Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs | June 2016 | By Robert Thomas

Start to Finish: Boyd Hoback

Boyd Hoback, CEO of Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard and Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, shares how his team energizes his success.
Boyd Hoback, CEO, Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard and Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard

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.


What was your first job?

Busboy at age 15.

What is your favorite menu item at Good Times?

I love our Strawberry Cheesecake Addiction Spoonbender. We also have a killer green chile breakfast burrito.

What is your favorite restaurant or type of food, excluding Good Times?

I grew up in New Mexico and love Mexican cuisine.

What are some of your interests outside of the business?

I'm an avid bicyclist and read a lot.

Who are some of the leaders that inspire?

Norman Brinker. Rick Bayless. Richard Branson.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Don't believe in the hype. When things get crazy, whether it be good or bad, look toward the long term.

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