Interview with Larry “Lo-Lo” White, Founder of Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Larry “Lo-Lo” White, the founder and namesake of Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, a soul-food casual dining restaurant that is now offering a franchise.

My questions are below in bold. Enjoy.

Where did the idea for Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles come from?

Lo-Lo: The Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles concept started in 1997 when I perfected my fried chicken recipe in the back of my grandmother’s restaurant and opened my first location in Phoenix, Ariz.

How did you bring it to life?

Lo-Lo: Through hard work and determination. I had a plan, and I executed it in a way that would resonate well with my customers.

Where do you see Lo-Lo’s in five years?

Lo-Lo: I would like to see Lo-Lo’s in different cities across the country; we want to bring our soul food to consumers nationwide!

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Lo-Lo: Nothing. I feel like all of the trials and tribulations we went through gave character and meaning to the brand we created.

What does your typical day look like?

Lo-Lo: My day starts by seeing my daughters off to school, followed by manager meetings, a morning visit to the Scottsdale location and to Phoenix by lunchtime. Then, of course, I am ready to deal with whatever comes my way.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Lo-Lo: The trend of social media. Seeing our presence grow on social media with all the postings and messages we get on our platforms is truly amazing and is helping to spread the word about Lo-Lo’s.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Lo-Lo: The grunt work when I was working at Mrs. Whites Golden Rule Cafe. But it helped to teach me what hard work was all about, which has benefited me in my venture with Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles.

Lo Lo's Chicken & Waffles

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do, too?

Lo-Lo: Staying hands on, knowing your brand and supporting your employees.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Lo-Lo: Hiring friends and family. You have to learn how to separate the two. I’ve made hiring mistakes in the past, and I’ve learned that there needs to be a distinction between business and pleasure when it comes to managing employees, especially when they are friends and family.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Lo-Lo: Consistency is everything!! It emphasizes the knowledge, quality and structure of brand that’s on the path to success.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

Lo-Lo: I would create world peace over a plate of chicken and waffles and a glass of Kool-Aid.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

Lo-Lo: I’m a hands-on guy; I use technology where I have to but I like to pick up the phone and communicate. I still carry a BlackBerry!

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Lo-Lo: The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. It emphasizes the idea of “the answer is yes, now what is the question” and the importance of refined guest service.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles follows a handful of great Twitter personalities, but if I had to recommend three, I would say @LarryFitzgerald, @VisitPhoenix, and @ChefEmanuel.

Larry Fitzgerald is a class act athlete and represents Arizona in such an honorable way. Visit Phoenix does a great job of showcasing all of the great things the city has to offer. And Chef Emanuel is a great soul food chef, so naturally; the Lo-Lo’s family loves him!

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

Just the other day. My daughters always have me laughing out loud. I never know what they are going to say.

Who is your hero?

Muhammad Ali

Do you (or did you ever) have a mentor?

My grandmother.

Tell us a secret.

The recipe for our secret seasoning is so secret; my wife doesn’t even know it!

What’s your website where people can find out more about Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles?

How about you personally?

Our Founder – Larry Lo-Lo White

Where can people find Lo-Lo’s on social media?

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