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Street Talk: Operators share points of view


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Isalmou Boussaa, Hicham El Abbassi

Isalmou Boussaa, Hicham El Abbassi

Isalmou Boussaa, Hicham El Abbassi
H&I Burgers

When it comes to the economy in the next year are you optimistic or pessimistic?

Very optimistic. We’ve seen lower pricing in commodities, in food cost, which won’t push us to raise our menu cost.

What is a potential threat to your particular line of work, and what are you doing about it?

Food safety is really important, as you’ve seen with Chipotle. Having a stronger food safety team in the company is a very important component. From a franchisor perspective, they should have more control of the source of food.

What are you hearing at this conference about the state of the capital markets, and franchise lending and financing in particular?

I think I’ve seen an ease in lending as opposed to the last 5 years in terms of accessing.  Things are getting easier, with the older lenders that is, but the new lenders are keeping it very tight. They’re trying to be very conservative and play it smart. One of the lenders mentioned to me “If I don’t feel 99.9 percent sure that my money is safe with the brand I will not lend.”


John Weber
Sport Clips

How do you feel about the current presidential campaign?

Crazy


Jerry Scott
Elmer’s

When it comes to the economy in the next year are you optimistic or pessimistic?

A little bit of both. Our company is Oregon-based, which just introduced a three-tier minimum wage. But, besides the wage issue, Egg N Joe Scottsdale recently opened and it’s beating expectations.

What’s a current trend you find will benefit your business?

Elmer’s was way ahead of the curve, since 1960, on the popularity of breakfast and we’re benefitting from the increased awareness of breakfast.

What is a potential threat to your particular line of work, and what are you doing about it?

Every month I get asked what is the biggest problem and I say regulatory compliance because of its cost and more importantly its time. There used to be this thing called free time, not where you’d relax, but you’d think about your business and how you were going to grow it. And now that free time is being eaten up by thinking about regulatory compliance.


Carl Howard
Fazoli’s

How do you feel about the current presidential campaign?

Embarrassed. Why aren’t we grooming young politicians the same way I groom young executives?

What’s a current trend you find will benefit your business?

The on-demand consumer. Our ability to communicate and benefit the on-demand consumer will really help Fazoli’s. If there is a way to receive it you’re going to get it.  

What is a potential threat to your particular line of work, and what are you doing about it?

We need to update our IT system, which is the same one I waited tables on.


Todd Magazine, Ed Yancey

Todd Magazine, Ed Yancey

Todd Magazine, Ed Yancey
Blink Fitness

When it comes to the economy in the next year are you optimistic or pessimistic?

I’m optimistic. We’re in the value fitness space so good or bad we’ll do well typically.

What’s a current trend you find will benefit your business?

Health and wellness. More and more people are concentrated on being healthy.


Doug Branigan, Bruce Dean, Robin Yoshimura
Black Bear Diner

What’s a current trend you find will benefit your business?

Breakfast all day. We’ve done it for 20 years, but now its being talked about.

What is a potential threat to your particular line of work, and what are you doing about it?

We’re California-based so minimum wage, but we don’t view it as a threat. We’re just going to have to learn to deal with it and evolve, which requires us to find great people to work for us.

When it comes to the economy in the next year are you optimistic or pessimistic?

Off the charts optimistic. Not a lot of home buying, people are saving money to spend elsewhere.

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