Firing Family can be Tough but Necessary
Firing your own relative is one of the toughest challenges for family-owned franchises, although a father-and-son Toppers Pizza franchisee in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, says if it has to be done, you have to do it.
Jon P. Crowe is the son in the above-mentioned pair, and he’s the general manager of their two stores, soon to be three. His father, Jon S. Crowe, manages the back-office and direct marketing efforts. Jon P. had to fire his own little brother. “I think he saw it coming. It wasn’t a very good fit,” he says.
Jon P. gained management experience at a Verizon store, where he learned to be direct and to address problems quickly. “It’s a business so you can’t really tolerate nonsense,” he says. If someone’s not performing and you do nothing, “you’re breaking your promise” to other employees. “It’s just a frank conversation you have to have.”
The Crowes and another family-owned franchisee, father-and-daughter Little Caesars owners Jim and Katrina Back, will share their stories at a Franchise Times-sponsored panel May 20 at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago.
Phil Toffel of Sage Hill Advisory will share advice on the panel for all family-owned franchises. “The expectations have to be really clear from day one, so you kind of safeguard the family relationship,” he says.