I loved reading today’s New York Times story about the renegade Applebee’s franchisee in New York, who now owns 34 of the chain’s restaurants. His locations average $4.25 million in annual revenue — twice the average Applebee’s, the Times reports. The owner, Zane Tankel, perfectly articulates the way someone can be a franchisee and an entrepreneur. Most franchisees are sheep, not business people. They’re hoping someone else’s vision will save them, as long as they can follow the manual. Tankel said fugged about it to the manual. He changed menus, uniforms, hiring practices and many other operating assumptions that Applebee’s considers sacrosanct.
Some of his tactics are pure New York: he didn’t like cocktail waitresses dressing in loose uniforms, so he made them, well, tighter — because that’s what his customers want to see. His main criteria for hiring is niceness. He’s been known to send job applicants home to change their clothes (no low-hanging pants, no sideways baseball caps) and come back when they want to have a decent chance of actually getting a job. Read full article.
What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur — And A Franchisee
September 29, 2011 by Cris | 0 Comments