Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with Betsy Hamm, CEO of Duck Doughnuts

May 10, 2023 00:29:40
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with Betsy Hamm, CEO of Duck Doughnuts
All Things Considered Franchising Podcast
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast with Betsy Hamm, CEO of Duck Doughnuts

May 10 2023 | 00:29:40

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Show Notes

Betsy Hamm is the CEO of Duck Donuts, a rapidly growing brand that is taking the
franchising industry by storm. Scott Milas Franchise Coach is a consulting organization
that helps people research and explore business ownership and provides free services to
their clients. Betsy and Scott spoke at the International Franchise Association in Vegas,
discussing the success of Duck Donuts and Betsy's history in the franchising industry.
Betsy started out in the Duck Donuts marketing department and eventually worked her
way up to become the CEO. Duck Donuts is a popular brand that has gained national
recognition for its delicious donuts. Betsy is proud to have been a part of the company's
success and looks forward to what the future holds.

Betsy was attracted to franchising, particularly the emerging brand Duck Donuts, when
they heard about the opportunity. She had friends who vacationed in the Outer Banks
and knew of the brand and were excited to hear that the speaker was considering taking
the interview. Betsy was intrigued by the brand, as it had the potential to become a
national household name with the help of a sophisticated marketing campaign. Though
Betsy had no prior experience or knowledge of franchising, she was drawn to the
challenge of taking a brand from a regional presence to a nationally recognized one.
When she started, there were 20 shops open, with 15 franchising. She saw this as an
exciting challenge and took on the job.

The conversation between Scotty and Betsy discusses how one ended up as the CEO of
an international donut franchise despite having no franchising experience. Betsy started
out as a marketing employee with the company and took on more responsibilities as the
company grew. She was surprised to find herself in the CEO role, but it has been
successful. She reflects on people who have been displaced from corporate America and
are considering whether to stay on that journey or start their own businesses. She then
reflected on her own experience and his first 24-36 months moving out of corporate
America, and how it has been successful. She notes that the company she was working
for before has been voted one of the best places to work.

Scotty and Betsy discuss the transition Betsy made from a corporate environment at
Hershey's to a franchise organization. Betsy noted that she thrives in the environment of
a franchise organization because she got to grow and do things differently. She also got
to have the spirit of entrepreneurship while relying on the support and structure of the
franchise system and other franchisees. Scotty mentioned that Betsy had to come up
with a lot of visionary ideas in the corporate environment, and in the franchising space, they are now developing processes.

Scotty Milas can be reached at [email protected] and at (860)751-
9126. His website about franchising is https://www.scottmilasfranchisecoach.com. Scotty's podcast website can be found here: https://www.allthingsconsideredfranchising.com

Betsy Hamm can be reached at https//: www.duckdonuts.com.

#allthingsconsidered #scottmilas #businessownership #franchiseopportunities
#betsyhamm #duckdonuts #maplebacon #entrepreneurship #toppingsanddrizzles #IFA #sprinklinghappiness

