When Jim Behling began looking for a franchise, he was interested in a business he could operate on a semi-absentee basis, while continuing as CFO of a company that makes gluten-free foods. What he was NOT interested in was owning a restaurant.
According to Behling, he was working with a franchise broker who convinced him to visit a nearby Zoup! location. "As soon as I walked in I knew the concept had great potential," said Jim.
Today, Jim and his partners own four Chicago-area locations. To achieve that growth, they have relied on the Zoup! Business Office team for real estate, design and construction guidance; complete operational training; and grand opening and marketing support.
Jim also made the decision to recruit a seasoned General Manager and to intentionally pay him above market. "We chose a person who could not only run the business on a day-to-day basis, but who had the skills and the desire to become a partner in the stores." In addition to having a strong GM, Jim feels that employee retention has helped them succeed. "Our core team gives us the bench strength we need to open additional locations," he says. "We split the existing team each time we open a new store so strong players can bring the Zoup! culture and work ethic to the new location."
As for Jim's role in running the restaurants, he meets weekly with his GM to review numbers, discuss the state of the business and identify issues that need attention. Jim then stays through a lunch rush to see for himself how things are running. Other days, he monitors activity remotely via the stores' cameras and his office computer.