When it comes to preparing for the worst, a smart business owner is armed with appropriate insurance coverage. But is that enough? Not according to Anita Castora, records and information manager at North Canton's Quanterra Environmental Services.
Giving full respect to the old adage, 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,' Castora says the company has proactively prepared a comprehensive disaster recovery plan so everybody will know precisely what to do before the insurance adjusters arrive.
It's an important step. According to national statistics, nearly nine out of 10 companies that suffer a disaster are out of business within five years. Insurance notwithstanding.
Quanterra is an environmental testing laboratory that handles testing for contamination of drinking water, hazardous waste and a range of industrial applications. The company is one of the largest environmental labs in the country, with headquarters in Denver and 13 other locations across the country. Locally, Quanterra employs 80 people and operates with the entrepreneurial attitude of a small company-as it was prior to the company's purchase by Corning eight years ago.
Qunaterra's decision to develop a disaster recovery plan-or business resumption plan as it's called internally-was arrived at independently by the North Canton lab's staff, motivated by a concern to protect the company's vital records and personnel.
That was five years ago. The next step, according to Castora, was to contact BICEPP, the Business and Industry Council for Emergency Planning and Preparedness. BICEPP, a program of the American Red Cross Greater Cleveland Chapter, is designed to help businesses and organizations plan for emergencies. BICEPP has 140 member companies in Northeast Ohio, but Quanterra was its first in Stark County.
According to Castora, BICEPP's expertise was essential in convincing Quanterra management to spend the time and money needed to develop a disaster recovery plan. "Because this kind of effort doesn't generate revenue, it's hard to get the company to deal with it," says Castora.
Working with BICEPP helped Castora build a case for taking the time to create and implement an effective recovery plan. Since disaster recovery is not mandated by most companies, the importance of preparation might not be seen until something has already gone wrong.
"We knew of a case of a lab in New Jersey that had a fire in the mid 1980s, and some people were killed, so we were aware of how disasters can occur in our industry, and wanted to make preparing our company for a disaster a priority," Castora says.
BICEPP's contribution to Quanterra's disaster recovery planning was critical in addressing all facets of an effective, workable plan. The goal: to emphasize emergency preparedness and develop contingencies to maintain business operations in spite of a disaster. BICEPP's emergency response and disaster recovery expertise is provided to member companies such as Quanterra for a yearly fee, ranging from $100 to $500 based on company size.
Services include personalized consultation, assistance in creating and evaluating a plan, and monthly workshops and seminars to assure the plan remains effective and updated.
The list of 1998 BICEPP monthly meeting topics illustrates the wide range of issues that companies need to address when it comes to business recovery planning. Some of the topics for this year's Northeast Ohio member meetings include:
- Dealing with the media/reputation management;
- Communications and data recovery;
- Financial issues;
- Restoration of property (fire, water and smoke);
- Creating an evacuation plan;
- Business impact analysis
- Human issues in disaster planning
As these topics suggest, effective emergency planning is more than a simple fire drill; it's a multi-level, long-range process. Involvement in BICEPP has also provided Quanterra with other valuable resources, says Castora, including networking with other member companies to share ideas, and gaining access to information about products and services in the business recovery industry.
Last July, Quanterra staff put its emergency plan into action when a tornado was reported heading toward the facility. While the storm passed without incident, employees said they were grateful they didn't have to wait helplessly until someone else figured out what to do.
Margo McVay is an independent writer in Canton.
Before you send out that sales and service survey asking customers how you can better serve them, you'd better get internal feedback.
Barbara Sanfilippo, a speaker at Exploring Success '98, says companies providing five-star customer service focus internally first.
Many companies flunk the customer service report card because the level of customer service an organization provides is influenced by internal service, which, in turn, is influenced by the degree of employee morale and job satisfaction.
When Sanfilippo polled the 100-plus businesses represented at Success '98, the majority indicated they had sent out customer service surveys. But only one-third had done an internal survey to gauge employees' perceptions.
Sanfilippo is the author of Five-Star Service Solutions: Winning Ideas for Achieving Exceptional Service. The book, published by Sourcebooks Inc., Naperville, Ill., includes sample employee surveys and ideas to improve customer service.
National pageant comes to AkronAkron has been selected as the site for the 1999 Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant in August. State titleholders from across the nation will visit Akron for a week's worth of competition, activities and sightseeing.
Why should you care?
