I am probably a lot like you. I have had an entrepreneurial mindset and a passion for business since my days at the University of Texas! (at Arlington…).
Growing up, my parents owned about a dozen ice cream scooters and from the age of four I grew up counting the money at the kitchen table after the scooters had made their rounds for the day. I learned a lot and it taught me about hard work and appreciation for building and growing a business. In fact, my first “real” job was at the age of 8 years old, selling Tyler roses on a street corner in Arlington, Texas and keeping 25% of whatever I sold. This also led to one of my first lessons in business. Location matters! My brother had a prime spot and regularly made 30-50% more than I did.
After I graduated university, I began my management career in the restaurant industry. Promoted to a General Manager position within my first year, I soon became known as a sales builder by focusing first on the “4 walls” and then by engaging in community involvement. In other words, provide the best training, service, quality and cleanliness possible within my “4 walls”. Then I would reach out to the community, building relationships at the Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, etc. As a result, I was able to increase annualized sales by more than $1.MM in multiple locations and was subsequently promoted to Area Director. Second business lesson, sales cure everything!
I later joined a startup fast-casual restaurant company and soon thereafter was tagged to lead franchise development for the concept. With a good head for business but no franchise experience, I had to attend seminars, read books and work with franchise experts to outline our franchise development process and begin growing the system. Starting with a base of 1 franchised location and 4 corporate locations, I designed and launched a successful franchise development program, awarding more than 60 franchises across the country in less than 3 years. In fact, a number of these franchises were awarded as a result of our relationship with FranChoice! And that’s when I knew that FranChoice was special. Third business lesson, network with subject matter experts to gain knowledge and benefit from their experience and expertise.
In time, that concept sold and the new ownership group no longer wanted to grow via franchising. After the sale, I joined 7-Eleven as a franchise consultant, working with franchisees to drive revenue and profitability by focusing on the “4 walls” and ensuring they were meeting market demand. I quickly became a top performer known for improving corporate and franchised performance across the market. As a result, I was promoted to a Senior Franchise Consultant role, leading 10 franchise consultants, 100+ locations and more than $135MM in annual revenue. Fourth business lesson, skillsets are transferrable across industries.
In 2014, I was recruited to lead US operations, design and construction for Airport Dimensions – a hospitality organization that designs, builds and operates airline lounges in airports all across the US. I was able to use my past experiences to create Brand Standards, Service Values, Design and Construction standards and Project Management tools for the organization. We used those tools to drive unit growth of 300%, revenue growth of 1000% and annual profitability from breakeven to $15MM. During my almost 5 years at Airport Dimensions, we won 7 international awards, including Lounge of the Year for North America, Best Business Center worldwide and Best Airport amenity in the US. Fifth business lesson, the right people supported by the right systems, tools and processes can move mountains.
I live in McKinney, Texas and have done work all over the country. When I am not helping others achieve their dreams, I enjoy spending time with my wife, Veronique, and my four children, Cali, Tyler, Ashlee and Cole. I also passionately play a mediocre game of golf and occasionally injure myself pursuing another passion, Tae Kwon Do.
You can reach me at RKinder@FranChoice.com or call me at 214-856-3567.