According to Ascent Hospitality Management CEO Michael Abt, the most important thing for being a franchise owner is to be present. Period. He encourages franchise owners to not “phone it in,” but to place themselves on the frontlines of their restaurants.
Leaders should lead by example and not just by their words. How often do we hear that? Whether it’s parents, teachers, or other people in leadership positions, it’s a “do as I do” mentality and more people are trying to adapt to that today.
Abt believes that franchise owners should check on their restaurants and ensure that they’re clean, from the parking lots to the front of the house to the back of the house and the places in between these. Owners should make sure the restaurant is operating properly from the food to the people. It’s this presence, involvement, and awareness that can contribute to being a good leader and franchise owner. Get to know your restaurant, the space, and its people.
In the process of being present, leaders should provide their teams with the support and tools they need to succeed. Leaders are often only as good as their people. When team members feel supported by their leaders, this can build a sense of confidence and encouragement to perform well.
When team members see their leader in the restaurant and take on active roles, it can demonstrate their level of care for the establishment. It also helps build a connection between the leader and his or her team. Raising morale in the workplace is a good and vital thing, especially during these times when employee retention has been low in many places.
People generally want to feel good about where they’re going to work. Younger generations are more concerned with company culture and values that align with theirs than the pay. Happy employees will generally produce positive results and want to stay with the company.
Perkins and Huddle House have been fortunate to have a number of team members who have been with the brands for a number of years, even decades for some. From managers to associates to key leadership at the corporate level to franchise owners, there’s longevity across the system. This is credited to company culture, which in turn can be credited to the leaders who help shape the culture. They are, afterall, the main stewards of the enterprise.
CEO Michael Abt is an accomplished long-time operator. He started in the restaurant business in his teens and worked his way to the top, while gaining an incredible amount of knowledge and experience from being in restaurants. He has a deep understanding of what it takes to run a successful restaurant and now heads Ascent Hospitality Management, parent company of two leading family restaurant brands- Perkins Restaurant & Bakery and Huddle House.
If you’re interested in leading a Perkins Restaurant & Bakery or Huddle House as a franchise owner, contact us today!