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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.


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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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