Learning on the job never ends, and never gets old
I’m older. I’ve figured some things out. It’s not like I’m back at the first Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, the dealmaking event put on by our sister publication, The Restaurant Finance Monitor, every November. I was a mere youngster back then, and was one of the few women in the room at the time, and for the next few years after that, as well.
It was intimidating. Like I said, I was young. I had to suck it up, step out and talk to professionals who knew a lot more about the topic than I did. I thought at the time, “What can I possibly bring to the conversation?”
I ended up asking a lot of questions and then just listening. And over the years, working for both publications, talking to finance executives day in, day out, I found out I didn’t need to show how much I knew—I was getting the education of a lifetime.
So I was a little jealous of Franchise Times Editor-at-Large Nancy Weingartner, when I was reading her feature on Valerie Daniels-Carter, the subject of our cover story in this month’s issue. I wanted to ask the questions of this pioneer. I wanted to be the one in the room.
Daniels-Carter, along with her brother, is a franchisee of Burger King, Pizza Hut and other food concepts. As Nancy writes, back when she was trying to buy her first franchise, Daniels-Carter wasn’t the franchisor’s ideal candidate. She was an African-American woman. “There wasn’t a welcome mat for females and minorities,” she told Nancy about her first foray into franchising in the ‘80s.
But she’s not bitter, and you better believe it didn’t stop her. In fact, reading the account, I think that’s the kind of thing that motivated her. Fast forward, and today her company operates 114 locations.
There’s so much more to her story than the restaurants, however. It seems to me the restaurants help her do her other life’s work. I won’t tell you what that is, because I don’t want to take the fun out of reading her story for you. I do know this: You will walk away inspired.
The rest of this issue is packed with great information. Who doesn’t want to know which franchises are arriving here in the U.S. from other countries? While the U.S. has been a champion in exporting franchises, we have some food on the way from Paris, Israel, Germany and Brazil.
With real estate ever at a premium, Franchise Times reporter Nick Upton reveals how some concepts are dealing with it. If you want to grow, you can’t wait for a downturn. But you can get creative, he writes. One franchise has even gone into a local YMCA.
Have you ever wondered where healthy fast-casual restaurants source their bizarre menu items, like bee pollen and camu camu fruit at Vitality Bowls, or bone broth at CoreLife Eatery? Nick hunts it down.
And what happens when franchisees from around the country storm Capital Hill to lobby Congress on behalf of franchising? This year Associate Editor Tom Kaiser was there, and reports how the International Franchise Association has a new, more bipartisan tone at the top and also an emphasis on training ‘zees to be more effective when they do gain their representative’s ear.
This month’s magazine also highlights the top legal cases for 2016, high-tech traffic counters and hospitality redux.
It’s all of this and much, much more. I don’t know about you, but Franchise Times is still part of my education. I guarantee it can be part of yours.