Mark Frank's Blog (13)

Circumstance has given us lemons, make lemonaid

These are the worst of times for most in our industry; I don’t have to tell anyone that. In the past several months I’ve seen a lot of negativity at a time when we should be experiencing the opposite in terms of outward expression of attitude. I wonder why and yet the answer is relatively clear, managers and owners are afraid. These are times, the likes of which most managers and restaurant operators have never seen and while I could rehash the news, which is mostly bad, you know it anyway;… Continue

Added by Mark Frank on April 1, 2009 at 6:54am — 4 Comments

I feel so sorry for this poor guy

A friend of mine told me a franchisee he knows recently opened a restaurant with 30 seats. This restaurant costs 450K and the owner’s rent is 8K per month. He asked me if I thought this restaurant, with an average per person ticket of $10 could survive? I unhesitatingly answered no.



One does not have to be a financial genius in understanding these numbers simply do not work and yet for some reason this franchisee, with more than likely the aggressive prodding of his franchisor, made… Continue

Added by Mark Frank on March 18, 2009 at 4:36pm — 4 Comments

More government the answer? I think not.

Perhaps it’s me, I understand there are those who will most certainly disagree, an opinion to which they have their right. Yesterday, I saw something that conjured in me the anger I feel as an American. While in route to the store I stopped at a traffic light and in front of me was a new Japanese SUV with a large American flag on the rear lift gate, a US Marine Corp bumper sticker and other pro American stickers on the rear window, including one sticker admonishing me to “buy locally”. I… Continue

Added by Mark Frank on March 12, 2009 at 8:10am — 10 Comments

Don't be stupid, they don't love you

A friend let me know that a mutual friend; someone we both know well, recently closed his franchise business. The particular friend and subject of this post cashed in his company profit sharing account with about 100K net (ten years of service with the company) and borrowed an additional 400K in opening his franchise two years ago. When all this was in the initial phase and only an idea this friend called and since this is the business I’m in asked “what should I do before entering into a… Continue

Added by Mark Frank on March 8, 2009 at 1:08pm — 2 Comments

Becoming a better me

Perhaps you remember the story of the person who goes to the doctor and the doctor upon his examination tells the patient he needs to lose weight, begin physical activity, stop smoking and change self destructive habits. The patient, upon leaving the office murmurs, “quack” and immediately finds another doctor.



There are many managers who in essence do the same thing. I speak from personal experience, in my early career I was like that, I worked hard, too hard, which is precisely the… Continue

Added by Mark Frank on March 1, 2009 at 6:42am — No Comments

It's all about customer experience

A Harvard Business Review interviewee made a point I found memorable, he said, many businesses know little about their customers, their likes and dislikes, but rather base decisions on what they think customers think. This author said we should talk with our most frequent customers in an effort to learn strengths and perhaps an opportunity or two. His principle view, our most frequent customers should be the ones that influence management decision-making.



Like many of you I’ve made… Continue

Added by Mark Frank on February 23, 2009 at 7:13am — 4 Comments

Creating value

Several months ago, before the good times ended, many restaurant managers and owners were espousing the belief that discounting and/or couponing of any sort was a bad thing, yet it’s now virtually impossible to turn on the TV, radio, or any other media, including email, without being inundated with discount offerings of one sort or another. Most people agreed months ago more damage than benefit results from couponing/discounting, yet now it’s so commonplace that if you’re paying retail you’re… Continue

Added by Mark Frank on January 26, 2009 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

Mentoring with Structure?

Perhaps it’s time to think about corporate mentoring differently. Once an employee in my old business unit asked if mentoring was discriminatory, as she put it, for every person being mentored there were hundreds (perhaps thousands, depending on the size of the organization) not mentored, at least in a formal sense? It’s a good question, is mentoring, as many of us know it in large organizations as a formal process fair, does it optimize individual and organizational performance? Please… Continue

Added by Mark Frank on January 11, 2009 at 2:24pm — 3 Comments

Could this be the "best of times and the worst of times"?

FohBoh is an excellent place for those wishing to learn more about our industry. While some members may be intimidated by technical and financial discussions and therefore inclined to skip those pieces I submit these are areas most of us need to learn more about. Understanding and applying financial tools are one of the most important functions of a manager.



Each week I am impressed with the quantity, quality and scope and pure learning content available to help us become better in… Continue

Added by Mark Frank on December 14, 2008 at 7:45pm — No Comments

The turnaround is at hand

A friend of mine recently left his comfortable corporate mid-management position returning to manage and own a restaurant. This particular restaurant is one in a well-known regional chain with a quality reputation. The location is an excellent one in a growing north Dallas suburb with great visibility and an outstanding sales history. That is until a couple of years ago when a significant competitor opened near one of the up and coming regional shopping mega centers (malls and strip centers)… Continue

Added by Mark Frank on December 9, 2008 at 7:29am — 4 Comments

80/20 Rule Applied

Most of us are familiar with the 80/20 rule, or the Pareto Effect, as it is most commonly known. The 80/20 rule has been represented in business discussion as 80 percent of production comes from 20 percent of the producers for many years. More broadly the 80/20 rule has been applied to every imaginable situation in business with amazing accuracy. Reading this complex information is fairly heady stuff, not known for light content, however a little struggling makes it more understandable.… Continue

Added by Mark Frank on December 2, 2008 at 1:53pm — 4 Comments

Success comes with hard work, results and personal mastery

Perhaps like me you remember the old marketing piece for a famous business magazine that relayed the story of two men who went to work for the same company at the same time and over a lifetime of work one became the CEO and the other a low level department head. The premise of the advertising message is that applying what this particular publication taught made the difference. The advertisement goes on to say something to the affect that while one went to work for the company the other worked… Continue

Added by Mark Frank on November 25, 2008 at 9:00am — 3 Comments

So you want to be a franchise owner?

So you’ve decided to embark on a new career as franchise owner? Well hold on before taking the plunge and ask yourself what you’re good at and what you want to do after leaving traditional employment. For many, in fact for the majority, the decision will be to investigate and ultimately decide upon one of the thousands of franchise operations available today.



The reasons are simple, most of us lack skills necessary to create and develop a business from the ground up. Many lack the… Continue

Added by Mark Frank on November 19, 2008 at 7:59am — 2 Comments

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DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

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