Goodbye, burgers. Hello, wings: this franchisee had justification to give up mcdonald’s

Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you are a franchisee with advice and ideas to share, email [email protected]://

Marcus Teufel had worked since his teen years for McDonald’s, attending Hamburger University multiple times. However in his 20s, he grew impatient about the long wait ahead to become listed on McDonald’s franchise ranks. So he looked for, and found, a far more immediate cope with Native Grill and Wings, a more recent concept, whose tasty wings and "cultlike" following Teufel found equally appealing.

Image credit: Marcus Teufel

Name: Marcus Teufel

Franchise owned: Native Grill & Wings, in Mesa, Chandler and Sierra Vista, Arizona

How long perhaps you have owned a franchise?

I began my career in franchises as an adolescent working my way up the ranks in McDonald’s. I spent a decade in the machine, attending Hamburger University multiple times for higher learning. However, at the ripe age of 26, I realized that learning to be a McDonald’s franchisee was a lot more than five to a decade away. So,I began looking for other opportunities and found Native Grill & Wings in 2006, signing a four-store deal.

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Why franchising?

I chose franchising since it is what I’ve always known. I love working within systems to keep carefully the business growing and profitable, through proper training and development of my Native family. Franchising offers a platform for business minds to excel within proven and emerging brands that carry name recognition and reputations.

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

I attended NORTH PARK State University, majoring in finance. I took an internship with Prudential Financial Services in La Jolla, California, and planned on pursuing a career in asset management. Then, in the spring term of my senior year, my sister found visit with a pal — my eventual wife. 8 weeks later, I came across myself moving back again to Phoenix to pursue the partnership, and time for McDonald’s to pursue a franchise opportunity.

Why did you select this specific franchise?

While researching franchise concepts, I was attracted to Native Grill & Wings because of its food. It stood out that beats all others, consistently winning awards for serving the very best wings in Arizona. Native’s success in perfecting the wing created a cultlike following and an exceptionally loyal customer base. I recognized the chance to participate an emerging brand and wished to can get on board in its infancy stage of franchising.

Just how much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?

I purchased a preexisting store in Mesa, Arizona, for $650,000 in late 2006. I was granted royalty relief for a couple months, to develop cashflow and understand the “intricacies” of owning a casual dining concept with a complete bar. With my second and third locations, I could choose the land and put approximately $900,000 in to the land, and yet another $1.6 million into construction and FFE [furniture, fixtures, equipment] for the physical restaurant.

Where did you get the majority of your advice/do the majority of your quest?

The majority of my advice originated from my dad, Denny, and a pal from McDonald’s, John Stallone. Growing up in an effective business environment, I greatly benefited by observing how they handled situations and treated people. With each carrying a uniquely different management style, I recognized a successful operation will not result from one set formula. Success is something of diversity and the collaboration of minds. Teamwork equals success!

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What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

From the quick service restaurant industry, liquor management was never a subject. Managing liquor laws and inventory was a fresh concept for me personally. I thought I possibly could track it exactly like food, but there are nuances that happen in a bar that usually do not in a QSR restaurant: A bartender’s heavy pour, straight theft and the actual development of proper reporting for variance analysis all took time to determine.

What advice have you got for those who want to possess their own franchise?

Invest your core into your people. Allow your employees to have input on decisions. Provide them with free rein to create mistakes. Constantly train in a positive environment. Recognize your staff as the individuals who form the building blocks of your success. I’d be not capable of moving in one to three units with out a team behind me constantly executing in the restaurants with the guests’ experience in mind.

What’s next for you personally as well as your business?

I simply opened my third location on July 20, in Sierra Vista. As I’ve finished with my Mesa and Chandler locations, I anticipate adding to the Sierra Vista community. As a sports-themed family restaurant, Native is a wonderful fit for school fund-raisers and team sponsorships. Furthermore to community outreach, my goal is to stabilize operations for long-term success of most three locations, continue building managers and key employees at each store and economize flow to get into future locations.

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