May 20, 2021
John Schissler is Founder of J&M Hospitality which was created to open and operate Chicken Salad Chick restaurants in the Fort Worth, TX area. John and his wife Meggie currently own and operate 5 locations in North Texas.
On this episode, John and Chris discuss the process of franchising a restaurant. John breaks down what conversations with franchisors & founders look like, financing, finding store locations, the hiring and training process, and operations. John tells some great stories about the realities of a franchisee, growth plans, how he navigated the pandemic, and more. Enjoy!
Follow Chris on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/FortWorthChris
Learn more about Chris Powers and Fort Capital: www.FortCapitalLP.com
Follow Chris on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chrispowersjr/
John on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/JohnmSchissler
(03:12) - John’s Story and Early Career
(04:48) - How did the opportunity come up to start franchising Chick Salad Chick?
(06:34) - How do you become a franchisee of a restaurant?
(09:32) - When did you know that you had found your first location?
(10:39) - How did you finance your first location?
(13:09) - How do you design locations?
(15:23) - How long was it from the day you signed the lease to opening day?
(15:38) - What was your and Meggie’s job going to be when you first started?
(16:52) - When did you start prepping to hire?
(20:01) - Training Staff and Testing Days
(20:48) - John’s First Grand Opening Day and Horror Stories
(25:33) - What does 200-300lbs of chicken look like and what’s the prep process like?
(26:30) - At what point did you know store #1 was going to make it?
(27:34) - How long before you moved on to opening stores #2 & #3?
(28:59) - Are there any tricks new operators can use to get landlords to pay attention to them when finding a location?
(31:16) - How does the relationship work with the franchisor?
(32:01) - What resources do franchisors provide to you?
(33:45) - Do you ever meet with other franchisees?
(35:05) - What do Yelp & Google reviews mean to you?
(39:37) - How do you go about getting more stores?
(41:44) - How does hiring above-store operators work?
(43:53) - How many stores will you open up in the next 24 months?
(44:16) - What’s happened in your world since March 2020?
(46:24) - How long did it take for you to get to a pandemic way of operating?
(49:03) - How did you staff the restaurant?
(50:09) - Why are restaurants having trouble hiring?
(51:47) - Are you realizing you can run stores leaner than previously thought?
(53:20) - Are there certain cleaning practices that will stick around after the pandemic or new regulations you’ll need to abide by?
(54:44) - Were you getting any signals early on from other parts of the country that the pandemic was coming?
(56:27) - What have you learned about keeping your staff in tip-top shape to be successful?
(57:55) - The Realities of Being a Franchisee
(58:30) - What’s your goal over the next 5 years?
(1:00:09) - What are the questions you’re now asking to join a brand as a franchisee?
(1:02:37) - Are there things you would avoid in the restaurant world or things that are very attractive to you?
(1:04:38) - Do you like working with mobile delivery services?
(1:07:34) - Are you thinking about Ghost Kitchens?
(1:09:30) - How do large orders make their way through the system?
(1:10:49) - How does product delivery logistics work?
(1:12:01:) - Is there private equity in this industry?
(1:13:16) - Do you need corporate approval to sell to private equity?
(1:13:59) - What are you seeing in the retail market?
(1:17:10) - How do you mitigate the risk of being in a multi-tenant property where your neighbors suck?
(1:18:38) - Do you have a childhood experience that shaped who you are today?
(1:19:43) - What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
(1:21:13) - How do you separate working, parenting, and marriage with your wife?
(1:23:16) - How can people support you?
The FORT with Chris Powers is produced by Straight Up Podcasts