Randy Giandonato and Rick Kromer, owners of three Beef Jerky Outlet (#72 in the Franchise 500) franchises in New Jersey
Kromer: People come into the store, they drop to their knees, they say, “Oh my God -- this is the greatest place on Earth! I’m in heaven!” They’re crazy.
Giandonato: You’d think we’d get mainly guys, but we get all kinds of people. Our store in Atlantic City gets high rollers walking in with their wives with diamonds on their fingers, and families who are at the outlets shopping.
Kromer: It’s not uncommon for a group of women to come in from the casino and spend a ridiculous amount of money on beef jerky.
Giandonato: We’ve converted a lot of people.
Kromer: One couple said, “We were watching TV and you came on, and my wife and I looked at each together: ‘You thinking what I’m thinking? Yeah: road trip … this weekend.’” They didn’t give it a second thought. They drove an hour and a half to go to a beef jerky store.
Entrepreneur: Ever get any weird requests from these jerky junkies?
Kromer: I’ve had someone ask if we sold vegetarian beef jerky. And I was like, let’s analyze what you’re asking me here.
Giandonato: It’s a dried piece of tofu, is what it is.
Kromer: Right, we have some of it on the wall next to our unicorn jerky.