Dog Haus names Michael Montagano CEO

The former Kitchen United chief executive will become the first CEO in in the Pasadena, Calif.-based chain’s history.
Michael Montagano
Michael Montagano | Photo courtesy of Dog Haus

Dog Haus decided now was the time to get a CEO.

The Pasadena, Calif.-based hot dog and burger chain on Monday named Michael Montagano its first CEO.

Montagano has spent the past three years on the Dog Haus board of directors and has worked with the company as a commercial partner since 2018.

He is the first CEO in the 13-year-old company’s history. Dog Haus had been led by founding partners Hagop Giragossian, Quasim Riaz and Andre Vener. Montagano will report to the trio.

“We believe Dog Haus is positioned for exponential growth and, as such, we recognize the need to bolster our leadership team with a seasoned executive who can guide this brand, and our franchise partners, into the future,” Vener said in a statement. “And Michael checks all the boxes.”

Montagano brings a unique perspective to Dog Haus, given his history with Kitchen United. Dog Haus has a suite of virtual concepts it calls The Absolute Brands, including Bad Ass Breakfast Burritos and Bad Mother Clucka that account for 20% of the company’s system sales. He will also focus on off-premise sales that now account for about half of company revenues.

Dog Haus finished 2022 with just under $70 million in system sales and 51 total locations.

Montagano helped grow Kitchen United to more than 150 locations across the country and secured partnerships with a variety of large-scale companies, including Restaurant Brands International, Kroger and Alimentation Couche-Tard, the owner of the Circle-K convenience store chain.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Wendy's, whose chairman is an activist, may be getting an activist

The Bottom Line: Activist investor Blackwells apparently plans to nominate “several directors” to the burger chain’s board, according to Reuters.


Yes, there is such a thing as too fast in the quick-service world

The Bottom Line: In a world of digital orders and drive-thrus, friendly service actually matters more than speed.


BK franchisee Carrols goes from tragedy to triumph

The big Burger King franchisee has overcome a pandemic, inflation, questions about its future and the death of multiple executives to become the industry’s best turnaround story of 2023.


More from our partners