Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine Issue II, 2017 - Page 24

MU LT I- BRA ND uity/operating partners. He also doesn’t move employees across brands. “Each brand has a different culture and I want to keep those pure,” he says. He has an interesting approach to risk, owing partly to his modest upbring- ing and to his experiences with brand fluctuations. “When I go into a business venture, I don’t ask how much money I can make. I ask, ‘If it doesn’t work out, how bad can it hurt me?’” Honored as Jersey Mike’s 2016 Fran- chisee of the Year, he says his next chal- lenge with the brand is exciting. “We’ll open the first Jersey Mike’s store in Canada on April 19 in Kitchener, Ontario. It’s a joint venture with the founder and CEO of Jersey Mike’s, Peter Cancro. We’ll do the first six, and then I’ll become the area director, helping to oversee and grow Jer- sey Mike’s in Ontario. My goal is to have 100 stores there in 10 years with mostly franchisees.” Also ahead, Middleton and his partner and brother-in-law Bill Biga III, are com- mitted to growing their Jersey Mike’s in Michigan to a total of 28 over the next five years. Middleton, who describes his recent honors and awards as humbling, insists that these belong to “everyone I work with,” he says. “We’re always looking to make sure we’re protecting the people in our company, that we’re doing things right. In today’s world, if you have more than a couple of units, you really do need to understand the rules of the game, so we’re very sensitive to doing our best to run a great company.” His older son Ryan, with a finance de- gree from Michigan State and an MBA from Wayne State University already is part of the company as manager of busi- ness processes—and as a franchisee in Middleton’s Jersey Mike’s Grand Rapids company and also in one of his Little Caesars companies. His other son, Zach, who currently attends Central Michigan University, will soon come on board. “Both of my sons have always wanted to work in the business. I didn’t go to college so they’re both going to be more educated than I am,” he says with a characteristic grin. 22 MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISEE I SS UE II , 2 01 7 BOTTOM LINE Annual revenue: $29.8 million. 2017 goals: Open 7 to 8 new restaurants. Growth meter: How do you measure your growth? By same store sales comps, same store transaction comps, same store income comps, EBITDA (cash flow valuations), and unit counts. Vision meter: Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? My vision is a leadership team that continuously develops our people, with a focus on growing our brands profitably to create more opportunities for our best GMs to become franchisee partners with us. During the next 5 years, I would like to keep growing all the brands we operate, adding units when it makes financial sense. My biggest focus will be bringing Jersey Mike’s to Canada in a joint venture with the parent company. In the next 10 years I hope to have helped grow the brand to over 100 units in Canada, operated by franchisees. How is the economy in your regions affecting you, your employees, your customers? I have been doing this for a very long time. What I have observed is that it is a hard business to be in, and it has always been hard. But the political environment over the last decade has made things so much harder for all the people who work in this industry—the owners, the managers, and the hourly employees. The best way I know how to get through difficult times is to focus on the customers, the team members, and the company. Be as financially responsible as you can and try not to get too distracted by all the noise. Are you experiencing economic growth in your market? In Michigan yes, mainly because of the auto industry. However, in Ontario it is flat. How do changes in the economy affect the way you do business? It is a double-edged sword. When the economy is hot, it is harder to attract talent to this industry. When the economy is cold, the top line is challenging and it increases discounting. How you manage both of those scenarios can deter- mine how well you do long-term. How do you forecast for your business? We use internal financial models we have created, based on what the unit economics look like for each brand. We look at the sales and customer count trend lines, project the estimated inflationary pressure we believe is coming, and consider what price increases we would consider taking, if any, and then input all this information into our financial model and plan our budget accordingly. We make adjustments to the forecasts as needed. What are the best sources for capital expansion? I have a great partner, Carl Chandler, who ́) < A!ٕ́Ս͙հЁݽɭݥѠȁ́Ѽ͕ɔȁ̸)ɥݥѠɥمєե䰁̰ѥ̰ѡȁѥѥ])ݡ䁹]٥ѕɴɕѥ́͡ݥѠȁͥ́ѹ̰Ց̸M)ݔٔɅɕɐѥݥѠѡ́ݔхѕݥѠ]ѡЁ䁉Ёѡ)ͥ́ɥ䰁Ёȁѹ́مՔ́́Ս́ݔمՔѡMȁѡЁɽ͕ٕ́)́ݕ)]Ёɔԁхɔȁ啕]хɔ啕́ѡЁ)ɽɽݥ ͔ݔɽ܁ЁȁхЁɝ䰁Ёɕѕ́Ё)مи]хѡЁɔȁ5̸]ٔչՔɽе͡ɥɽɅͥѼٔ)ѡɕͅѥѡЁѡ䁍͔ѼЁѼͥ́ȁѡ̸͕ٕ ɰ$ɔ)ɽՐѼٔЁЀԁȁЁɅ́Ʌ̸͕)!܁ɔԁɥͥ啔̀ɽմ݅ѡɔ)ьѡ́́]ɔ她͔ѕѥѼݡЁٕ役́ɕ她)ݡЁѡ́ɔѡɅ́ݔɅєQɔ́ͥݕȸQձ́ɔ)ѡ́ɔٕ䁥ͥѕЁѡɥЁܸ)!܁ԁɕ݅ɐɕ锁ѽəɵ啕]ɅєՍ́Ёٕ)չݔ=ȁѡ䁵ȁѥ́ȁ啅ȵɅѥ́ɔѡЁ٥)݅)]ЁЁɅѕ䁑ԁٔ$ݽɭɐՍͥ$)ٔ䁥ѡͥ́ЁѼЁȁٕ䁱ѥ$ٔݡЁ$$͕)ٕѡɕЁ͡ѕѼ䁽ѕȁ'e