The pageant is looking for sponsors.
Pageant producer Lowery Lockard says the contestants "will not only be competing but will be bringing awareness of what women with disabilities can do and opening doors for advocacy through the program."
More than 5,000 visitors are expected for the week of competition. The pageant will be hosted by the Weaver Group and the County of Summit Board of Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities.
For more information, contact Lockard at (330) 634-8877.
A new school for OSHA-required training
ASW Services in Mogadore has established a new school for local companies that need to learn how to comply with a few new Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules.
Summit Vocational Training Services Ltd. is certified to train operators of powered industrial trucks.
The new OSHA rulings deal with training, re-evaluation, workforce development and the reduction of incident and workers' compensation claims.
The classes involve one day of in-class instruction and two days of hands-on training. Two additional days of training are available for more in-depth warehousing techniques.
Forklift operations classes are also available. ASW operates similar schools in Texas and Michigan.
For more information, contact Training Supervisor Bruce Wilt at (330) 733-6291, ext. 147.
SBN has become a platinum sponsor of the Premier FastTrac II Entrepreneurial Program conducted by the University of Akron Center for Small Business.
The program, open to businesses of all sizes, begins Feb. 24, with enrollment running through Feb. 8.
The program is an 11-session, 45-hour program designed by and for existing business owners to help them evaluate all aspects of their business operation and generate a vision and a means for achieving greater growth.
"We think the program blends perfectly with the information provided on the pages of our magazine," says SBN Editor Bob Rosenbaum. "The goal is to help entrepreneurs build their companies by learning about new tools for growth and then putting those tools to work."
The program, which is offered in a number of cities across the nation, appears to have done just that. Since January 1986, the FastTrac program has graduated more than 20,000 entrepreneurs. The program is broken into two curricula. FastTrac I, which is not currently offered in Akron, is for start-up entrepreneurs. FastTrac II targets owners of existing businesses.
Between 10 and 25 percent of FastTrac II graduates have more than doubled their company's sales within a year of graduation and 40 to 55 percent did so within two years of completing the program. More than 90 percent were still in operation five years after graduation.
Program topics include market research, financial management, cash flow analysis, market penetration, management building and planning an exit strategy. Participants are expected to leave the program with a viable business plan for achieving growth.
The cost of the program is $549 per person; discounts are available for multiple participants from the same organization. Each session has three parts: small group workshop, dinner/networking, and topic presentation by experts. Each class is limited to 25-28 participants.
For more information about the Premier FastTrac program, visit the Web site at www.fasttrac.org or the University of Akron program, through which applications can be filled out, at www.uakron.edu/cba/entre/index.html or call the Fitzgerald Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at (330) 972-7038.
Ever consider forming a partnership with the United States Postal Service to obtain lower postage rates?
Bob Buwala of Rapid Mailing Services in Cuyahoga Falls, a one-stop mailing shop serving small and medium-size business markets, says the postal service affords substantial discounts for work-share mailings in which you handle sorting details so postal workers dont have to.
In a work-share partnership, your postage cost could be as low as 13.7 cents to 15.7 cents for a 4,000 to 5,000 piece, standard class, barcoded mailing to recipients in the Akron/Canton area. Standard class delivery time is slower, but in comparison to the 32-cent per stamp rate, you save between $600 and $800. Even if your mailing is nonbarcodedwhich takes four to seven days for local deliveryyou realize greater savings when you sort it yourself.
Why? Average postal labor cost for manually handling handwritten letters is $43 per thousand. That drops to $5.50 per thousand when mail is presorted and barcoded, because it can be processed using full automation.
How to reach: Rapid Mailing Services (330) 929-6245
Editor's note: For our cover story of the 99 greatest moments in 99 years of business, check the Cleveland page under the Get Local link at left.
Here are some local highs and lows.
1901: U.S. President William McKinley, a lawyer from Canton, is shot at Buffalos Pan-American Exposition and dies eight days later.
1907: Canton janitor James Murray Sprangler invents a device to help him clean floors and carpets. He takes his invention to boyhood chum William H. Hoover, then president of a business that made leather goods. The Hoover Co. is founded a year later.
1912: The Canton Pressed Brick Co. becomes the Belden Brick Co., as brick manufacturing changes to the extrusion method.
1916: The Timken Roller Bearing Axle Co. starts producing its own steel, setting it apart from all other American bearing makers and setting off a period of high growth.
