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Franchising gives leaders an opportunity to shine


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Husband Doug and I are empty nesters, and so we can come home from work on, say, a Wednesday, and decide to go grab a quick bite out. One restaurant we like to frequent has a F. Scott Fitzgerald vibe, with craft cocktails and appetizers like lobster deviled eggs. We sit at the bar. It’s cozy.

Our last visit there was a disappointment, and it wasn’t the house martini or the charcuterie plate that made it so. It was the bartender.

It was a slow night, and she was the only one behind the bar. Apparently, her friends were seated in the back corner, and she spent most of the time talking with them. It took what seemed like an eternity to take our drink order. She served us, then left again to chat. Doug and I perused the menu (maybe we should get some sliders?), but we ultimately decided to call it quits. She was missing in action. We can take a hint.

I was reminded of that evening when I was reading this month’s issue of Franchise Times. Managing staff is no easy task, and the topic of people management pops up in many of the articles.

FT Restaurants Editor Nick Upton interviewed Mike Hamra, a multi-unit Panera Bread, Wendy’s and Noodles & Company franchisee who turns mediocre locations into stars. “I love being in this business because it is so leadership centric,” he told Nick. “The opportunity to make a difference for people that work here, that is a driver for me.”

The same theme turned up in Editor Laura Michaels’ discussion with Adenah Bayoh, a refugee from Liberia years ago who is now a successful real estate developer and IHOP franchisee. Bayoh, too, recognizes the importance of developing her employees. She thinks of them as “diamonds.”

“Diamonds are just stones,” she says, “but add a certain pressure and they become diamonds.”

Motivating your team is an important thread in our cover story this month, as well. Reported by Nick, it details the growth of GPS Hospitality, a multi-unit company built by Tom Garrett. GPS ranks No. 12 on our annual Restaurant 200 feature in this issue, which lists the top 200 restaurant franchisees in the nation based on sales. With more than 400 Burger King and Popeyes restaurants, his journey to lead his company to an eventual $1 billion in sales is not one he takes alone.

Mary Jo Larson

Mary Jo Larson

Publisher
Reach Mary Jo at 612-767-3208
or mlarson@franchisetimes.com

As one management team member says, “When Tom calls, you answer.” Inspiring that loyalty and motivation doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll want to read Nick’s story on how Garrett does it.

This month’s issues also features our franchisor profiles from our recent Franchise Finance & Growth Conference (to be known as the Franchise Investment Conference in 2020). From cannabis to chicken salad, you’ll get great growth advice and read an entertaining story or two, like the senior care founder who decided to start his business when he was pet sitting for a friend and the friend asked him to “look in on grandma” in the basement. You never know where inspiration will come from.

And don’t miss the debut of Laura’s column “Grab Bag,” a talk with franchise executives. You may learn their business philosophy, but more than likely you’ll be reading about their guilty pleasures. This is not your usual executive discussion.

And there’s so much more in this issue to educate and entertain. As F. Scott once said, “You don’t write something because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.”

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