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.
Though he’s been around restaurants his whole life, it was only recently that Ron Lieberman chose to own one himself as part of the PizzaRev franchise. His sons joined him as he started up his create-your-own pizza restaurant, working together like sauce and cheese, to help bring in the dough. Read on to see what advice Lieberman has for would-be franchisees and what his plans are for the future.
Name: Ron Lieberman
Franchise owned (location):
We have opened the following 2 PizzaRev Restaurants to date, both in California. One is in Santa Ana -- it opened in August of 2014 -- and one opened in La Habra this past January. We continue to secure future sites and will open our 3rd PizzaRev late 2015.
Q: How long have you owned a franchise?
My firm, Design Development Company, has provided restaurant concept design and development services for many prestigious restaurant firms nationwide since 1983. My son and partner David and I worked closely with Rodney and Nicholas Eckerman and Irv and Jeff Zuckerman, the principals of PizzaRev, to help conceptualize the PizzaRev concept starting in 2012.
Q: What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I grew up in the restaurant business. My parents owned restaurants in the Los Angeles area for many years. Originally, I was an officer and VP in charge of architecture, design and development for Associated Hosts, Inc. which owned and operated 85 restaurants and 5 hotels throughout the country as a public company. The restaurant business is and has been running through my veins my entire life.
David is a premier restaurant designer and a graduate of Long Beach State University in Interior Architecture. Jason is a real estate attorney and a graduate of UC Irvine and Southwestern University School of Law.
Jason was a principal with a large shopping center development company for approximately 20 years and now has his own law firm and real estate sales company. Trifecta Management Company is our partner and provides the daily tasks of managing and operating the restaurants.
Q: Why did you choose this particular franchise?
David, Jason and I made the choice to franchise PizzaRev because of the character and values of the principals, Rodney and Nicholas Eckerman, and Irv and Jeff Zuckerman, and the strength of the new craft-your-own pizza concept.
Q: What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
We find that the challenge will be obtaining and securing the best suited locations to support PizzaRev optimum sales volume, based on many demographic factors, strong day and night service parts as well as tenant synergy.
Q: What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
My advice to others who are interested in obtaining a franchise with PizzaRev or any other concept is to consider the actual costs to complete the project from concepting to opening. Secure the capital to develop the project, plus reserve capital and additional marketing funds. Do your due diligence, spend time visiting the existing concept operating units to understand the business, the customer profile and the details of the operations.
Q: What’s next for you and your business?
David, Jason and I will continue to grow and look forward to opening additional restaurants in the Orange County area. We are very passionate about the PizzaRev concept and will continue to evolve the concept to keep its edgy qualities, and create the best environment and memorable experience for our guests.