Guillermo Medellin Growing Russo's New York Pizzeria In Houston

Guillermo Medellin Growing Russo's New York Pizzeria In Houston

Guillermo Medellin came to the United States from Mexico searching for the American dream. Though he had no previous experience in franchising, he applied his business knowledge and work ethic and purchased his first Russo's New York Pizzeria in Houston in 2009. Today he operates three successful locations and is looking for more. He's a hands-on operator who is in his stores every day and has a passion for customer service and for seeing his people grow through advancement.

Name: Guillermo Medellin
Title: Owner
Company: Russo's New York Pizzeria is the brand name - each location is under a different company name
No. of units by brand: Three
Age: 44
Family: Wife (Debra), and two daughters ages 8 and 11

Years in franchising: My background is in manufacturing. I worked in the industry in Mexico, my home country, until I moved to the United States (Houston) back in 2009 and invested in my first Russo's New York Pizzeria. The location had been open since 2007. I bought the existing unit.

Years in current position: 6

Key accomplishments: My most proud accomplishment is growing the business to three locations. And, doing so with the ability to add more locations down the road.

Work week:
I am on call seven days a comes with the territory. But, primarily, my schedule is Monday through Friday. I am in my restaurants every day, yet I have great managers. They make all the difference for me.

How do you spend a typical day?
My first priority each day is to visit all three locations. I talk with the managers to see what they need in order to achieve the goals we have set. Together, we identify areas of opportunity for improvement and we look at customer feedback that we have received at the restaurants as well as online. The rest of my day is spent developing marketing strategies, ordering and other needed supplies, handling the payroll and paying bills.

What's your passion in business?
What I love most about business is working with people and seeing them grow as professionals. Together, we feel our best when our customers give us positive feedback. We love serving our customers.

Business philosophy:
Keep it simple and maintain a trusting environment.

Management method or style:
I'm a little of everything, hands on, yet trusting because I want to let my managers and staff reach their potential. I love to set objectives and goals and then work with our team to support their ability to reach the goals.

Greatest challenge:
Find the right people to be part of our family.

How close are you to operations?
I am very close, but not very involved in the operations. My finger is on the pulse of everything that is happening at our restaurants, yet I am not operating the restaurants.

2015 goals:
Making all three restaurants profitable.

Growth meter: How do you measure your growth?
Store performance is the best measure. We are always tracking sales and profits.

Vision meter: Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years?
In five years, I hope I have five stores running and profitable with an excellent staff so that we can keep growing. In 10 years, we'll have up to 10 units open. My involvement beyond that will truly depend on the direction of the brand. I hope by this time that we have a unit open in Mexico City as well.

Where do you find capital for expansion?
I am self-funded and have small group of private investors.

What are you doing to take care of your employees?
We treat our employees with respect. We offer them competitive wages and we give them ample opportunity for promotion.

How do you reward/recognize top-performing employees?
We reward them with internal recognition, job promotions, and wage increases.

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