A LUNESDALE pet holiday company has won a top national award for its innovative franchising operation.
Barking Mad Pet Care Professionals, based at Barbon near Kirkby Lonsdale, was named the HSBC Franchisee Support Award winner at a glitzy ceremony in London.
The company, which has around 70 franchisees in Britain, was set up in 2000 by Lee Dancy to provide tailored holiday homes for man’s best friend. Since its launch, Barking Mad has organised more than 68,000 holidays for pet dogs.
Earlier this year it broke into the lucrative American pet holiday market after signing a deal which allows its service to be provided throughout the United States.
Barking Mad lifted the Franchisee Support Award at the HSBC held at the Honourable Artillery Company in London on Thursday. The franchise business impressed judges with its a ‘home from home’ holidays for dogs, providing an alternative to dog boarding kennels.
“With the service including round-the-clock care for dogs of all ages and sizes, Barking Mad provides a kennel service with a personal touch,” they said.
Mrs Dancy said: "We are absolutely thrilled with this award as it really is a fantastic achievement for all at Barking Mad. We are extremely proud of the support our team offers and they deserve it. We were a little shocked to beat the likes of O2 and Belvoir, who are big plcs, but we know the effort we have put in.
"I'd like to thank my team who made it happen and here's to 2014 as we have great plans and will follow up our success with more hard work to help our network grow."
The judges said: “Barking Mad is an impressive example of a franchisor that goes above and beyond to ensure its franchisees are fully equipped to deliver excellent services.
“With dedicated IT support for franchisees, its Franchisee Intranet Data Operator system allows professionals to control every aspect of their business. Its customer contact centre also supports franchisees with cost queries when they are away from their phone.
"All of these support systems showcase Barking Mad’s passion in delivering both quality services and franchisee support.”
Congratulating all the winners, Brian Smart, director general of the British Franchise Association, said: ”The relentless drive and continued success of these franchisors has contributed to yet another exceptional and inspirational year.
“Seeing franchisors from a variety of sectors, sizes and geographies achieving outstanding results is commendable. The judging panel was challenged with reviewing some of the best entries for franchisors in innovation, brand development and franchisee support they have seen.”