Recognizing and Rewarding Success

As we like to say here, numbers tell only one part of the story. The individual franchisees who create those numbers flesh them out, give them character, make them come alive. That's why we profile successful operators each issue. Once again, we have benefited from the generosity of half a dozen multi-unit franchisees who have taken time from their busy lives to provide a window into how they live and work. By the way, all were recognized as 2011 MVP Award winners at the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference this April.

  • Doc Cohen has a sweet tooth for business--or at least a business for customers with a sweet tooth! Fifteen years ago, Cohen left his pharmacy and law degrees behind to become a franchisee. Today he operates more than two dozen units for Great American Cookies, Pretzelmaker, TCBY, and Coffee Beanery and in 2011 became the first franchisee inducted into the IFA's Hall of Fame.
  • Gary and Sally Myers are one husband and wife team who know how to succeed in business and in life. After more than 27 years as Sizzler franchisees and 34 years of marriage the couple is still growing and loving every minute of it.
  • Greg Thomas simply can't sit still. The self-professed ADHD always has his mind on his business and community, pondering ways to pour more of himself into both. He likes to buy distressed units and turn them around and now operates 13 Great Clips and 2 Smoothie Kings. Thomas also led a highly successful branding initiative for Great Clips that continues to pick up speed.
  • John Scharnweber was raised in the business. In college, he studied and restaurant management before turning back to the Being in the right place at the right time led him to become a franchisee, and today he oversees top-performing units for three Ground Rounds and four Denny's.
  • Kevin Hatton went from EMT to franchisee and back again... sort of. The South Carolina native keeps actively involved in Charleston, where he operates five Firehouse Subs shops. And because of his dedication to the community, he found himself talking to Anderson Cooper on CNN after equipment he'd purchased for a local fire department helped save a man's life.
  • Zane Tankel has taken Applebee's to the Big Apple and been wildly successful. He says one of his critical roles as a manager is to be a cheerleader for his employees. He's doing just that for his 35 Applebee's locations spread around the New York City metro area.

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