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Every franchisee who relies on hourly employees has struggled with finding good, dependable staff and managers. There are some tricks of the trade, techniques, and processes that can help you interview better, hire smarter, train better, and retain longer. Successful franchisees are the ones with great employees who are passionate about the brand, its customers, the people they work for, and their own career advancement.

Find tips and insight from human resources experts, franchisees, and franchisors who know what it takes to hire, train, and retain top-performing employees.

Feature Story:

Multi-Unit Franchisee Expanding Capriotti's Nebraska Market »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Capriotti's Sandwich Shop now has two Lincoln, Nebraska locations open for business thanks to multi-unit franchisee Corey Tallman. He just opened his second location in downtown Lincoln earlier this month and has plans to open one more in the near future.
Tallman became familiar with the sandwich brand while he was living in and going to school in Phoenix. He says he fell in love with the subs after just one visit. So when he returned home to Nebraska he decided he wanted to own his own business. While researching business opportunities, he recalled his time in Arizona and the Capriotti's sandwiches he loved so much. He ultimately decided to bring the brand to Lincoln and opened his first restaurant in August of 2015.
"The new Capriotti's restaurant is located in the center of downtown, just steps away from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln," says Tallman...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: On Community Involvement »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Ed Wolak
Brands: 96 Dunkin' Donut locations

Explain the role of community involvement to you and your company:The Wolak Group has earned a strong reputation for social responsibility and community involvement. As our business continues to grow, so do our community commitments. We continue to grow existing relationships with local and national charitable organizations, such as the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation (Central New York and Maine chapters), the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals, and many more. We have also formed relationships with multiple cutting-edge companies to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce and re-channel our waste stream, and become an innovative "green" and sustainable business.

Feature Story:

Rushing Ahead: Former NFL Running Back Scores With Bojangles' »

By Kerry Pipes

Tshimanga "Tim" Biakabutuka, born in Kinshasa, Republic of Zaire in 1974, came to the U.S. with his family when he was just 6 years old. The family settled in Canada, in the Montreal area. Adapting to a new country and culture meant a lot of adjustments for him and his family, but they made the transition and built a new life for themselves. And, it turned out, the young boy had a hidden natural gift that was just a few years from being revealed.
Biakabutuka never played football until he was in high school. That's when he discovered he could run with a football and was good enough to earn the nickname "Touchdown Tim." His on-field abilities landed him a scholarship at the University of Michigan where he was a running back from 1993 until 1995...

Feature Story:

Former Marine Turns To Franchising »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Serving two decades in the Marines taught Fred Bowen a key lesson. "You are only as strong as your team is," says the 60-year-old multi-unit franchisee. He's applied that understanding to operating his 4 Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care franchise locations. The result has been a team-oriented culture that focuses on customer satisfaction.
Following 22 years in the Marines and nearly 6 more with the Oklahoma City Police Department, Bowen turned to a career in real estate. That's when he ran across an ad in the local newspaper for an auto repair shop that was looking for franchise investors. He began doing research and discovered he liked what the Cottman brand had to offer.
Bowen is always focused on his team. He looks to hire the best, train them well, and support them in as many ways as he can...

Feature Story:

2016 MVP Winners: Honoring Outstanding Multi-Unit Franchisees »

By Kerry Pipes & Eddy Goldberg

Franchisees work hard, provide jobs, help their communities, and inspire countless others to follow in the footsteps of their well-earned success. That's why we recognize the best of them each year with our Most Valuable Performer (MVP) Awards. Ten qualifying franchisees were chosen from a worthy group of their peers and honored at this year's Multi-Unit Franchising Conference at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Choosing MVPs is a lengthy, arduous process--also incredibly rewarding as we learn more about the lives and achievements of the many candidates. To qualify, franchisees must have at least five operating units and have been in a franchise system for a minimum of two years. This year's winners are power players, innovators, and creative thinkers with big hearts who genuinely care for both their employees and their communities and are working to make the world a better place...

Feature Story:

Family Business Perspective Matters »

By Kendall Rawls

An owner's perspective about the purpose and who the business serves directly impacts culture, ability to recruit and retain good people, and drive performance - all of which influences customer perceptions, revenue, and profits. In the franchise industry, often times, multi-unit franchisees do not intuitively view themselves as a family business owner. This misperception can and does have an impact on overall business success, sustainability, and value.
Is the purpose of your business to serve you and your ambitions? Or is the purpose of the business to serve and provide opportunity to your community? Is it a mix of both? If the mission and vision of your business includes serving those around you, then it is important to begin thinking like a family business owner...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Hiring And Taking Care Of Employees »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Michael Geiger
Brands: 7 Moe's Southwest Grill locations in Pennsylvania