1920: The American Professional Football Association, predecessor to the National Football League, is founded in Canton.
1943: As the Diebold Safe and Lock Co. begins diversifying into office products, it changes its name to Diebold Inc.
1960s: Timken Research develops improvements in steel production, such as strand casting, electric arc melting and vacuum-degassing facilities. These innovations help the company survive the onslaught of foreign steel in the 70s and 80s.
1963: The Pro Football Hall of Fame opens, eventually drawing more than 500,000 people a year for the enshrinement festival alone.
1970: Belden Village Mall is completed.
1970: Diebolds Futura Automatic Banking System provides 24-hour teller services in an armored box now known generically as ATM.
Consumers National Bank has announced the establishment of a finance company, Community Finance, at 2368-A E. State St., in the Salem Plaza.
Karen O. Byers, president of Black Sheep Productions Inc. and Shirley A. Matz, president of Matz Bookkeeping Services Inc., have announced the launch of a collaborative business venture.
CPA Bruce McDonnell has merged his accounting firm with ReinhardKopkoKeller & Co. to form ReinhardKopkoKeller & McDonnell.
Dick Maggiore, president of Innis Maggiore Group, and Jeff Monter, president of Monter Creative Design, have announced a merger of their companies, which will retain the Innis Maggiore Group name.
Color Code Inc., a pre-press and design service bureau, has announced expansion of its services with a $300,000 state-of-the-art equipment addition.
For most people, viewing the latest technology at the airport is like a quick glimpse of luxurious first class seating as they make their way back into the cattle, er, passenger section, of the plane. But the technology is no longer limited to planes or the control towers.
As a smaller airport, the Akron Canton Regional Airport has always played its competitive advantages-ease of use and a location out of the hustle of a major metropolitan area. Until recently, it relied on word of mouth and old school advertising to get its message out. No longer. The marketing arm of the airport has found a way to use technology to spread its message farther and faster.
The heart of the new communication system is a Web site, www.akroncantonairport.com, begun in 1997.
"So many people are going online to do their research these days for travel planning," says Kristie Van Auken, director of marketing for the airport. "There are a lot of sites out there and we want to be part of that mix. We thought it was very important to get a site out quickly that looked very good and was designed professionally and was very user friendly."
The site, designed by Michael Tren Houseman of Tren Design, is fast, clean and easy to navigate. But how does it help the airport? By helping travellers get the most out of the facility.
Clicking into savings
Airports have traditionally maintained a passive role in the transportation process. They were simply the gateway through which passengers were shuttled from one place to the next. That is no longer enough. For the airport to become user friendly, the Web site had to do more than display the terminal and airfield layout plans. The site hosts a hot deals page listing good fares and charter flights.
Every airline that services the airport is linked, so travelers can buy tickets online. All area attractions, hotels, car rental agencies, convention and visitor bureaus and business and community development organizations are also linked, making it a versatile and functional site.
"We've gotten a lot of good feedback on our hot deals page. That and our flight schedule page are the two pages that generate the most interest and hits," Van Auken says. "I think it's become a valuable communication tool, so we're able to get feedback from folks that we may not have heard from otherwise."
Attracting new customers
The directions page is also important. As the airport started attracting travelers from a larger radius, reaching into western Pennsylvania, it found an increased need to give directions to the airport.
"It just allows them another way to talk with us," Van Auken says. "They can either go online and look at a big map or they can give us a call and we'll be happy to give them directions the old-fashioned way."
Helping friends and family
This year, the airport plans to add a flight locator to its Web site, allowing people to locate flights to any of 100 destinations. The locator will list airlines and flight times and travelers can link with airlines to book flights.
As the airport becomes Y2K compliant, real time flight arrival and departure status will be a mouse click away. In addition, the airport is considering adding video so surfers can see the terminal and watch planes take off and land.
The other customers
The real point of the Web site is to build traffic for the customers who pay for the airport-the airlines. With that in mind, Van Auken says, the site is designed not to compete with the airlines' sites.
"We want to be able to drive business to them so that they can benefit from our participation in technology as well," she says.
The airlines have sophisticated sections on their Web pages, including a feature which allows travelers to request fare updates. Any time there is a change in fare, the traveler is notified by e-mail. Van Auken uses this to check fares at other airports to remain competitive.
