Bill DiPaola

Bill DiPaola

President and Chief Operating Officer, Dat Dog

Dat Dog has had two big announcements so far this year and both are due to the work of Chief Operating Officer Bill DiPaola.

The popular hot dog restaurant opened in 2011 on Freret Street and within four years added three more locations on Magazine Street, Frenchmen Street and at Lakeside Mall.

By 2014, “things had leveled off,” says DiPaola. “They brought me in to see what I could do about it.”

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DiPaola’s resume included work at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Copeland’s and Brennan’s. “I had done a significant amount of franchise work and I realized that nobody had really weaponized the hot dog,” he says.

DiPaola is committed to doing just that by propelling Dat Dog to new markets. Starting late this year, Baton Rouge will receive the first of three new Dat Dogs thanks to the restaurant’s first wave of franchisees, local lawyers David Halpern and his nephew, Teva Sempel.

In May, news broke that Houston too would become part of the expansion, with 25 restaurants planned within the next 10 years through a partnership with B&G Food Enterprises, the first of which is set to open next year.

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A born and raised New Yorker, DiPaola says living through Hurricane Katrina solidified his love for the city. “I lost everything I had and what I learned here will never leave me. What we have here — the food, the music, the lifestyle — it’s a special thing. My ultimate goal is to use our expansion to tell the story of South Louisiana anywhere on earth that welcomes us,” adding, “and I’d like to know of a place where a good hot dog, burger and chicken sandwich won’t work.”


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