Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine Issue II, 2017 - Page 16

MU LT I- BRA ND “put the spatula down,” as Rusconi puts it. “I like to know I’ve done what they do and I hope they’re doing it better than I am, but I can’t be in 80 places at once. I’ve learned to manage on a higher level.” Part of that higher level is ensuring that his companies are part of the local community. All his businesses are involved in charitable work and supporting local sports programs. “Giving back is about more than business. It’s about contribut- ing to the families and institutions that make up the communities in which we operate,” says the Connecticut native. When he was an NYU communications and marketing student, Rusconi served as an intern at Martin Scorcese’s production company before returning home to be near family, study for his MBA, and raise his own family. Looking ahead, he sees himself someday acting as an investor and mentor to young, talented entrepreneurs. One lesson he’ll teach them, no matter what their interests: “Do the right thing before legislation says you have to. You’ll be better off in the end.” itself to both of those. Online, there are hundreds of ways to get computers—eBay, Amazon, Craig’s List,” he says. “You’ve got to know what’s going on. If you become part of a community and people know they’re not going to get scammed, there’s something there. We’re trying to get ahead of that idea and see where it goes.” Whether it’s burritos, burgers, or iPhones, Rusconi says he operates his diverse brands with the same business philosophy. “I see myself as a facilitator, a coach, a mentor. I want to give people the opportunity to do their jobs. I don’t micro-manage but I want to be there to work with them, side by side. For example, today we’re moving restaurant equipment, so I’m out there lugging stuff out. They could do it without me, but I’m there to help because I want them to know there is no position that is below anyone. Yes- terday we had a big sponsorship with UConn women’s basketball, which had just won 100 straight games, and we of- fered $5 Burrito Day at Moe’s. I worked in a store for three hours.” It’s been a challenge to learn when to PERSONAL First job: As a kid, I baled hay at a farm down the road. Formative influences/events: My dad was an entrepreneur who started an environmental lab the year I was born. He built it up and sold it and bought it again. Key accomplishments: Opening 20-plus franchises under age 40. I didn’t acquire any of them, but built every single one with four different brands: Moe’s, Mooyah, Wingstop, and Experimac. Biggest current challenge: Trying to be everything to everybody. Next big goal: I’ve had a great run in franchising and different industries. Next, I’d like to take a stab at an original business. I have something in mind, but it’s too soon to talk about. First turning point in your career: I graduated from NYU in 1999 and got a job in broadcast production and advertising. At 25½ , I decided to quit and come home to Connecticut to be close to family and start work on my MBA. Best business decision: Five years later, while I was working on my MBA part-time, I quit my job with Corporate America with my wife pregnant and got into business for myself as a franchisee for Moe’s Southwest Grill. What’s your passion in business? My passion is getting small victories day to day, which drives me. I love creativity and branding and watching people on my team develop. When your team guys are firing on all cylinders at the same time, there’s nothing better. How do you balance life and work? As best I can. You try to create a balance, realizing that sometimes certain things are lopsided. I recognize it, readjust, and try not to stress over it. Guilty pleasure: Potato chips. Favorite book: The Cricket in Times Square, my favorite childhood book and one that I now read to my daughter. Favorite movie: I was an intern at Martin Scorcese’s production office, so I’ll say “The Departed.” What do most people not know about you? That someday, I’d like to be a high school soccer coach. Pet peeve: I’m not a big fan of laziness. I like to get things done and I don’t like to play politics. Hardest lesson learned: Learning to balance my own goals and objectives with the brand’s goals and objectives. What did you want to be when you grew up? A business owner because of my dad. Work week: 24/7 is what’s needed. I go to bed early and get up early and work as needed. Last vacation: Hiking in the Berkshires with my family. Exercise/workout: I like biking—in the winter in the basement on my trainer, and in the summer outside with buddies. 14 Best advice you ever got: When going for a win, action always over argument. MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISEE I SS UE II , 2 01 7 Person I’d most like to have lunch with: My great-great-grandfather, Luther. I understand h ݅́եєɥѕȁѡݡٕѕѡ)ѡɕЁхѼхЁɅ̸