Sharing the story
"One thing we're putting a lot of emphasis on is our external communications," Van Auken says. "Particularly with the rollout of our economic impact information."
The marketing department uses a laptop computer and projector to run Power Point presentations, which give the message more visual impact.
"We've had at least a half a dozen calls from community groups that would like for us to go and speak with them about what's happening at the airport right now and what they can do to support the continued job and income growth at this facility," Van Auken says.
The equipment will be used when the airport begins publicizing terminal expansion plans, showing where a parking garage will go or where buildings will be relocated.
"It's much more exciting if they can see it and be part of it that way," Van Auken says.
The airport also plans to purchase a digital camera, so up-to-date photos can be integrated into presentations.
Spreading the news
Van Auken plans to use the Web, with other online technology, to get the word out about the airport's changes.
"We do use wire services and things of that nature which have become increasingly sophisticated. It certainly helps me with my efficiency. I send it off to PR Newswire and then they put it on the Web for me, and it goes onto aviation related segments on the major search engines," Van Auken says.
Van Auken says that with all of the Akron Canton Regional Airport's technological advances, it is still not as complete as she would like.
"There are a lot of things we'd like to do, but technology costs a lot of money," she says.
Even if the airport had the money, there is still the problem of keeping up with the technology.
"It creates efficiencies, but it also creates a whole new set of tasks. Like with the Web site, we have to keep that thing updated," Van Auken says. "It's created a more efficient marketing program, but it hasn't necessarily created less work."
One of Van Auken's favorite aspects of the technology is that it allows her to communicate with people in a variety ways. But with that comes this warning: "You have to balance technology with the need to interact on a personal level. That can't be replaced."
You may have seen a 17-foot long, 10-foot-high digital clock ticking its way around town. Don't worry. It's not left over from your mother of all New Year's hangovers.
It's a nifty timepiece that's tied to the new millennium as a marketing gimmick. Who's behind it? The city, First Night organizer Mary Ann Jackson and some savvy bankers.
The portable installation was unveiled at Akron's latest First Night, where, at the stroke of midnight, it began counting down the days and hours left in the last year of the last decade of the 20th century. It's meant to mesh with the new millennium theme to promote Akron's impending First Night/Year 2000 blowout celebration.
The clock is co-funded by the City of Akron and KeyCorp. Jeff Mills, community re-investment manager at KeyBank N.A. in Akron, says Jackson's idea of designing the clock as a movable marketing piece was ingenious.
"From a marketing standpoint, you're always looking for the biggest bang for your buck. Since this is something we know will be a year-long event and the clock will be continually moved to various sites and events throughout the city, we'll be getting our name out all year long. We can also focus some other marketing activities around the clock," Mills says.
Since the timepiece is a joint venture between KeyBank and the city, what happens when they both want dibs on the clock at the same time?
"I don't think we'll fight over it," Mills says chuckling. <$t0z8f"Compacta">SBN
Employees of The 101 Group wear T-shirts with clever sayings such as "Just because we serve you doesn't mean we like you."
The advertising slogan? "You threw up on yourself last night. We can help."
The delivery boy has been promoted to vice president of corporate development.
No one in the management team has yet celebrated a 31st birthday.
Armed with these selling points, Justin Clemens-president and CEO of The 101 Group and a guy who often looks as though he's just crawled off the couch-put on his baseball cap with the brim pointing behind him and set out in search of investors.
Sound like a long shot? Clemens and his partners in The 101 Group, which runs a do-it-yourself laundry on the campus of Kent State University, raised $1 million to begin expansion to other college towns across the country. And they didn't give up control of the fledgling business.
In the world of growing business, access to capital consistently ranks as a top problem for executives and owners. But if this unlikely group of Gen X dreamers can find the capital for growth, so can you.
In 1992, Clemens, now 29, along with the goateed and sharp-dressing Steve McConochy, 28, and the scruffy James Thorrat, 30, pooled $15,000 and opened Video 101. It wasn't just another corner video store; it served the particular needs of a college town's population with a delivery and pick-up service.
In 1994, they expanded the student services concept with Laundry 101, a well-maintained art deco "lounge-ro-mat," a place with washers and dryers, but more important, a full-service bar, pool table, juke box, cable television and, most recently, a cyber cafe. In 1996, they opened 101 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, a store that delivers beer and cigarettes.
As the punchy little empire grew, 25-year-old Zach Brandon left behind his delivery duties and became the fourth equity partner as VP, corporate development.
