptional skills in navigating dynamic, demanding environments, leading cross-functional teams, while remaining pragmatic and focused.
Dat Dog, founded in 2011, has grown from a single, 475 Sq. Ft. “Hot Dog Stand” into a New Orleans culinary institution with a devoted following, offering an array of gourmet sausages, all-beef hot dogs, award-winning French fries, premium spirits and a sampling of local craft beers, in a brightly colored, unpolished environment. The critically acclaimed restaurant – touted by The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Travel Channel and Food Network – currently has three locations open in New Orleans, one in Lafayette, Louisiana, and franchise locations in College Station and Houston, Texas.
Chief Executive Officer
Reporting to the Ownership Group and charged with orchestrating a turnaround of this New Orleans icon, resetting the tone of the workplace, while building an effective culture.
Responsible for driving the overall brand strategy and performance of the company, leveraging all aspects of the business to rebuild a once highly profitable company.
Charged with creating an operations-centric culture and modeling values to support these changes, all while rebuilding the senior management team.
Working with the senior and restaurant-level management teams, helping them to harness the power of their co-workers to achieve both their individual as well as departmental goals.
Centralized the accounting process to reduce the administrative workload of the restaurant-level teams, while providing near-real-time information, related to their performance.
Working with the senior management team, developed both operational and training materials and programs to create parity in restaurant operations and the customer experience, across the system.
Founded in 1996, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is a leading and highly differentiated “QSR Plus” brand that serves high-quality, cooked-to-order 100% premium, fresh never frozen chicken tenderloin meals. Over the eight years from 2008 through 2016, the company experienced a compound annual growth rate of 20.7% in restaurants and 23.2% in revenues, expanding from seven to twenty-one states and the Middle East.
Senior Vice President, Business Development
Reporting directly to the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, and President, led business development initiatives for this $829MM fast-casual restaurant chain with 307 restaurants across 21 states and the Middle East.
Charged with exploring opportunities for growth outside of the prototypical street-side restaurant, including the evaluation of the non-traditional segment, joint ventures, franchise management services agreements, and other similar opportunities.
Conceptualized and implemented business development plans to expand into the non-traditional segment, including colleges, universities, sports & entertainment complexes, casinos, retail centers, and airports.
Tasked with leveraging company resources, to develop and sustain an infrastructure of human, material, and other resources, supporting the success of the franchise business partners while maintaining the integrity of the brand.
Worked closely with the 11 franchisee business partners on the development of individual 5-year business plans including real estate strategies for each market, growing the number of franchise restaurants from 13 to 83, generating $224MM in revenue in 2016.
Led the company’s international expansion strategy, evaluating opportunities in various foreign markets, taking into consideration supply chain, cultural, political, economic, and other factors.
Responsible for the company’s entry into the Middle-East, reporting to the company’s founder and president, coordinating among other things, supply chain, facility design and construction, marketing, training, legal, and the on-boarding of our international franchise partner, M.H. Alshaya Co. W.L.L..
Selected as a member of the “Red Box Team,” collaborating with the executive team on such matters as the 5-year business planning and annual budgeting process.
Reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer, developed and implemented new business strategies to leverage the untapped value of the brand and under-utilized company resources for this $260MM family-dining restaurant, operating in 15 states.
Conceptualized, authored, and actualized the creation of Piccadilly Food Service (PFS), which provides food management solutions to schools, colleges, universities, businesses, healthcare, and government organizations.
Developed and implemented a portfolio of proprietary retail concepts designed to reduce the firm’s dependence on the cafeteria business model and to support the further development of PFS.
Implemented and reinforced strategies to increase revenue productivity.
Led all aspects of market research and development, recruitment, training, and project proposals and budgeting for PFS.
Created proprietary brand operation manuals and established policy procedures regarding production specifications, purchasing, and negotiating contracts for food and supply distribution processes.
Attained a 95.7% close ratio on proposed business opportunities for PFS and secured contracts valued at more than $10MM annually in the first 36 months with schools, colleges, universities, businesses, healthcare, and government organizations.
Led a team of cross-functional professionals to successfully open and operate all five proprietary retail concepts and one express version of the core cafeteria concept, in multiple business accounts.
Other Professional Experience
The Dunhill Group – 1999 to 2004
Wood Dining Services, Inc. – 1994 to 1999
Morrison’s Hospitality Group – 1988 to 1994
Service America Corporation – 1986 to 1988
United States Navy – 1980 to 1986