How does TCBY, and the FroYo model, fit into today's consumer demographic?
Is this the perfect time to scale the concept with more and more health-forward diners entering the marketplace? The marriage between the best product in the industry and the self-serve model has proven to fit today's consumer demographic of being able to create and enjoy their treat exactly the way they desire it. From the 12–20 flavors of frozen yogurt to the 50-plus toppings bar, our product is among the healthiest in the market with a variety of options to satisfy all our customers—including nonfat, low-fat, no-sugar-added, Vegan, protein-rich, and gluten-free. It's a great choice for all ages and dietary needs!
What has been the biggest lesson you've learned from growing a franchise?
The biggest lesson I've learned in growing this business is definitely centered around the people. Identifying, hiring, training, developing, motivating, and empowering the right people is the most difficult part of running your own business; but when you find the right people and invest in them, you can accomplish so much.
What was the most difficult challenge you faced?
Further attesting to the previous question—learning how to identify, hire, train, develop, motivate, and empower the right people is an ongoing process.
As a millennial, do you think your path has been any different than other business owners?
I don't believe so. I've always been very ambitious, and I feel very fortunate that I found something that I love to do that customers also love to consume. Owning a business that gives back to the community and is centered around families making memories—where people come to celebrate birthdays, holidays, sporting events, good grades, and other milestones—means the world to me.
What do you think you do differently than other franchisees that has been key in your success?
I manage the business holistically outside the four walls of the store(s). I work very closely with the franchisor on a variety of levels—from determining the marketing strategy and programs to developing partnerships that are good for the brand and whole franchisee system, to most importantly improving the overall customer experience (because that's what it's all about at the end of the day).
If you could give advice to a young professional hoping to enter the business, what would it be?
I would recommend that they make sure to love what they do, because it takes a lot of hard work.
What's the growth goal? Did you always anticipate opening multiple units?
No, I did not plan to open multiple units. My plan was to open one frozen yogurt shop, refusing to consider other franchises that had a minimum unit requirement. Now, here I am with 21 locations, with another opening next month, and controlling three markets within the Carolinas. As of right now, my only aim is continuing my initial goal of expanding the TCBY brand in the best ways possible.