Jeff Rigsby has been working with Bojangles' since 1994, and currently owns and operates more than 60 Bojangles' units. We asked Jeff about his experience in the franchise industry and what tips he has to give to Franchising World readers about multi-unit ownership and advancement.
IFA: How many Bojangles' restaurants do you own?
JR: I own 66 Bojangles' restaurants in 5 states.
IFA: How do you keep different restaurant locations operationally consistent?
JR: You have to have a solid operational structure in place when you're a multi-unit franchisee to ensure that systems and processes are followed in all locations. We consistently keep our restaurants up to brand standards.
IFA: Hiring managers is obviously very important for high unit count operators. What's the most important thing to remember when hiring someone to manage a new restaurant?
JR: Building a strong team is an important piece of the puzzle. I always use the phrase 'fishing and farming.' Fishing is always being on the lookout for fresh talent. Farming is developing your team from within whenever possible. You have to have that right person ready when the next opportunity presents itself. Hiring the right talent and promoting from within are both the main keys to retention.
IFA: With such a high unit count, some restaurants perform better than others. What's your strategy for getting lower performing locations on track?
JR: I always look for opportunities to coach individuals and get the team focused on the priorities at hand. I also analyze what's working at locations that are higher-performing and try to mirror them in the locations that might need a boost.
IFA: How do you prioritize your time across such a large portfolio?
JR: Having key leaders in the major disciplines like accounting, human resources, marketing, training, etc. is vital. It's great to have people that I trust to handle different facets of the business. This leads to a firm operational structure as well as the development of our staff, managers and other personnel.
IFA: Why did you choose to open so many Bojangles' rather than diversifying your portfolio with several brands?
JR: I do have other brands that I'm involved with, but I have a strong connection to Bojangles' since I have been with the team for so long and worked on the corporate side as the Director of Operations. From a volume standpoint, I enjoy how Bojangles' creates opportunities for jobs in each community we open a location in, and this is...