Our managers are also owners. We want our managers to take a personal stake in the success of the company, and for that reason we have given them a share of any profits they generate.
Specific information about each manager is available in the following plan topics.
Most of our employees will come from the University of Southern Oregon in Ashland. They will be part-time students and will not need healthcare benefits or 401K benefits. This will hold our payroll burden to less than 8% of total payroll.
The store will hold an annual rafting trip and picnic on the Illinois River each summer. This "team building" exercise will come out of the marketing budget. Please see the Profit and Loss table for details.
Our employees will be respected, and will wear a company polo or sweatshirt, not a tight-fitting, artificial fiber, company-mandated jumpsuit. Our employees will be paid more (in salary & benefits) than employees at most other fast food restaurants will be given tuition reimbursements, thereby making them more empowered, and more content workers. In this way, we will meet the needs of our market, and differentiate our company from the myriad of fast food behemoths, who's primary goal is to churn out worthless, tasteless food in a degraded facility and by degraded employees.
The organizational structure is very flat. While it's important that our manager on duty is clearly in charge, we will not belittle our employees through rankism that disempowers them from taking initiative. Our manage on duty will have the final say regarding all decisions, yet we have trained her to teach the employees how to react to customer issues on their own and respond based on their knowledge of company policy, and when that fails them, their common sense. Fortunately all of the people we have lined up for our open positions appear to have an abundant supply of common sense.
The management team has a combined 30 years of experience in the food service industry, with 15 years of delicatessen experience.
Luke Walsh, the owner, owned and managed a deli in downtown Portland, OR for 15 years. During this period, he turned the deli into a full-service convenience mart, added a dining area, and increase the menu from 10 items when launched, to over 100 items prior to his exit from the company. Luke sold the company to a husband/wife entrepreneur team in 1994 for $2 million, and has been living off personal investments and other ventures for the last seven years. Luke received his MBA from Portland State University in 1998, and earned his BA in finance from the University of Oregon in 1989.
Lisa McKewan, Store Manager, has a BA in Psychology, and worked for over 15 years as manager of the The Greentree Restaurant in Ashland. This restaurant is known for its friendly waitstaff, diverse and award-winning menu, outdoor seating, and excellent service. Lisa turned The Greentree Restaurant from a small, 600 sq. ft deli, to a full-service restaurant. She helped the owners find investors, and helped write the marketing and business expansion plan. She managed the day-to-day operations of the business, trained and hired all waitstaff, set the menu, and managed all advertising spending. Lisa will assume the Store Manager position in title, a step down for her, but in exchange for being flexible in this regard, she will receive 4% ownership in the company. Once the owner has moved out of day-to-day operations, presumably around year three of operations, Lisa will receive another 2% of the company as stipulated by her employment contract.
The only gap we face is the fact that none of us have run a franchise business. Since both Lisa and Luke have experience running a sole proprietorship, and non-franchised restaurant, our experience will more than compensate for the increased "hand-holding" that comes with owning a franchise.
Due to the limited number of people managing the restaurant, our goals may not be met if we were to lose a manager or owner. We have drawn up a legal contingency plan with a $1 million policy on the owner to prevent this from disrupting the business. We have also allowed for a cash balance that would allow for a recruitment bonus to another Store Manager if Lisa were to leave for any reason.