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:05 Welcome everybody to another episode of All Things Considered Franchising, powered by Scott, my franchise coach.com. All Things Considered franchising is a podcast devoted to the franchising space, talking and speaking with people within the franchise industry, CEOs, franchisees, franchisees, also people who are interested in entrepreneurship. Um, and, you know, really kind of getting into business, Scott, my franchise coach.com is an organization, consulting organization devoted to helping people research and explore business ownership, building that roadmap, helping in the journey, answering questions, research, education on franchising. The services that we provide are absolutely at no cost to our clients. We represent over 500 brands. Today's guest, I gotta tell you, it's, it's a great story. Um, and if you haven't heard about this brand, I think you've probably been sleeping way too much. <laugh>. You need to get out a little bit more. And this brand is really taking off. It's got a great story. And the interesting story, at least the first part about our guests is, is that they started out in the organization, in the marketing department and is now chief executive officer, c e o. You talk about climbing the corporate ladder. Uh, please welcome Betsy Ham to the show. Betsy, welcome. Speaker 2 00:01:28 Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. Speaker 1 00:01:31 Oh, it's great. You know, um, you and I got a chance to chat for a few minutes, uh, after your presentation over at the, uh, I f A in Vegas, uh, the International Franchise Association. And for those listeners that are not familiar with the I F A, it's the kind of the more of all organizations, uh, within the franchising industry, working on legal, legal issues, uh, just topics of, uh, franchising, franchisor relationships, franchisee franchisor relationships. And we talked about a model with your brand Duck Donuts. And like I said, if, if you don't know who Duck Donuts are and haven't had their donuts, well you're really missing out. I I, my daughter, one of my daughters, my oldest daughter up in, uh, the Quincy, Massachusetts area, just she, every time she says, I gotta have one of these duck donuts, I gotta have one of these duck donuts. But so, but anyway, uh, let's first start off about, start off about your history in the franchising industry. You come out of the, uh, resorts entertainment industry, and then you kind of got into franchising. How did that materialize? I mean, what brought you or attracted you to franchising, especially at that point when you got into it, an emerging brand? I mean, not even a Speaker 2 00:02:45 On Speaker 1 00:02:45 The radar, right? I Speaker 2 00:02:46 Mean it Yeah. How did that happen? Right. Yeah. So as you mentioned, I had spent most my entire career up until that point, at hospitality and tourism with Hershey Park and Resorts and, and restaurants. So, um, when I had heard about this opportunity at Duck Donuts, I didn't even know what Duck Donuts was. I had never been to one. Um, at that time it was really, if you weren't vacation in the outer banks, you probably haven't been to one. Um, but I was intrigued by the brand because I had some friends who vacationed in the outer banks, and when I mentioned Duck Donuts to them, they were like, oh my gosh, you have to take this interview. Um, so went met with the, the founder and the c e o at the time and learned about this brand that people who knew it loved it, and they wanted to take this and make it a national household name. Speaker 2 00:03:26 So as a marketer, that's like a dream come true, right? Right. To have this opportunity to take a brand that is slightly established, but really needs to grow up and become more sophisticated and, and make it a national household name. Um, so that's really what attracted me. I, to be completely honest, had no idea the complexities of franchising. So that was very completely new to me. And, and when I first started here, we had, um, 20 shops open, so, you know, probably what, 10 15 franchising at the time. Um, so it was, it was a quick lesson learned on just how franchising works and what our role as the franchiser was. And as you said, I mean, we were, we were a small brand. We were emerging. I was the 12th employee hired, so a lot of things weren't figured out yet. So, um, really had this opportunity to help grow and build not just the brand from a marketing perspective, but the company, you know, identifying what's our mission and vision and how many shops are we gonna open. Um, so just add, my role evolved. I just kind of kept taking on more and getting involved with operations and development. Um, so yeah, never my intention. If somebody would've asked me seven or eight years ago, you know, Hey, I think you're gonna be the c e o of an international donut franchise, I'd be like, they don't never let marketing people Speaker 1 00:04:35 <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:04:36 I have no franchising experience. But, you know, at the end of the day, it, it, it's, it's working, you know, it's, it's been great. So Speaker 1 00:04:42 It's, yeah, you guys are skyrocketing. And, and it's really interesting because in some respect, you have put yourself in the same pair of shoes as a lot of the potential franchisees that are walking through your door that are contemplating getting out of corporate America, or maybe have been displaced from corporate America, now deciding whether they want to continue in that journey, working for someone