Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As president of CiCi's Pizza, Craig Moore knew plenty about franchising. So, when his wife started looking into buying a business after Moore retired as president, he was intrigued by Nothing Bundt Cakes. Today, Moore is not only the owner of five Nothing Bundt Cakes franchises, he is also the chairman and partner of the company, having recently completed a five-year commitment as president. Here's what he has learned working as both an executive and a franchisee.
Name: Craig Moore
Franchise owned: Nothing Bundt Cakes, with five bakeries in Dallas/Fort Worth
How long have you owned a franchise?
I opened my first bakery five years ago, during Thanksgiving week.
With my prior experience as a franchisor, I clearly understand the value of having a support system behind you. It is great to have others working 24/7 on building the brand basics while you are focused on running your business.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I had just retired as the president of CiCi’s Pizza when my wife, Wendy, decided she wanted to start a business. I was always intrigued with the Nothing Bundt Cakes franchise model and its ability to provide an opportunity for professional and financial success.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
The product is great, which is probably the most important tenet if you are going to be in a food business. We dug deep into the brand during discovery and realized that the economic model was strong enough to support our goal of being able to run a great organization and source great people to operate it. In business, it’s all about the people that you surround yourself with.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
Our project cost for our first bakery was right at $400,000. $200,000 for build out, décor, and furniture for the space, $75,000 for equipment, $25,000 for the franchise agreement, $20,000 in training costs and payroll and the final $80,000 was for supplies, opening inventory, deposits, legal and misc. expenses. Today, I can build that same bakery for $350,000.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
I was lucky enough to have been in the franchising business albeit on the other side at CiCi’s, but I did talk to numerous former franchisees during the process.
I learned so many things from two special people along the way that were successful in multi-unit operations. Kelly McCann, from Oklahoma City, who owned multiple restaurants and Pat Williamson, from Dallas, who owned multiple Applebee’s and CiCi’s Pizzas were great mentors.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
I made multiple mistakes out of the gate. Underestimating the value of real quality team members stung us some at first. Running a business is hard and you have to dedicate everything to it. Today I am in the bakeries every day, coaching, developing, and motivating. The day I get tired of doing those three things, I’m selling as fast as possible.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Understand the commitment. A business is not a “check of the month club.” You have to be involved, present, and always challenging your team to get better. Pick a franchise that has a quality, proven support team with a history of success. You will count on that team for your long term financial goals.
What’s next for you and your business?
Continue to get better and grow the individual bakeries and add a few more. We have barely scratched the surface of potential. As we continue to grow the business, I want to make sure that those who were there to build my business can also live their individual dreams.