I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at last month’s Multi-Unit Franchising Conference at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. The panel, titled “Growing to 20 Units,” was designed to help franchisees figure out the right time to grow their infrastructure.
I had two great guys on my panel who are both very successful, multi-unit restaurant operators: David Doty of Smashburger and Paul Hitzelberger of Del Taco. Between the three of us, we had a lot to share about our individual experiences as multi-unit franchise owners. Some of the topics we discussed included: why to promote from within, the economics of growth and the importance of corporate support.
Although we left plenty of Q&A time after our discussion, I really appreciated the Speaker’s Roundtable that was hosted during the conference. During the roundtable, attendees were invited to sit down with David, Paul and I for follow-up questions or a more in-depth conversation about our panel discussion. It was a great opportunity that allowed us to connect with attendees on a more personal level. It also enabled them to ask questions that they may not have had time for during the session itself.
Here were some of my other highlights from the event:
- Both of the keynote speakers this year were really good. Frank Abagnale, the subject of Catch Me if You Can, gave us a wake-up call on identify theft and fraud, while futurist and author Dr. Peter Diamandis gave a mind-blowing talk about technology, the future, and what it means for business.
- Darrell Johnson, CEO of FRANdata, gave a fantastic presentation on the state of franchising, which included a great statistical analysis on what’s going on in the industry today. Darrell has a gift for making the information he presents both easy to listen to and enjoyable.
- Rocco Fiorentino, Jr., the teenage son of advisory board member Rocco Fiorentino, did a wonderful job singing to the group. Rocco, who became blind after his premature birth, is a gifted musician, as well as an award-winning advocate for visually-impaired children.
Overall, the conference was a great time that provided me with an opportunity to network and catch up with friends in the industry. The event was very well attended – both by franchisees and exhibitors. With so many different vendors and service providers being represented in the exhibitor hall, it is definitely the show I’d want to attend if I were in the market to buy a franchise.
John Francis is a consultant, strategic advisor and keynote speaker who helps franchise organizations “see what they don’t see” and achieve their highest levels of success. In his 25+ year career, John has worked as a franchisee, franchisor, investor and Board Member for brands and organizations such as Cost Cutters, PostNet, Sport Clips, Office Pride and the International Franchise Association (IFA). To learn more about John, visit www.johnwfrancis.com.
Copyright © 2015 by John Francis. All rights reserved