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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:

Community Come Together »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

There are two Checkers franchisees who believe that operating a business means being involved and giving back to the community. That's what partners Bruce Keehn and Andrew Lynn have been doing for years.
In 1996, when race riots ensued after a white police officer shot a 28-year-old black man in Paterson, N.J., news footage showed Checkers bags atop police cars, where Keehn and his people had placed them. In 2012, when Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey, their staff could be found everywhere giving away free Checkers food, even though one of their own restaurants had been hit hard.
"Everything that has happened in this area in the past 20 years, we've been there," says Keehn, who spent years at Burger King corporate before becoming a Checkers franchisee...

Feature Story:

Dominators Rule!: These Multi-Unit Operators Get It Done »

By Kerry Pipes

To celebrate and recognize the achievements of multi-unit and multi-brand franchisees, we again turn our annual focus to multi-unit franchisees we like to call "Dominators." They are determined to succeed and know how to get it done. They take on markets, competition, and the economy and keep on growing. They are fiercely competitive, want to be the best at what they do, and want the same for their management team and employees.
We've identified some great, savvy operators and are excited to bring their stories to you. We asked what drives them, what makes them tick, and what ticks them off. Each shares a unique tale of how they've traveled the rocky road to success, but all are united by hard work, hard knocks, and ultimate triumph.
This year's behind-the-scenes look at a group of thriving franchise owners tells us how--and why--they've made their business choices, how they've adapted to growth, and where they see themselves headed...

Feature Story:

Giving Back, Big-Time: Former Police Officer Still Assists Those In Need »

By Debbie Selinsky

Sam Anabi's time as a police officer in La Verne, Calif., laid the foundation for his business focus of helping those in need. He bought his first gas station in 1991, while still in training at the L.A. Sheriff's Academy. Injured in the line of duty, in 2001 Anabi left the force to focus on his gasoline retailing business. Today he operates more than 200 Shell stations in California, along with 10 Del Tacos and 13 Subways.
Anabi says his experience as a police officer has greatly influenced how he operates his business. "Being a police officer for so many years allowed me to become very keen and intuitive toward different circumstances of people," he says. "I believe that it is our responsibility to reach out and help those around us in need...

Feature Story:

Making The Cut »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Bobby and Lori Forrest came well-prepared for their second careers as multi-unit franchisees for Sport Clips. The couple grew up in Texas and met at Texas A&M University, where he graduated with a degree in engineering technology and she earned her master's in land economics and real estate.
As they approached 50 and decided to begin building their own business, they looked no further than the place where he gets his haircuts. "I was a customer and I liked the concept," he says. "We also liked their conservative approach of having franchisees continue to work their regular jobs until the shop was up and running. It took the pressure off the first couple of years while we were learning."
So after 27 years in sales and management with electronic components distributor, Bobby retired and joined forces with Lori, a commercial real estate appraiser, to buy two corporate Sport Clips salons and open a third...

Feature Story:

People Centered: Guests And Staff Both Reap The Rewards »

By Debbie Selinsky

Craig Joy, who works side by side with employees on the sandwich line at his Checkers restaurants in Florida, is known for his people-driven approach to business and the high retention rate of what he calls his "incredible team."
"We're lucky to have him," says Checkers Vice President for Franchise Development Jennifer Durham. "Crew members look to him as an inspirational leader. He gives them an opportunity to grow more than the average fast-food job. He cares about his people and really gives them an opportunity to grow professionally."
And it's clear that Joy, Checkers' 2013 Franchisee of the Year, takes pleasure in new, more efficient ways to operate his six restaurants in the Tampa area. For example, Checkers has a "Peak 150" strategy, meaning the time between order and food delivery is 150 seconds...

Feature Story:

Leading By Example: Partners Care For Employees And Community »

By Debbie Selinsky

Checkers co-franchisees Bruce Keehn and Andrew Lynn don't seek photo ops or newspaper articles about all the good they do in their communities. But their actions speak volumes.
In 1996, when race riots ensued after a white police officer shot a 28-year-old black man in Paterson, N.J., news footage showed Checkers bags atop police cars, where Keehn and his people had placed them. In 2012, when Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey, their staff could be found everywhere giving away free Checkers food, even though one of their own restaurants had been hit hard.
"Everything that has happened in this area in the past 20 years, we've been there," says Keehn, who spent years at Burger King corporate before becoming a Checkers franchisee...

Feature Story:

Employees Show Customers They Care »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Caring about customers is one of the best ways to differentiate your business and gain long-term consumer loyalty. But how can employers operationalize such a "soft" skill?
"Your best strategy is to teach your employees what caring about customers looks like in action," says Jon Gordon, best-selling author and speaker. "Suggest specific tactics they can employ. When they see how good it feels to care--and how good caring is for business--you'll receive your team's buy-in and continued participation."
Gordon notes that most of the tips he shares can also apply internally.
"Employees can apply these principles to their interactions with each other, too," he says. "How you treat your coworkers is how you'll treat customers--you can't separate the two!"
Here, Gordon shares 11 strategies employees can use to show customers (and each other) that they care:

Be present...

