Innovation Forum Speaker

André Vener

Founding Partner
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Dog Haus Worldwide

André Vener is a seasoned executive and award-winning pioneer in the hospitality space, with more than 25 years of expertise in restaurant development and franchising, large-scale event production and promotion, creative brand building and revenue generation.

André co-founded Dog Haus in October 2010, with the mission to elevate stadium food classics into gourmet culinary creations. Dog Haus has since expanded from its Pasadena, Calif., base to more than 75 locations across 20 states, including 50+ brick-and-mortar restaurants. André has helped spearhead the craft-casual brand's rapid expansion by embracing continuous menu innovation, cutting-edge technology and creative collaborations and partnerships, while consistently pushing both culinary and service boundaries in the ever- changing restaurant industry.

André’s willingness to innovate and adapt has helped Dog Haus earn numerous accolades, including Top 25 rankings on Fast Casual's "Movers & Shakers" list every year since 2020; a “Menu Masters Award” from Nation's Restaurant News and placement on its Top 500; listing on the prestigious Inc. 5000; a Zor Award (“Top Franchises to Buy”) from Franchise Times as well as a spot on its Top 400; and recognition as a "Top Food Franchise" by Entrepreneur. Both Dog Haus and its virtual concept, Bad-Ass Breakfast Burritos, were named “Breakout Brands” by QSR Magazine.

André has been interviewed as an industry expert on multiple national television networks, including CNN, FOX News and MSNBC, and has spoken at every major national restaurant and franchising conference – more than 50 in all. He and his partners were featured on the cover of QSR Magazine's April 2020 issue, and they have been profiled in Entrepreneur, Food & Wine and other national publications.

André has forged innovative partnerships with several major organizations. In 2018, Dog Haus opened branded concessions in 20 of Live Nation’s leading music venues across 13 states. Over the past five years, the brand has fed more than 1.5 million children via its partnership with No Kid Hungry, through Dog Haus’ groundbreaking Chef Collaboration and Absolute Würst Sausage Series.

This forward-thinking approach has helped Dog Haus thrive in both the brick-and-mortar and virtual restaurant spaces. One of its most successful strategies has been creation of The Absolute Brands – a suite of five virtual concepts available nationwide, including Bad-Ass Breakfast Burritos and Bad Mutha Clucka. Introduced in late 2019, The Absolute Brands became an overnight success and were credited with helping the brand and its franchise partners flourish through the worst of the pandemic.

Before entering the hospitality industry, André served for 10 years as CEO & President of the California Philharmonic. Under his leadership, the orchestra performed multiple annual concert series at world-renowned venues, including Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Ambassador Auditorium and the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. André then served as Executive Producer of Pasadena Entertainment, where he produced hundreds of events in venues of all sizes, including The Rose Bowl, Los Angeles County Arboretum and Santa Anita Racetrack. Prior to co-founding Dog Haus, André founded and operated redwhite+bluezz, an award-winning restaurant and jazz club in Pasadena that served great food, wine and live music nightly for nearly a decade.