Here are a few excerpts from an interview with the RB Restaurant Leader of the Year that provide additional light on his life and philosophy.
Q. You had a very successful real estate career before you entered the restaurant industry. What about the restaurant business appealed to you?
A. It’s a people business. How do you get a large number of people to do what you want them to do?
Q. When did you know you were a restaurateur?
A. I was definitely in the business from the point I opened my first World Wrapps.
Q. Any regrets along the way?
A. Around 1999, 2000, for a minute there I had tech envy. It was the dot-com boom, before the bubble burst.
Q. You have a stellar educational history. Did you ever feel you were squandering that by running restaurants?
A. Not at all. The restaurant industry is a very large, real industry. There were a lot of aspects to it that I didn’t know. Fortunately, you learn a lot in business school that helps.
Q. Why didn’t you buy a brand and become a franchisor along the way?
A. I’m not in any hurry whatsoever to branch out from our core competency. I like being a franchisee.
Q. Have there been fights with franchisors along the way?
A. It’s our policy never to go to war with our franchisor. We work things out.
Q. How is most of your time spent today as CEO?
A. I spend a lot of time keeping in touch with what’s going on. I need to know what’s going on.
Q. What’s the worst part of the job?
A. The travel. That’s very tough.