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I started out in this industry as a busboy for a now nonexistent quick serve, and have been here ever since. I worked all through high school and college at the same location and ended up with a finance degree from the University of Colorado. I originally planned on going to law school, but the restaurant offered me an opportunity to have more involvement, such as in marketing, real estate, etc., if I continued to work there. I ended up not going to law school and instead took the opportunity to be more involved in the business.
Even at a young age, I always enjoyed the environment, the culture, and the people side of this business. Although alternatives like law school or a traditional finance role were options, I remember thinking that the industry offers such a unique opportunity. Rather than being in a silo of duties, this industry allows me to have a depth and breadth of roles and responsibilities.
Running a business from a holistic standpoint has been a continual motivating factor. With 37 Good Times and 18 Bad Daddy's Burger Bar locations, I'm able to contribute to the industry in so many ways. Having two thriving concepts is a lot of fun, and the team energizes me daily. Because we're a relatively small player, we always have to create and differentiate. It's a challenge, but it's also a huge source of motivation for myself and for the team; it's an ongoing pursuit of how we can grow in the future.
We're at a point now where we can really access the capital markets in a much larger way and accelerate our plans for expansion. Again, with being a smaller concept, it's an uphill battle, but now we can differentiate from a branding and service perspective. We've found our niche, and that's a huge bonus in this kind of industry that seems to change daily. Our all-natural initiative, for instance, really catapulted the concept and separated us from competitors—even the big guys. I think finding key elements to home in on is important for a brand, and our all-natural initiative really did that and has generated a lot of sales over the last five years in particular.
Busboy at age 15.
I love our Strawberry Cheesecake Addiction Spoonbender. We also have a killer green chile breakfast burrito.
I grew up in New Mexico and love Mexican cuisine.
I'm an avid bicyclist and read a lot.
Norman Brinker. Rick Bayless. Richard Branson.
Don't believe in the hype. When things get crazy, whether it be good or bad, look toward the long term.