Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine Issue III, 2017 - Page 36

2017 MVP AWARDS BY HELEN BOND “The Machine” Growing the brand and growing his people W endy’s Hall of Fame fran- chisee Eddie Rodriguez is all about mega growth—one restaurant at a time. Rodriguez, chairman of Pompano Beach, Fla.-based JAE Restaurant Group, is the 2017 MVP for Mega Growth Lead- ership for achieving excellence in growth and expansion. The QSR veteran is closing in on 200 restaurants and $300 million in annual revenue with the same approach to growth he’s practiced since opening his first Wendy’s in 1993. “A lot of people fail to understand that when you run a restaurant a lot of the cost of your business is in a two- or three-mile radius,” says Rodriguez. “The way you deal within that radius and serve those customers day in and day out determines how successful your restaurant is going to be. You want to own that trade area and be part of the community.” These days, Rodriguez’s business pic- ture is crystal clear, thanks to help from his custom-developed software he calls “The Machine.” The idea for the project was born during restaurant visits, when Rodriguez and his partners saw the amount of daily administrative work required for the general managers to do their job. “This is a tool that was developed to make our managers’ lives easier,” says NAME: Eddie Rodriguez TITLE: Chairman, franchisee COMPANY: JAE Restaurant Group NO. OF UNITS: 179 Wendy’s AGE: 61 FAMILY: Wife Laurie, son, daughter, and four grandkids, 18 months to 5 years YEARS IN FRANCHISING: 43 YEARS IN CURRENT POSITION: 23 as a franchisee 34 MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISEE IS S UE III, 2017