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Freddy's CEO Bill Simon Remembered for 'Steady Vision'


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Bill Simon

Bill Simon, co-founder, president and CEO of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, age 61, died December 17 after a battle with cancer, the Wichita, Kansas-based company announced today.
Simon credits much of his professional success to his father, Freddy, who encouraged him at an early age to pursue his entrepreneurial interests by mowing yards and gardening, and manufacturing and selling landscaping fixtures, the company said.

Simon founded Freddy’s in 2002 along with his brother Randy, father Freddy, and friend and business partner Scott Redler. The original intention was for the restaurant to be a single location, a casual burger joint where the group would gather with their families. “Instead, it became a local sensation,” the company said.

Simon served at the helm of Freddy’s for more than 14 years and was instrumental in growing the concept from a single 2,400-square-foot restaurant to a nationwide chain serving more than 1 million guests each week. “He led the company through unparalleled growth with a steady vision, and encouraged everyone he encountered to maximize their potential,” the company said.

Freddy’s ranked No. 5 on Franchise Times Fast & Serious list, to be published in January, and Simon answered questions about driving sustainable growth in this way: The brand has slimmed turnover with a robust training program that brings new managers to the flagship restaurant for a full week of training. “It’s quite a challenge and an investment for us, the franchisor, as well as our franchisees,” said Simon, “but one we truly believe pays off in the end with lower management turnover among our franchised restaurants.”

Simon continued: “We truly have a brand that’s driven by individuals who are passionate about the work they do and believe wholeheartedly in the concept and our core values.”

Simon is survived by this wife, Sally, their five adult children and one grandson, along with his parents, three brothers, one sister and a large extended family.

“The warm and inviting energy of each Freddy’s restaurant will carry Bill’s legacy forward,” said his brother Randy Simon, CFO and co-founder of Freddy’s, in the company’s statement.

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Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
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Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner can be reached at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
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