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 email@example.com.
When Logan Moore was diagnosed with cancer soon after graduating college, he and his father, Michael, weren't sure how much time they had left together. The pair had always wanted to start a business, and now worried they may not get the chance. When Logan beat cancer after several months of treatment, they decided it was the right time to start looking at business opportunities. Ritter's Frozen Custard was the perfect fit – not only for its business model, but also because of the memories the father and son shared at the chain. Here's what they've learned.
Name: Michael and Logan Moore (a father-son duo)
Franchise owned: Ritter's Frozen Custard in Frisco, Texas. This location is scheduled to open in June 2015.
How long have you owned a franchise?
We signed for our 10-unit deal in January 2015 and will open our first location in June 2015.
Franchising provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to become their own business owner with a more cost effective route. Franchising also comes with a corporate support team that will help set you up for success. It’s like having a team of expert consultants working for you at all times at a fraction of the cost.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I worked in the banking and financial services industry for 29 years before deciding to open with Ritter’s. My son and co-owner, Logan recently graduated from college and has worked in the restaurant industry for three years.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
To our family, Ritter’s is not just a frozen custard shop. It has an established place in our memory. We are originally from Indiana, and my wife and I used to take our children to the Ritter’s location on 116th Street at least once a week. It was our go-to ice cream shop after the movies, park or a Saturday stroll. It was at this Ritter’s location that I began to think about owning a Ritter’s of my own.
Several years later, my family moved to Texas where we searched for a place similar to Ritter’s to once again establish as our go-to frozen custard spot, but we never found one.
My son, Logan, was then diagnosed with cancer. After beating all odds, Logan and I decided it was time to go into business for ourselves. After thinking of all of our nostalgic memories shared at Ritter’s we decided we wanted to bring those memories to Dallas/Ft. Worth and signed with the brand.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
I will spend approximately $500,000 for everything. Costs included a franchisee fee of $25,000; $200,000 in equipment; and lease improvements will be about $150 to $200,000. The rest of the money will be spent towards hiring, training and marketing for the first year.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
After spending so much time at Ritter’s in Indiana we knew a lot about the brand already. However, when it came to finding more about the franchising opportunity we decided to speak with other Ritter’s franchisees and visited several other locations and the corporate headquarters before making our decision.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
Finding the perfect location to fit everything the Ritter’s brand stands for was a difficult challenge. We took into account the amount of traffic, access to entrances, room for a drive-thru, square footage, visibility and finding an area that was a mix between commercial and residential buildings.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Try to fund your business without debt if possible. This will make your break even come quicker and also provides more options for you later if you choose to expand.
What’s next for you and your business?
We want to grow Ritter’s in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and hope to be the go-to frozen custard spot for families. We want kids to grow up knowing that premium custard is the best treat of all and the Ritter’s hamburger is a must compared to competitors.