On a recent sales process audit of a medium to large format full service franchise concept, we spent time with one of their new franchisees.

The concept is less complicated than a TGI Friday's but more challenging than a Qdoba Mexican Grill.

The unit is around 5000 square feet has a traditional grill menu you might expect with beer, wine and spirits.

The franchise owners were first time franchisees and had never owned a business before this one.

They both had very successful corporate careers as engineers.

Now, both are franchise owners. One is the full time primary owner/operator, the other owner is part time and still working as an engineer.

We asked the operating owner why a bar/grill concept?

His answer was straightforward and simple.

And only partly what you might think.

He and his financial partner had always wanted to be in this kind of business. Sort of makes sense - engineers are not shy around beer!

Then, I asked why a franchise and not just open an independent restaurant?

His answer was much more interesting.

He knew he didn't have the resident knowledge of the business, but could buy it in the form of franchise.

He planned to learn this new business inside and out, working as many hours as it would take and he did, and does

He also described how he could use his engineering skill, training and experience to run his franchise.

He went into great detail on how they made improvements to their operations by the way they chose to run their beer lines and design of the bar itself. He walked us through his kitchen describing the cooking and food expediting process. And told us what design mistakes they made with the build-out.

In his previous engineering role, he described the complex manufacturing problems he solved daily.

And, how he uses that knowledge everyday in running his business.

The engineer had a plan to buy a franchise in this category. He's smart. He knew what he wanted. He knew that he didn't need training - which was a good thing because his location is miles away from the corporate headquarters.

And, he approached this franchise project as an engineering problem to be solved.

Now there are a number of franchisors who would have looked at the application of these two engineers & would have rejected them since they didn't have the restaurant talent required.

They would have missed out a great franchisee who's running a topnotch unit and who plans to build two more.

And if you went into this restaurant and met the franchise owner you'd never believe he has only run a restaurant for a short time and this was his first one.

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