How do you hire, retain, and take care of your employees? We've always looked at internal development as the first option. The average tenure of our upper management team is about eight years. The pace at which we have grown over the past three to four years has made exclusively promoting and moving internal candidates increasingly difficult, so we have been going outside the organization more recently.
Our average hourly wage is right about $10 an hour, about 40 percent higher than the state minimum wage. This, coupled with aggressive management bonus structures, has always been a focus for us. We expect premium performance and are willing to pay a premium wage for it...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Recruiting & Hiring »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Jeff Davis
Brands: 333 Arby's, 6 Taco Bueno in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming

How do you hire, fire, train, and retain? Recruiting and hiring the best talent we can find has been our number-one goal. We're always on the lookout for outstanding candidates. Given our growth, it's important for us to promote from within first and foremost. Our district managers and directors are the key to hiring and recruiting talent in the restaurants. We have processes in place to select the best candidate for the job, but at the end of the day it comes down to the candidates who can truly meet and support our company values and standards. Progressive discipline has always been our preferred method of trying to afford all employees the opportunity to improve...

Feature Story:

Leading By Example: How To Avoid Common Mistakes Even Smart Leaders Make »

By Dan Schneider

Admit it, you sometimes find yourself in a situation where you say to yourself, "Doh! I cannot believe I just did that!" Often it's something simple or small, but the fact that we showed some chink in our leadership armor shows we are not perfect, and we hate it. What we don't realize is that when we work so hard to be perfect and drive to exceed even our own expectations, we are constantly making some very common mistakes.

As leaders, we strive for everyone to see us as masters in our roles, the Obi-Wan Kenobi's of our universe. But the reality is that we actually get caught up in complacency and habitual routines. We also work in environments where it is rare for someone, especially a subordinate, to speak up and tell you that you are doing something that makes you look like a fool...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Finding And Keeping Talent »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Dan Ponder
Brands: 36 Hardee's in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia

How do you hire and fire, train and retain? We focus on hiring people with the right attitude. We can train anyone the technical skills, but we can't teach them to smile. I often ask when an employee is terminated if we did all that we could do as a company to help them succeed. We are putting more and more resources into training while at the same time developing tools that identify and reward good behavior. Given the high cost of replacing employees in today's market, we try to provide the best benefits we can at an affordable price. This will be the eighth year in a row that we have provided a 100 percent match for all employees that choose to participate in our 401(k) plan...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Community Involvement »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Adam Saxton
Brands: 67 McAlister's Deli locations
Explain the role of community involvement for you and your company: I believe the success or failure of a business depends on the community's support of that business and you can't ask for support if you aren't also willing to give it. I also believe that for anyone interested in community involvement or philanthropy that the first dollar you give should always be local, start at home before looking elsewhere. There are great needs in every town. Two recent examples: Our McAlister Deli's locations sold pink sugar cookies last October, as part of Cookies for a Cause, with a portion of the proceeds split among 13 local Susan G. Komen affiliates. In 31 days, 63 stores sold 36,105 treats, resulting in a donation of $18,052...

Feature Story:

Texas-Sized: Michael Knobelock Is Well On His Way To 100 Units »

By Kerry Pipes

They say everything's bigger in Texas. It's definitely bigger for Texan Michael Knobelock, whose Houston-based MSK Enterprises operates nearly 70 franchise locations spread across 4 different brands and 7 states. Since we profiled him 5 years ago, Knobelock has added Captain D's and Sears Appliance & Hardware stores to his Church's Chicken and Little Caesars stores. He also has his own restaurant, Dekker's Mesquite Grill, located in an affluent suburb of his hometown, along with plans to start building his own Italian restaurant this year.
He's come a long way since the 1980s, when he borrowed $10,000 from his parents to re-open a shuttered convenience store in Houston. He succeeded in that early business venture, which he eventually sold, and in 1992 used the proceeds to open his first Church's in Houston--becoming the first Church's franchisee in the city...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Team Leadership Qualities »

Todd Mulvahill
Brands:  6 Papa Murphy's Pizza locations
What are the important leadership qualities to you and to your team? How do others see you? What kind of party do you want? If you were to be transferred to one of my other restaurants tomorrow, what kind of party would your crew throw for you? Would it be a party of sadness, because they don't want you to leave them? Or would it be a party of joy because they can't stand working for you and they are elated that you are leaving? If any of our managers possess leadership qualities that would land them at the second party, they most likely should go find their happiness somewhere else.