"We hit maximum capacity for a Laundromat in just over a year," Brandon says. He declines to say just how much business that is. But based on a rough standard of four or five loads per day per machine-not quite a national average, says Brian Wallace of the national Coin Laundry Association, but a solid performance benchmark-Laundry 101's revenue from washers and dryers would be at least $140,000 a year.
It's admittedly a business with a very low ceiling, particularly when you consider the overhead of utilities and maintenance. But by turning laundry into a social event for the college set, Laundry 101 stays crowded from opening to closing, while selling an undisclosed amount of high-margin goods: namely beer and munchies.
Most important, the concept is easily duplicated. By 1995, the foursome was thinking seriously about expansion.
"If you're not growing, you're dying. If you're not changing, you're dying," Clemens says. "With certain members of our company, big disagreements came where they felt we were making good money, why mess with it? ... But others felt that, if you don't grow, eventually ... someone's going to come and knock you out."
So they assembled a plan to open Laundry 101 locations in the Midwest's largest college towns. All they needed was money.
"We pretty much went out looking for an investor right from the get-go," Thorrat says. But he, like the other partners, was realistic about the source. "Banks aren't likely to hand out this kind of money."
Through a mutual friend, The 101 Group met Burton D. Morgan (none of the Laundry 101 partners would identify Morgan as the prospect, though their lawyer confirmed the contact), a well-known Hudson industrialist, banker and investor who has made himself no small amount of money by investing in "sin"-companies that profit from dealings in things such as alcohol, tobacco and gambling.
After two weeks of negotiating, Clemens says the prospect handed him a check for $80,000-demanding, in return, a majority stake in the business.
"He wanted a percentage of the company future and present," Brandon says. "He had done nothing to establish the first one and then wanted equity in it."
"It was like selling our souls," McConochy adds.
The decision was simple, but when Clemens refused the money, Morgan allegedly told him, "You're really making a big mistake, kid."
"Like he was the only guy out there with any money to invest," Clemens says.
For the next year, not much happened. Clemens and his partners got distracted by the opening of the beer/cigarette delivery business and conducted only a passive search for capital, leaving word with business advisers and friends.
They did continue to pare down their choices for an ideal market for their second location, conducting demographic research and analyzing operating costs in a number of cities.
There were some nibbles along the way. Clemens' father, Barry-a broker for McDonald and Co. Securities Inc. (and formerly a player with the Cleveland Cavs)-introduced The 101 Group to a Cleveland housing developer who showed some interest.
They spent several months cultivating a relationship, "Then one day he just stopped calling," Brandon says.
Eventually, the developer rattled off the list of problems. At the top was "youth of management." The group's oldest executive hadn't yet reached 30.
Also a concern was his impression the college market would only provide steady revenue nine months a year.
Then he mentioned articles he'd seen in Forbes and The Wall Street Journal about two well-capitalized companies that had announced plans to open hundreds of laundromats nationwide.
There was also the matter of style. The investor didn't like the group's advertising slogan and told them the "attitude" would have to go.
Then he demanded the four partners sign personal guarantees for his money and show how they could double the projected return on investment.
The four don't have a business degree among them, but they knew a non-offer when they heard one. It was time to rethink their approach to finding money.
If Laundry 101 kept attracting the wrong kind of investors, the partners decided it was a reflection on the way they communicated their vision. To that end, there is only one document that matters: the business plan.
They wrote a new one, using off-the-shelf business planning software, and hired a graphic designer to help assemble a package that would attract interest from people who saw the value in their ideas and execution.
Around the same time, they bought extra help and credibility by hiring Hahn, Loeser and Parks, one of Cleveland's top corporate law firms.
Steve Sneiderman, co-chair of the firm's entrepreneurial services group, helped them develop the new plan.
"Their initial plan was very long on style. They didn't have a lot of the hard numbers and people couldn't follow it. I think that was a painful process for them, where it all comes down to the numbers," Sneiderman says. "But anybody who has the money to get involved is not going to be taken in by a catchy slogan."
After nailing the content under pressure from Sneiderman, the partners hired a designer to assemble a book that reads and looks like a college syllabus. They spent $2,500 to produce a dozen hard-bound copies containing a 30-page business plan, a management summary and all the humor and attitude that contributed to their early success.
They included examples of their advertising slogans, such as this call to action: "What do you do in bed? When's the last time you washed your sheets? That's disgusting!"
