Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine Issue IV, 2016 - Page 24

D OM I N A T O R S “I liked the idea of influencing younger people, making a difference in their lives. And lo and behold, that’s what a restaurant is, coaching them from sink to CEO.” having them understand the benefit and beauty of balance,” he says. Goebel says his particular interests are attracting, recruiting, and developing talent and orchestrating successful growth strategies in fast-paced organizations. Earlier in his life, he’d planned a career as a guidance counselor in a university setting. “I liked the idea of influencing younger people, making a difference in their lives. And lo and behold, that’s what a restaurant is, coaching them from sink to CEO,” he says. Goebel is happy to share his wisdom and experiences with would-be franchisees. “My best advice is to do really good homework, due diligence where you talk to other franchisees and ask to speak with the franchisor leadership team. It’s also important to understand trends in the restaurant industry and to try and keep your personal likes and dislikes out of it,” he says. He also encourages multi-unit franchisees and CEOs alike to “decide who your leadership team is going to be. Have clarity around your role, around who’s involved and the whole notion of building a sound foundation around people,” he adds. “Often in our business, or any business, people say, ‘That doesn’t look too difficult.’ But it’s important to understand that unless MANAGEMENT Business philosophy: Always lead and manage for the future. BOTTOM LINE Annual revenue: $18 million. 2016 goals: 20 percent EBITDA. How do you measure your growth? Controlled growth with solid returns. How do others describe you? Warm, intuitive, empathic, and anal. Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? In 5 years, I’d like to have 5 concepts in Kansas City with 35 operations. In 10 years, 6 concepts in Kansas City with 50 operations. One thing I’m looking to do better: Figure out how to begin retirement. Are you experiencing economic growth in your market? Yes, moderate. How I give my team room to experiment and innovate: Train ’em up and let go. Challenge all the ideas by clarifying and confirming: “Help me understand.” How do you forecast for your business? Start with a target of 5 percent comp growth and adjust up or down for concept relevance, specific trade area conditions, and price elasticity. How close are you to operations? Arm’s length. What are the best sources for capital expansion? Cash flow from operations, and working with local/regional banks as true partners concerned about our success and simultaneously holding our feet to the fire. Management style or method: Care. Listen. Love. Develop. Execute. What are the two most important things you rely on from your franchisor? Keeping the concept current and relevant, and balancing “tough love” with standing in the franchisee’s shoes. What I need from vendors: Quality product, A+ service, market insight. Have you changed your marketing strategy in response to the economy? Not really, but certainly in response to the social media momentum. How do you hire and fire? Hire with really solid due diligence, the gut and the heart. Fire after thorough communication, be crisp, and do it professionally and with grace. Leave the person whole. How do you train and retain? Constantly, thoroughly, and very specifically. How do you deal with problem employees? Eyeball to eyeball, swiftly. Fastest way into my doghouse: Be disloyal to the absent or gossip. 22 you have industry experience, it takes a long time to get there.” His third suggestion is find a local banker to partner with. “We have a banker we truly consider our partner. I want him and his officers to hold our feet to the fire, so that we’re smart about controlled growth and capital.” Having learned the importance of balance in life, Goebel practices what he preaches. He has been married to wife Jan for 42 years. They have raised six children together: three girls followed by triplet boys. He coached baseball for 19 years and makes a daily workout a priority. The Goebel family, which now includes eight grandchildren, also feels strongly about giving back. They have a longstanding commitment of donating 5 percent of sales each Monday to Children’s Mercy Hospital, a Kansas City hospital that treats children regardless of ability to pay. Having been successful in life and business, Goebel says there is one thing he’d like to get better at: “Retiring!” What are you doing to take care of your employees? Sounds simple, but genuinely caring about them and their families, recognizing good performance, giving lots of feedback and constantly developing for promotion opportunities. How are you handling rising employee costs? Not graciously. Margin pressure is tougher than it’s ever been. We’re very, very carefully looking for p ricing opportunity and constantly working on hiring noticeably better people and productivity opportunities. How do you recognize top-performing employees? Employee recognition programs, unexpected perks, personal visits, and bonuses. What kind of exit strategy do you have in place? I will be able to articulate that more clearly when my family’s and partner’s career goals are solidified. They are the reason I am doing this today. Well, also because I love this crazy business. MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISEE IS S UE IV, 2016 muf4_profile_goebel(18,20,22).indd 22 10/6/16 4:57 PM