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Yadav credits tough critic, his wife


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"When you stagnate in your organization, your business or your job, it’s because you got used to a way of doing things and you’re not thinking creatively.” -- Anil Yadav

‘If you don’t take the risk you’ll never see what’s behind the door,’ says Anil Yadav, who has jumped big most recently into TGI Friday’s. That sentiment—and an honest voice at home—are his keys to success.

What is your business motto?  

My mission statement is very simple: You want to be the most admired franchisee in the brand that you represent. In order to do that you have to do a lot of things right in operations, you have to be consistent, you got to grow, you got to help the brand, you have to be the brand player.

And what makes a good franchisor?

The brand needs to be in a growth mode, the brand needs to have a plan for what the next five to 10 years will look like and systems in place to make that a reality. If the brand comes up with a very ambitious goal like 300 restaurants in a year, or rebrand everything in two years, I need to know, how are you going to do that? More than that, is the trend turning against them? If you see the trend is turning around and they don’t have a good plan moving forward, we’ll move on.

Do you have your own unit goals?

I have never run after the number of units. Size has never been a deciding factor in my growth. I just do it the right way and keep growing from within and externally.

You focus on big, legacy brands. Why is that?

They’ve all had their ups and downs and have weathered the trends, not only the economic downturns but personal challenges that they’ve gone though. They’ve survived 30, 40, 50 years and if you do it right, you’re going to make it better

How are you managing the labor line?   

From our operational point of view, we’re looking at technology. We’re looking at every possible area from the top line to the bottom line to see where we can streamline or get some of the cost out. We’re talking to brands to figure out how to streamline some of the complexity in the organization to make productivity higher so you don’t need five people.

Nicholas Upton

Staff writer Nicholas Upton asks what makes multi-unit operators tick—and presents their slightly edited answers in this column in each issue. To suggest a subject, email nupton@franchisetimes.com.

What does that look like in practice?

We’re really pushing to change items that you don’t get credit for from the guest. For instance, if you’re tossing the salad in the back of the house, nobody is seeing it. So can we figure out a way to have it prepped beforehand?

Besides labor, what keeps you up at night?

Regulations, that really keeps me awake. Especially in California, it’s a highly regulated state and really creates a lot of turmoil from an operating standpoint with the IRS and labor laws; all have their own ways of interpreting how the law should look. Constant changes really sap a lot of businesses profit margin because it eats up the bottom line.

What guiding idea helped with your success?

One adage I always use is ‘don’t let the fear hold you back.’ I heard that from the CEO of Jack in the Box. A lot of people are fearful of taking that quantum leap. Look at what you enjoy, take the calculated risk and move forward. If you don’t take the risk, you’ll never see what’s behind the door.

Who was instrumental in your journey?

My wife, Vandana. You need a critic; you need an honest critic as much as you might not want to hear that all the time. She’s the biggest pillar in my success.

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