One section includes "Important Assumptions:"
- We assume that it will never be trendy to wear dirty clothing.
- We assume that prohibition is not a national legislative agenda item.
- We assume that Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve Board will not re-instate the barter system.
- We assume that college students will find us particularly funny and that is why they will choose Laundry 101 as their laundromat.
Then they resumed the search for investors. Sneiderman helped them hook up with venture capitalists, but this time the approach was different. They didn't ask for money.
"We weren't really looking for investors," Brandon says. "We were just trying to feel things out and say, 'What would you say if we came to you with this deal?'"
Brandon describes the people they met as a close knit group, adding it was "very easy to get recommended from one to another."
But they also learned about the nature of people who describe themselves as "vulture capitalists."
"They are very concerned about control and return and they already have an exit strategy. They come to the table ready to sell off and maybe that's not where we're headed," Brandon says.
"You walk that line of 'how badly do you want it,'" adds Clemens. "These guys will almost leave you busting your ass, doing all the work for nothing. Your ideas have been completely diluted and prostituted and then pretty soon you just work for them and it was your idea."
The process taught them that venture capital was not the kind of money they wanted.
Without exception, prospective investors told the owners their particular brand of humor had no business in business and that they would have to lose it.
"One guy wanted to buy his kid a job," Brandon says. "He brought his kid down from college and basically showed him around to see if this was the kind of place he'd like to work."
The 101 Group's owners kept flip-flopping between being rejector and rejectee until they reached three important conclusions:
1. Finding an investor is not just about finding the first person willing to dump his pockets on the table; it's a matter of chemistry as much as finance.
2. The right investor would accept the strategic importance of humor in their business model (and maybe even find their brand of humor funny).
3. They would not give up control of the business.
"A lot of young entrepreneurs who want to expand rapidly find themselves giving up that control," Brandon says.
Adds Clemens: "I think its important that the guys who created the idea that worked-that people want to invest in-are able to steer the car."
Enter Edward Rosenthal, owner of Northern Stamping Co. in Cleveland (and minority owner of the New York Yankees). Rosenthal is good friends with Cindy Jandik, a broker's assistant to Justin's dad.
Over steak and Scotch at Morton's one night, Jandik, Rosenthal and Barry Clemens started talking about their children. When Justin's young business came up, Rosenthal started asking questions. After reading the business plan and talking with the elder Clemens, Rosenthal drove to Kent to see Laundry 101.
"I was very impressed with the boys and how immaculate it was. The machines were almost four years old and they looked brand new."
But sparkling washers and dryers and four young men who know how to carry themselves does not a wise investment make. What makes an astute business man drop $1 million into the pockets of four wise-cracking guys?
"I wasn't really impressed with the numbers," Rosenthal says, "but I was impressed with the numbers if we built five or 10 of these places. The concept is what I liked. We're not going after mass quantity. We're going after a niche and that is very important."
What closed the deal is the quality of the research the partners had done during the first "wasted" year of looking for money.
"All their ideas, where to go and how to go about it, they knew everything about the towns they wanted to go into. They knew all the demographics and that was important," Rosenthal says. "I wasn't ready to get into something and then do all the research and development."
And what about that brash sense of humor?
"I like innovation. I like controversy," says Rosenthal, who can't seem to help referring to his partners as boys. "I think that's part of their concept. It's their personality."
The second laundry-8,000 square-feet in Rose Bowl crazy Madison, Wis.-opened Dec. 28. A third location is planned after No. 2 rolls in three months of positive numbers-possibly by April. The goal is to have seven locations by the end of 2000. The targeted cities are one of the company's most valuable secrets.
What isn't a secret is how well the owners are getting along with their new partner.
"He ended up being a really fair guy," Brandon says of Rosenthal. "Where everybody else wanted majority control, he didn't. He took an extremely fair return on investment and gave us 10 years to pay him back."
Rosenthal receives 30 percent equity in all the expansion locations.
"We are pretty much in debt to him," Justin Clemens says. "We're more motivated than ever to make it work. When somebody takes a gamble on you like that, you really want to deliver.
"It's more than just money. You've got to have somebody you can work with and he's a guy that we can work with. He's got great business experience, he gives us great advice and he also doesn't try and take over the show. He's a perfect ingredient. Plus he's ridiculously immature so he fits in well with us."