else, or start building their own legacy or start getting involved in their own business. So when you, when you look at those shoes, when you, when you look at your first 24 months, 36 months and, and, and coming out of the corporate side, and, and Hershey is a well-known, uh, resort entertainment, uh, company, it's, it's, it's, I I think it's been, you know, voted or recognized as one of the best places to work. I mean, it's just got a lot of awards. But when you made that transition, and maybe you can relate this to people, our audience who are thinking about investing in a franchise, what are some of the things that you found that were different and that just maybe were stereotyped that, you know, you may have thought about franchising or heard about franchising that actually were not really relative or, or true. I mean, what, what was that transition like? Speaker 2 00:05:56 Yeah, you know, as you mentioned, Hershey's, this really huge corporation with a ton of structure and layers and people and process and, you know, coming into a, a franchise organization where, again, growing and, and not completely established, um, I love it. I thrive in that kind of environment where everything isn't all cookie cuttered perfectly figured out. Um, and you have to do exactly, you know, what was already done in the past. We have this opportunity to grow and do things differently. And, and I think that's kind of similar to franchisees, right? Like, we have this tried and true business model. We know people love our donuts, so we can give our franchisees a business opportunity to have that entrepreneurial spirit and be their own small business owner, but they get to rely on the support and the structure, um, of our franchise system and other franchisees. Speaker 1 00:06:44 So you came out of a, a a, a corporate environment where vision was kind of your, um, your journey. I mean, you had a lot of come up with a lot of visionary ideas. Sure. Uh, being in corporate when you come into, and then you go into the franchising space and you're developing more of what I call, um, uh, you know, processes. So process entrepreneur. So how is that switch for you? Um, and then trying to relay that message to the franchisees that, you know, you can rely on us for the processes, we just need you to delegate those processes. What, what were some of the things that really kind of stood out with you? I mean, I mean, I'm sure there had to be pushback. There always is, right? So how did you deal with all that? Speaker 2 00:07:34 Yeah, you know, and I think because of when I started, we were figuring out so much still, right? Like the processes and the operations manual, and you know, how we're gonna operate that. It's not a different, uh, experience every location you go to, because it started to happen, you know, the shops were looking a little different because the franchisees were getting creative with their decor because we weren't providing a lot of decor, or maybe they were testing their own, um, seasonal promotions, <laugh> flavors. Cause you know, we weren't pushing out seasonal promotions or seasonal flavors. So, you know, we quickly realized like, okay, we have to really take the reins of this and make sure that we're providing that overarching strategy essentially, um, of the business, and making sure that you're having that same experience, whether you're in Huntington Beach, California or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Um, but where the franchisees come in and they really get to make that impact is, you know, on a local level. Speaker 2 00:08:24 So our most successful franchisees are the ones that are engaged and innovative and doing what they can to drive traffic. So we'll give you all the tools and resources to succeed, but we can't execute, right? We can't execute on a local level. We'll promote the brand at a national level. But to really drive sales, you have to be the salesperson on a local level, um, as the franchisee. And, and time and time again, that's what we see, you know, with our top performing shops versus the low performing shops, um, the ones who are taking that ownership and that accountability and moving forward and doing what they can, can do to drive, you know, catering and special events and being involved with PTAs and sports teams and schools, um, they get to have that creativity and that flexibility, and ultimately they're responsible for their success or for their failure. Speaker 2 00:09:07 Um, so I, I think it's interesting to have that opportunity as a franchisee that you really are in control versus, you know, a lot of times if you work at a really big corporate organization, you don't feel like you can have that impact, right? And I come back to, you know, my role at Hershey, I got to be involved in so many amazing projects and got to be part of so many cool things. But the impact I felt like I could make in my roles was like this big compared to here. I tell our team, everybody has the ability to impact the brand and the growth. No, I don't care if you've been here for six months and you're a coordinator level, or you're, you know, at the VP level and you've been working in the franchise industry for 20 years. Um, anyone can have an idea. And we're so small still and nimble that we're able to act on ideas from our team or from our franchisees. I Speaker 1 00:09:50 Mean, that's exactly Speaker 2 00:09:51 Some of the best ideas come from our franchisees, whether it's, you know, how to handle something from an operations perspective, new flavors, whatever it is, we're getting