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    Behind the Brand

  • Quick-serves strongest franchise-holding companies

    United States Beef Corporation

    Founded: 1969

    • HQ: Tulsa, Oklahoma
    • CEO/Senior Executives: Jeff Davis, CEO; John Davis, President; Brett Pratt, CFO
    • Concepts: Arby’s, Taco Bueno
    • 2006 Revenues: $250 million
    • Total Units: Arby’s—259; Taco Bueno—4
    • AUV: Arby’s—$980,000 Taco Bueno—$1.4 million

     

    One thing that sets United States Beef Corporation apart from other franchisees is the fact that the company owns most of its own restaurants and the land they are built on.

    “Throughout the ups and downs of the business, having that land has always been a good asset base to get us through the bad times,” CEO Jeff Davis says. “But buying the bricks and mortar is the easy part; operating [the restaurants] is the tough part.”

    To make that a little easier, U.S. Beef, the world’s largest Arby’s franchisee, recently completed an 8,000-square-foot operations and training center across from its headquarters in Tulsa. The center is equipped with distance learning capabilities to pipe training to managers and area directors in the company’s major markets throughout Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and parts of Illinois. In the future, U.S. Beef also hopes to partner with universities in the company’s home state of Oklahoma to help employees get their degrees.

    Davis explains this new emphasis on ongoing education within his company.

    “We all try to provide the best health care and those kind of benefits to our employees, but I feel continued education is also important,” he says. “When people are learning new things, they’re more excited about their jobs. That gives me bench strength for our continued growth.”

    Davis says the company plans to add around 60 new Arby’s units in the next five years, with particular focus on its Kansas City and St. Louis markets. It also has five more units to go before completing a nine-unit development agreement with Taco Bueno, signed in 2005. Beyond that, Davis says, the strategy is to continue adding and remodeling Arby’s locations in the company’s established areas.

    “We’re continuously penetrating our markets so we can afford radio and television advertising 12 months out of the year,” he says. 

    1 Source: 2007 Technomic Top 600 Chain Restaurant Report.
    2 Restaurant Finance Monitor, June 19, 2006
    3 Source: 2007 Technomic Top 600 Chain Restaurant Report.
    4 Source: Restaurant Finance Monitor, June 19, 2006
    5 Source: Restaurant Finance Monitor, June 19, 2006. 
    6 Source: Restaurant Finance Monitor, June 19, 2006. 
     

    Other Players

      CEO/Senior Executives Concepts/Units Revenues AUV
    Covelli Enterprises

    HQ: Warren, Ohio
    Founded: 1959

    Sam Covelli, President;
    Bob Fiorino, CFO
    Panera Bread–112
    O’Charley’s
    $233
    million
    N/A
    Covelli projects it will add 119 Panera Bread units by the end of 2007.
     
    DavCo Restaurants, Inc.

    HQ: Crofton, Maryland Founded: 1976

    Harvey Rothstein, Chairman/CEO;
    Joe Cunnane, President/COO
    Wendy’s–>1611 $200.0 million2 N/A
    DavCo has the exclusive right to develop Wendy’s restaurants in its franchise territory until December 31, 2015.
     
    Kazi Management VI, LLC

    HQ: United States Virgin Islands
    Founded: 1976

    Zubair Kazi, CEO; Brian Burr, President;
    Michael J. Cook, CFO
    Burger King–21
    KFC–201
    Pizza Hut–1
    KFC /Taco Bell–21
    KFC/Long John Silvers–5
    KFC/Pizza Hut–13
    Taco Bell–1
    Long John Silvers–4
    $220
    million
    $1.2 million
    Kazi Management has acquired and assimilated 101 new stores in three geographically diverse markets (U.S. Virgin Islands, New York/New Jersey, Michigan) since March 2006.
     
    B.S. Companies, LLC

    HQ: Louisville, Kentucky
    Founded: 1988

    Junior Bridgeman, CEO/President;
    Paul Thompson, COO;
    Troy Hanke, CFO
    Wendy’s–161 $202
    million
    $1.3 million1
    B.S. Companies has developed 30 Wendy’s units in the past five years. The company plans to continue developing in all its markets.
     
    Doherty Enterprises, Inc.

    HQ: Allendale, New Jersey
    Founded: 1985

    Edward W. Doherty, President/CEO; Applebee’s–51
    Panera Bread–15
    Chevys Fresh Mex–3
    Shannon Rose Irish Pub–1
    El Pollo Loco–recently acquired franchise rights
    >$250 million3 N/A
    Doherty Enterprises acquired the rights to develop 20 El Pollo Loco restaurants throughout northern and central New Jersey in January 2007. The company also plans to open six additional Panera Bread units by May 2008.

    1 QSR Estimate, 2 Source: Restaurant Finance Monitor, June 19, 2006, 3 Projected for 2007