Interested in breaking away from food? If so, you’ll be following the lead of giant QSR legends. This is a Fransmart exclusive interview with Donald Bauer and Philip Horn, known for investing early in Papa John’s, QDOBA, and Jersey Mike’s, about why they diversified outside of food with the nation’s leading skincare studio, GLO30.
Can you tell me more about each of your backgrounds in your own words?
Donald: “I was a Dominos pizza franchisee with 5 stores that I had just sold. Philip was looking for someone to help run his Papa John’s stores at the time. I came on board in ’95. Over the years, we built the brand up to over 60 Papa John’s restaurants. We opened Qdoba Mexican Grill and got up to 24 restaurants and then sold that brand. Right now, we have 15 Jersey Mike’s and we have about 4-5 more in development. We’re with a brand called Huey Magoo’s Chicken Tenders out in Orlando too, and we have 1 open, 1 in construction, and 6 more in development. We have a brand called Chopped 5 Salad Kitchen. It’s in the health food market, salads, and wraps.”
“We were just very excited to diversify into something that’s not in the food business. We’ve looked for something for a long time, then Dan introduced us to [GLO30], and we were able to go and take a look at the brand in Washington. We were very impressed with Herman and Arleen. The whole concept is fantastic we think, and we’re very excited to get started in Phoenix.”
What about GLO30’s business model really sold you on the concept?
Donald: “Well, several things. First of all, the subscription model. You have a customer base coming in that really likes what they’re doing. It’s a nice time away from home once a month to enjoy a facial. We really like how simple it was. Some of our businesses over the years have started out simple and gotten very complicated. We really like the simplicity of it and the health aspect of it.”
What were your thoughts after seeing the numbers now that you’re signed up?
Philip: “It’s very attractive. You know, if it plays out, it’ll be better than some QSR models for sure. We’ll see how it pans out when we get to Phoenix and Scottsdale.”
“We were early in Papa John’s, we were early in Qdoba, and we are early in Huey Magoo’s, so we been a part of a number of emerging brands and have been able to watch them grow. We’re excited to do that again with GLO30.”
How did GLO30 compare to other franchises in the retail space and even compared to other skincare service franchises?
Philip: “You know, we didn’t really look at any other skincare franchises, but we’ve seen a lot of brands over the years. Every time we looked at something else out of food, we get cold feet right at the end because it just didn’t feel right. We looked at a kitchen and bathroom remodeling franchise, we looked at a company called Smash Your Trash, we’ve looked at an oil change business, and we could never get comfortable with those models.”
“Don has already mentioned it, we followed Planet Fitness and Orange Theory as they got into this subscription business, which is very intriguing if you build out your customer base. The scheduling is easy, the operations are easy, you know what’s coming. In the restaurant business, you know a rainstorm or a football game, there are so many variables that can change our business in a minute. We really like the simplicity and the consistency of the GLO30 model.”
What did you think of GLO30’s labor model?
Donald: “We’re a big believer in how you treat your employees is how your business will end up. We’re in favor of the way that GLO30 treats their employees.”
Philip: “We’ve spent a good amount of time with Herman out there, and it’s obvious through their team that their treating their employees well, and we intend to do the same thing.”
What’s your familiarity with the Phoenix and Scottsdale area? How do you see the absentee model working in the state?
Donald: “We’ve both traveled to the Phoenix and Scottsdale area quite a bit over the years and I have a number of friends living out there dating all the way back to high school. We just really like the demographics there for GLO30. The Scottsdale area matches up with Washington D.C. as far as income levels and people that would be interested in GLO30. We’re very familiar with running things from a distance, we have an operating partner in each one of our brands and each one of our markets, and we’ll be doing something similar there.”
What other areas in Phoenix are you looking at?
Philip: “We’re hopefully meeting the founders out there in the next few weeks to look over some areas and map out our territory. Ideally, we will find someone local that really knows the area, lives there, and is familiar with the market. So, if you know anyone in the area, keep us posted.”
Where do you see GLO30 as a brand in the next 5-10 years?
Donald: “In 10 years we would like to see it be a national brand, for sure. We’d like to be a big part of that in the Phoenix market.”
Philip: “One thing that makes this a little bit easier too is you don’t necessarily have to have the main-to-main real estate to make this work. In can be in a variety of places. You can have 600 sqft store or 1000 or even 1500 and it would work. You know when we’re building restaurants, we want to be high visibility and look at a lot of different factors. Every restaurant company on the planet wants the same piece of real estate, so it can be really difficult to find that. I think this will be a little bit easier from a real estate standpoint to find a space that works.”
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