Feature Story:

Doing Well By Doing Good: Meeting Community Needs Pays Off In Houston  »

By Debbie Selinsky

Chris Moore, a multi-unit Watermill Express franchisee, is in the enviable position of knowing exactly who his customers are, what they want, and why—and where—they want it. This has allowed him not only to become a successful franchisee with 92 water purification vending kiosks across the Houston area, but also to contribute to the community in an unusual way.
“Our freestanding structures, often in the middle of a parking lot at a shopping center, allow people to get purified water gallons at a time and 24 hours a day. This works especially well in Sun Belt states, like Texas, Florida, and California,” he says.
“Our primary customer is a person from another country who didn’t trust the water system where they grew up and so always had to drink purified water...

Feature Story:

Multi-Unit Master Franchisee Bill Sole »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Bill Sole has been an Anago Cleaning Systems master franchisee for nine years. He opened his first franchise in 2005 in the Bay Area of Northern California, and today his commercial cleaning operation consists of 70 unit franchisees servicing more than 350 facilities in the Bay Area. The Anago Cleaning Systems is a commercial cleaning franchise brand that supports more than 35 master franchises and 2,400 unit franchisees throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Sole has just become the master franchisee for the Inland Empire area where he will service the counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ontario. His blend of strong business acumen and years of running successful Anago Master Franchises in San Jose and Greater Oakland in the Bay Area have created the foundation to drive new business ventures in this market...

Feature Story:

He Likes To Teach: U.S. Army Vet Prefers A Hands-On Approach »

By Debbie Selinsky

Jim Lager doesn't talk about himself a lot, but will allow that he's "pretty good at taking lousy businesses and turning them into something." Also, he says, "I'm not a 'maintain' kind of guy--I hire people to maintain. But helping people succeed is something I want to be remembered for."
Lager, a U.S. Army veteran and natural entrepreneur, knew he wanted to start his own business and work in a hands-on environment after his military stint in Germany. Back home, he earned an MBA from the University of Minnesota through the GI Bill, then signed on as Snap-On Tools franchisee in Plano, Tex.
As he grew his Snap-On business, Lager noticed the similarities between Snap-On and Pirtek USA, a mobile hydraulic and pneumatic hose repair brand...

Feature Story:

American Dreamer: Sharing The Wealth With Employees And Community »

By Debbie Selinsky

Nachhattar Chandi is not exaggerating when he describes his story as one that began with "colossal odds" and resulted in "triumph."
From walking 3 miles to school on India's dirt roads to founding and running a multimillion dollar business in his new country, Chandi believes his life embodies the American Dream. He came to the U.S. in 1991 and became a manager at a small gas station in Coachella, Calif. Three years later he owned the station and converted it into his first ARCO am/pm franchise.
Since then, Chandi, with his wife Susana and four children, has continued to build the business, creating hundreds of jobs in his Southern California communities. Today, the 43-year-old operates 17 ARCO am/pm locations, 3 Del Tacos, 6 Express Tunnel Car Washes, and one Subway...

Feature Story:

A Valued Leader: Craig Joy Takes Care Of Guests And His Employees »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

You'll find Craig Joy with his sleeves rolled up working alongside his employees at his Checkers restaurants in Florida. The multi-unit franchisee takes a people-driven approach to running his business and, as a result, maintains a very high retention rate for his employees.
His franchisor loves him too. "We're lucky to have him," says Checkers Vice President for Franchise Development Jennifer Durham. "Crew members look to him as an inspirational leader. He gives them an opportunity to grow more than the average fast-food job. He cares about his people and really gives them an opportunity to grow professionally."
And it's clear that Joy, Checkers' 2013 Franchisee of the Year, takes pleasure in new, more efficient ways to operate his six restaurants in the Tampa area...

Feature Story:

People Really Do Matter: Invest In Your People For Better Results »

By Nate DaPore

On a personal level, I bet 100 percent of you agree with me that people really do matter, but are you living it every day in your businesses? Based on a recent PeopleMatter Institute survey, 40 percent of businesses do not think they do a good job engaging their hourly workforce.
While managing the stress and logistical operations of a multiple location business, it can be easy to analyze and focus on productivity, efficiency, and sales to increase profits and remain successful. Streamlining processes, reducing overhead, and creating new marketing campaigns all can help you increase profits, but only to a degree. What truly separates the "good" from the "great" businesses is their people.

Your best untapped resource
Believing that your people really do matter in the workplace--and taking steps to show them how important they are to you and your business every day--will be a game changer for your company's success...

