Can you share some financial strategies or practices that have been instrumental in the profitability of your units?
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Can you share some financial strategies or practices that have been instrumental in the profitability of your units?

Can you share some financial strategies or practices that have been instrumental in the profitability of your units?

One of my favorite sights each year at the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference (MUFC) is seeing franchisees engaged in animated conversations: one-to-one or in small groups, in a panel session or in the hallways, in the Exhibit Hall or having dinner and drinks together later that night.

Relationships are the backbone of franchising, beginning with the relationship between a franchisee and their franchisor. Over time, relationships with other franchisees (both within and outside of their brands) begin to grow, with multi-unit operators (MUOs) large and small sharing common problems and solutions, advice and perspective, and knowing there’s someone they trust to celebrate with when things go well and an encouraging, supportive voice when things get tough… and they do.

This year’s record-setting MUFC was a powerful reminder of the value of peer-to-peer, franchisee-to-franchisee relationships—and that’s exactly why Franchise Update Media created this newsletter. Featuring just one question per issue on a topic common to multi-unit restaurant operators, this newsletter is by MUOs for MUOs. In other words, for you.

Subscribe here.

HANNIBAL MYERS

Company: President & CEO, Global Restaurant Hospitality Group, LLC 

Brands: Church’s Chicken (41) in Southern CA and Western AZ

Years in franchising: 32 (27.5 on the franchisor side, 4.5 as a franchisee)

While there isn’t necessarily any limit to the financial strategies that can drive unit-level profitability, there are a few financial strategies that have been instrumental in driving the profitability of our best-performing units:

1) Being diligent about understanding the sales volume beyond which Unit Operating Profit increases exponentially, and investing any extra funds aimed at sales-building in those units that are at or beyond that trigger-point level in sales. This approach serves to maximize the Operating Profit flow-through efficiency of any incremental dollars deployed.

2) Working feverishly to leverage the greatest asset of every franchise system—the knowledge and experience of fellow franchisees—by mimicking the financial practices of my most successful peer franchisees. No need to recreate the wheel when others you trust in your brand’s system have implemented proven practices that are replicable.

3) Building bonus incentive programs that use retaining or building Unit Operating Profit as a trigger or gate for earning sales-building bonuses.

DAVID OSTROWE

Company: Founder & CEO, O&M Restaurant Group 

Brands: Personalized Management Associates, O&A Consulting, 180 Business Solutions, Career Lead, Captain D’s Seafood, Burger King, Taco Bueno, Taco Bell, Blaze Pizza

Years in franchising: 34 (24 on the franchisee side, 10 on the franchisor side)

In the dynamic landscape of franchising, our edge at O&M Restaurant Group is driven by a laser focus on financial and KPI oversight—which, contrary to what one might assume, doesn’t monopolize our time thanks to state-of-the-art software and custom dashboards.

Each day starts with a swift, yet thorough, 5–10 minute dive into the critical metrics of our operations. This quick scan covers everything from customer insights and digital engagement to inventory, labor costs, and sales trends. This isn’t just a task on my to-do list; it’s an integral part of my daily planning, setting the tone for the day and allowing for strategic adjustments on the fly.

This rigorous analysis isn’t just my personal routine; it’s a practice embedded in the very fabric of our company culture, one that I advocate every member of our team, especially unit managers, to adopt.

The rationale is simple, yet profound: real-time insights enable proactive decision-making. By staying attuned to daily KPIs, we empower our unit managers to not just react, but to anticipate and strategize. This not only drives profitability, it also positions us to scale aggressively. We’re not just keeping pace; we’re setting the pace. This approach has not only been instrumental in our profitability, but is the bedrock upon which we plan to expand our footprint and continue our legacy of excellence in the franchising arena.

It’s extremely hard to take action if you don’t have your data in real time. If you’re waiting for the data to take action, it’s probably too late.

FRANCHISEE BYTES

What do you consider your key accomplishments?

To be able to build a company from the ground up and have the complete support of my team to run operations smoothly if I am not involved.

—Joseph Omobogie is the 2024 American Dream MVP for achieving remarkable success in his new country. He is President/Owner of Golden Management LLC, which operates 14 Golden Chick, 11 Tropical Smoothie, 4 Marco’s Pizza, 2 Thai Express, and 1 Captain D’s.

Starting to invest in private equity funds, building up our family’s real estate portfolio, signing development agreements with Take 5, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and BurgerFi (some of our newest brand additions to the portfolio).

—Ali Chunara is the 2024 Noble Cause MVP for his organization’s passionate, unwavering support for those in need. Chunara Group of Companies operates a total of 180 units. Its other restaurant brands include Checker’s, Church’s Chicken, Dunkin’, Kale Me Crazy, Popeyes, Blaze Pizza, and Jimmy John’s.

Retention of managers and employees. Many of my present managers have been in the organization for more than 20 years. In fact, my original manager at my first franchise in Scottsdale Fashion Square is still working at that location.

—Steven Leibsohn, Owner, 35 Wetzel’s Pretzels, 2 food trucks, 1 Twisted by Wetzel’s

The American Dream! I worked my way up from a summer job out of high school as a Burger King hourly employee to multi-unit management and eventually a partner before selling out and becoming a Burger King franchisee on my own. Becoming the largest Salata franchisee. Most of all, building a freestanding kitchen where we cook, feed, and clothe poor children in Honduras.

—Joe Piro, President/Franchisee, Supreme Greens Franchise Group, 21 Salata Salad Kitchen, 3 Face Foundrié

Our team is made up of people from many cultural backgrounds and spans multiple generations. I’m proud of that diversity.

—Bryant Greene, Owner, Always Best Care Philly and Delaware, 15 Always Best Care Senior Services

Starting a cricket team. The whole founding principle of building great leaders, my mission, vision, and purpose, comes from my experience with cricket.

—Pathik Patel, President, VAAP Management, 16 Dunkin’, 1 Buffalo Wild Wings GO, 1 Curry Up Now

I am a three-time Manager of the Year nominee and a Toppers Road Dawg of the Year recipient. I’ve won various sales-increase and record-year awards and a President’s Award. My biggest achievement would be the back-to-back Franchisee of the Year awards I received in 2022 and 2023.

—Karl Malchow, Owner, Renegade Pizza LLC, 5 Toppers Pizza

I am the fourth generation of this family to lead Highland Ventures, which includes the Hoogland Restaurant Group. We have 117 Marco’s Pizzas with 10 more in development, making us the brand’s largest franchisee. We opened Marco’s 300th milestone location, and, after growing over time, we recently opened Marco’s milestone 1,200th in January 2024—a full circle moment that truly honors Marco’s incredible growth and how they’ve withstood the test of time.

—McLain Hoogland, President of Hoogland Restaurant Group, is the Single-Brand Leadership MVP for achieving leadership with a single brand.

Published: April 8th, 2024

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