Feature Story:

Millennial Psychology: Bringing Out The Best In Your Up-and-Comers »

By Jason Conrad

As I'm sure you've noticed in your dealings with Millennials, there can be significant differences between their attitudes and those of the Baby Boomers. What makes Millennials tick? How do their minds work, and how can we use that understanding to increase productivity in our businesses? Do Millennial leaders buy into the cliché portrayal of their generation as self-entitled, impatient, and erratic in the workplace? How do Gen Xers and Baby Boomers view these individuals as they rise within management ranks and take on leadership roles?
Millennials have much higher levels of perceived self-importance than their predecessors, typically brought on by the protection and emotional cheerleading of their Boomer parents. They crave career growth and progression and search not only for success, but also for meaning in their jobs and everyday lives...

Feature Story:

Multi-Unit Franchisee Bill Hall Elected Treasurer Of IFA »

franchising, leadership, dairy queen, multi-unit franchisee, investing, ifa

Longtime multi-unit franchisee and Multi-Unit Franchising Conference board member and former chair, Bill Hall, was named treasurer of the IFA at the board's summer meeting earlier this month. Hall has more than 35 years of franchising, financial management, and investing experience.
He has been a multi-unit franchisee of various brands since 1986 and is currently the CEO of Treats Investments, LLC, owner/operator of five Dairy Queen locations in Texas. He is also the CEO of Align Capital, LLC, a private equity firm in Austin, Texas, focused on investments for family offices. 
During his career he has also owned and operated community banks in Texas, independent restaurant concepts, various private equity operating companies, and real estate investments...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Taking Care Of Employees »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Brooke Wilson (and partner/husband Les)
Brands:  5 Two Men and a Truck

What are you doing to take care of your employees?  We recognize hard work, dedication, and loyalty.  Support their objectives and aspirations. Help them achieve their personal and professional goals.  Offer opportunities for advancement, and respect their wants if they are comfortable where they are.  We have brought in financial counselors to help them plan personal budgets to align with financial goals (like buying a new home, or paying for schooling).  We have provided training for business ownership and invested in business ownership via partnership in franchising.  

Feature Story:

Sibling Harmony: Leveraging Their Differences To Build A Company »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

In some ways, brothers Jesse and Charles Keyser, 39 and 35, are very different, and that's good. So are their three brands--Little Caesars, Sport Clips, and Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning--which also is good. They've built their business over the past decade, by leveraging Jesse's salesmanship and drive, Charles' operational skills and passion for food, and their combined social media savvy into a steadily expanding franchise company.
"Charles is my counterbalance," says Jesse. "He's a more conservative person. He makes sure I can go out and open doors at a quick pace without us getting into financial trouble. Before we sign a lease, we talk about it. If we both feel good, we do it. If one doesn't, we put it on hold."
Their division of duties has Charles in charge of operations for Little Caesars (their first franchise) and Oxi Fresh, which the brothers signed on with in 2014 after being impressed by the brand at the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference...

Feature Story:

Millennials Looking For More Purpose In The Workplace »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Millennials have something of a mixed reputation when it comes to work.
Studies show that they aren't loyal to employers so much as to the job itself. They also want to find a purpose to their careers beyond making money - which is a pretty good thing, says Jackie Dryden, co-author with Bethany Andell of Get Your Head Out of Your Bottom Line: And Build Your Brand on Purpose.
Companies have had a front row seat in recent years for watching the difference between Millennials and previous generations, the latter being motivated more by traditional incentives, such as money.
"Millennials might be feeling the backlash of receiving negative press but they are right - a company must first start with purpose; then innovation and profits follow...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Hiring, Training, And Retaining »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Todd and Kelly Mulvahill, Owner/President/CEO; Owner/Secretary
Brands: 6 Papa Murphy's Pizza; 14, Gyro Shack

How do you hire and fire, train and retain?We always try to hire and promote from within with management whenever possible. We have not gone outside the company for management now for three years. When we have gone outside, we use Indeed as a media tool to find candidates. If I'm guilty of one thing, it is leading a horse to the water trough too many times thinking they will drink and they just don't. I tend to believe everybody is good. But sometimes it's just clear, an employee needs to go find their happiness somewhere else when company standards are not followed. We have a main store that we call our training store...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Evaluating New Brands »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Sunny Ghai, President and CEO, Ghai Management Services Co.
Brands: Burger King (60), Taco Bell (9), Corner Bakery Cafe (2), Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza (1), Chevron (3), Conoco-Phillips 76 (2), Arco/AMPM (2)

What do you consider when evaluating new brands?The two biggest things we look at when adding a new brand are product and people. The most important thing is that you can't sell something you don't like. That was the first thing that attracted us to Taco Bell, its a brand my family has thoroughly enjoyed for years. When choosing Blaze, we actually compared it to its top competitors and the product was clearly far superior. In fact, we were on the verge of going with a different fast casual pizza concept when a chance meeting brought us to Blaze...


Learn More

2016 MVPs: Celebrating This Year's Outstanding Operators    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue III, 2016

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2016 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

Top Opportunities »

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