How This Army Vet Found Camaraderie in a Burger Franchise

Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you are a franchisee with advice and ideas to share, email [email protected]

Though he’s only in his mid-twenties, Daniel Kemelman has accomplished a whole lot. He served a tour of duty with the Army National Guard before he could legally drink, and today he’s who owns the first Bareburger franchise in Philadelphia, with aspirations to open more in the region. In this interview, he explains how trusting the people on your own team is as very important to franchise owners since it is for soldiers.

Name: Daniel Kemelman

Franchise owned: Bareburger: Philadelphia, in Philadelphia, PA.

How long perhaps you have owned a franchise?

We’ve been open since Sept. 1, 2014.

Why franchising?

I was 21 years old with a whole lot of military experience rather than much else. I had an objective of owning my very own business, and an excellent franchise is an excellent way to break right into an industry if you are virtually beginning with scratch. Making sure folks are well-fed and happy is a fairly awesome gig.

From Military Pilot to Engineer to FITNESS EXPERT

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

I was an infantryman in the Army National Guard, deployed in 2012. From then on, I worked for [the financial advisory firm] Capital-Markets-Advisors (CMA) in the first part of 2013. Then, I came across Bareburger.

Why did you select this specific franchise?

Before moving to Philly to open Bareburger: Philadelphia, I lived in Manhattan. I dined at the Bareburger near my apartment often, and I loved the idea, the meals and the [all-natural, organic, fair-trade] philosophy. I reached out to the franchise to understand how I could become a part of it. After learning the Bareburger team and examining the financials, it had been very clearly an ideal fit.

Just how much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?

I spent $750,000, and also a $100,000 liquor license. Altogether, it had been about $850,000.

Where did you get the majority of your advice/do the majority of your quest?

Michael Hartig (co-founder of CMA) helped me a good deal while I was doing my research on the franchise. My dad advised me aswell. Once I signed on with Bareburger, Euripides [the company’s "Chief Bear"] became my mentor and friend upon this adventure through the organized chaos this is the hospitality industry. On the study side of things, apart from paperwork, I took enough time to build relationships with franchisees and discuss their viewpoint on Bareburger.

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What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

Finding things I didn’t know I had a need to know. And learning them. I acquired very lucky with my contractor Frank Esposito, who helped me out a good deal by advising me on what things worked locally.

What advice have you got for those who want to possess their own franchise?

This is actually the single most significant lesson I’ve learned throughout this technique: The numbers aren’t everything. The people matter as much, if not more. Become familiar with the franchise, the culture and the way the leadership operates. Understand your audience, your visitors, your supporters. Your success, specifically for someone purchasing their first franchise, depends on the support you obtain from your franchisor, as well as your ability to understand the business and present your guests the knowledge they have come to anticipate. The Bareburger Team has held my hand every step of just how, and I owe my success to all or any of these.

What’s next for you personally as well as your business?

At this time I am centered on boosting sales for the first location and creating a comfortable management structure. Once I am more comfortable with the way the first store is operating, Let me open more Bareburger franchises in my own area, maybe turn into a district manager. Baby steps.

ENGAGING IN the Growing Business of Fast-Casual Pizza

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