Feature Story:

Second Time Around: Husband-and-Wife Team Join Forces As Sport Clips Franchisees »

By Debbie Selinsky

Bobby and Lori Forrest came well-prepared for their second careers as multi-unit franchisees for Sport Clips. The couple grew up in Texas and met at Texas A&M University, where he graduated with a degree in engineering technology and she earned her master's in land economics and real estate.
As they approached 50 and decided to begin building their own business, they looked no further than the place where he gets his haircuts. "I was a customer and I liked the concept," he says. "We also liked their conservative approach of having franchisees continue to work their regular jobs until the shop was up and running. It took the pressure off the first couple of years while we were learning."
So after 27 years in sales and management with electronic components distributor, Bobby retired and joined forces with Lori, a commercial real estate appraiser, to buy two corporate Sport Clips salons and open a third...

Feature Story:

Franchise Development: Larry Lee Grows His McAlister's Restaurants From Texas Into New Mexico »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Larry Lee knows a great location when he sees one. After all, he was in real estate and shopping center development before he became a franchisee.
"Great locations will offset everything else," says the Texan, who has 16 McAlister's deli locations open, with plans to add two dozen more by 2015 as he expands beyond his base in Texas and New Mexico. Lee first ate in a McAlister's at one of his San Antonio shopping centers. "No matter how great your marketing is, you can't market your way out of a bad location," he says.
Lee says his learning curve as he entered franchising was relatively easy. "Franchising was a little new, but I knew about the real estate, of course, and the financing requirements. Dealing with a franchisor was a little different but that's gone well, too," he says...

Feature Story:

Man Of Many Hats: Former NFL Pro Thrives With Lots Of Balls In The Air »

By Debbie Selinsky

When you look at the life and career of multi-unit franchisee Don Davey, you'll notice a pattern. From professional football (he was an NFL defensive tackle for 10 years) to his 20-unit ownership of Firehouse Subs franchises to the six Ironman competitions he's completed, everything requires discipline, tenacity, focus, and a competitive nature.
Sound tough? Not to Davey, who was named the 2013 IFA's Franchisee of the Year. In fact, he eats it up. "As an entrepreneur, I love being completely responsible for both our successes and our failures. It's stressful, but extremely rewarding," he says.
"Some people look at my life as hectic and chaotic," says Davey, who earned bachelor and master's degrees in mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison...

Feature Story:

Added Value: Is Your Leadership Personality Helping Or Hurting Your Business? »

By Sally Hogshead

As an entrepreneur, you're often the face of your company, and your ability to capture attention, to fascinate others--clients, employees, strategic partners, influencers--can make or break a business. Every time you communicate, you're doing one of two things:

Feature Story:

Flight Path: Air Force Couple Splits Time Between Flying And Operating Mosquito Joe Franchise »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Jeff Deiters, 50, is a Chicago-native who has been flying planes for as long as he can remember and spends a bulk of his time up in the sky. He and his wife, Annette, met at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, and are both veterans. After 22 years of flying for the United States Air Force out of Andrews Air Force base in Maryland - including flying Air Force One and many senator and cabinet members - Jeff is now a corporate pilot, flying for brands such as Under Armour and Choice Hotels. Annette flies Boeing 767s internationally out of Washington-Dulles airport for United Airlines.
While the couple still flies extensively, they wanted to fill their time on the ground with a supplemental business opportunity and started exploring new ventures for ownership...

Feature Story:

Raising The Service Ante: Location Analytics Validates A Wow Experience »

By Jack Mackey

Customer expectations today are dramatically higher, thanks to the likes of Amazon, Zappos, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Ritz-Carlton, and Chick-fil-A, to name just a few of today's customer experience leaders. Once your customers have exceptional experiences dealing with companies like these, their expectations are permanently raised. This means your business is evaluated in the customer's mind in comparison with the best businesses in the world. If you deliver just an ordinary customer experience, rather than a highly satisfying (wow) experience, your business is just average in the customer's mind. And your customer's repeat visit behavior will reflect that judgment.
SMG recently demonstrated how much more effective highly satisfying customer experiences are in driving return visits by using location analytics...

Feature Story:

Brand Builder: Big Expansion Plans Ahead For Multi-State Operator »

By Debbie Selinsky

Larry Lee had a built-in advantage when he leveraged his career in real estate and shopping center development to include franchising.
"Great locations will offset everything else," says the Texan, who has 16 McAlister's deli locations open, with plans to add two dozen more by 2015 as he expands beyond his base in Texas and New Mexico. Lee first ate in a McAlister's at one of his San Antonio shopping centers. "No matter how great your marketing is, you can't market your way out of a bad location," he says.
Lee says his learning curve as he entered franchising was relatively easy. "Franchising was a little new, but I knew about the real estate, of course, and the financing requirements. Dealing with a franchisor was a little different but that's gone well, too," he says...



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