great feedback from our franchisees that's helping our strengthen our brand and grow. Speaker 1 00:10:03 Right. You know, I, I, I, we're, we're talking with Betsy Ham, but you know, just just to take another second, you take, we're talking to Betsy Ham, chief Executive Officer over at Duck Donuts. Um, just one of those fast moving brands that's, uh, you know, really making an impact in the food industry across the us, you know, and one of the things, and, and to your point, one of the things that I like to talk about my clients, um, is really talking about, um, you know, the comfort margin being with a brand that's in that embryonic stage taking off. Because I've always said to people that, look, if you get into a brand that has a thousand units, 2000 units, you're, you're a franchisee. I mean, you know, true, the front door or the back door isn't necessarily opened. I said, but when you get involved with a brand like Duck Donuts and these emerging brands, you know, 50, a hundred, 150 units, and to me, that's still, they're still growing that back door to people like yourself within the organization, uh, for franchisees to kind of bend someone's ear about ideas. Is there Absolutely. I mean, is that correct? I mean, Speaker 2 00:11:05 Oh my gosh, ab, you're so right. Yeah, because we're not in the, the infancy stage of the, of the brand and establishing it. But like, I don't know, maybe we're in high school <laugh>, like right. We're not like post-college, you know, we're not retirement age, you know, we're at that, we got a lot figured out. But, you know, we, we are so open and, and, you know, our, we have, you know, about 30 employees from a headquarter standpoint. And, you know, franchisees have no issues picking up the phone, calling me, calling the VP of ops, whoever to say, Hey, this is an issue, or, Hey, I have an idea. And that's great. Like, again, that's how we're gonna grow is when we have more, uh, brains and different perspectives. And of course, people who are living and breathing the operation every day providing feedback, suggestions, recommendations, it just, it makes us stronger. Speaker 1 00:11:46 Right. Right. One last question before we get on to the brand about yourself. So you started out in the marketing department, you started to be an impact within the brand, obviously, um, things were going along. I, I guess I'm just trying to vision how the CE role, you know, that tap on the back, or was it a surprise? I mean, I, I'm, I'm sure the, the, the c e o position wasn't posted on a bulletin board somewhere, <laugh>, and, you know, so did it catch you off guard? I mean, is it, is it something that was in the back of your mind? Because we talk about people that wanna start a business and then franchise it, or people that want to get into the franchising industry, not necessarily own a franchise, but be part of a franchise or system. So your story really shows that there's potential growth. Absolutely. And absolutely. And it can really, if you capture what franchising is all about. So your story, I mean, how did this, I mean, it's just interesting. I mean, yeah, it is. Like I said, like you said in the beginning, there aren't too many marketing people, right. That have come out and all of a sudden been CEOs. It's kind of like, you know, the accounting person getting in charge of sales. I mean, it just very never happens. Speaker 2 00:12:56 <laugh>. I think more marketing people should be CEOs, I think, yes, they should. That, you know, this, you know, marketing is all about driving the brand and growth, and that's what a CEO is, is, is driving the brand and growth and making sure I have the smartest team around me to support that, to make sure it happens. So, um, when I was in marketing, after about a year and a half of building up a team, the, the, the c e o and founder, um, Russ had said to me, I think you should, um, I wanna promote you. And at the time, honestly, we didn't even have titles. So I said, well, what are you, what are you gonna promote me to? I don't even have a title. Um, and he's like, I'm gonna make you c o o so, you know, over operations. And I thought, wow, they definitely don't let marketing people over operations this fun. Speaker 2 00:13:32 Um, but it worked out, again, we worked so closely together my entire career, even in Hershey, we worked so closely with the operations team, I get how they think I get what's important. Um, so I could just kind of have that bridge and had the operations experts on the team to be able to make sure things were happening. So was in that role for, you know, I guess probably about two years. And then Russ had always been very upfront with me that he was gonna take this brand and this company as far as he could, and then he was gonna have to bring in other expertise. You know, he is the true definition of an entrepreneur, um, starting and, and having the ideas and, and being innovative. Um, and, you know, sort of near retirement age too. So it was in January of 2020, um, he said to me, it's time. Speaker 2 00:14:11 This is the year I'm gonna start looking, you know, for capital or private equity partner. And I was like, no, gimme one more year. And, and he is, you know, was pretty, had his mind made up. So of course, we all know what happened in March. It was covid. I thought we would take a little hiatus, but we didn't. And he kept moving forward. Um, and that was when I think it kind of hit me because during Covid, um, with just the chaos that everybody was dealing with, um, you know, I really stepped up and sort of took the, the driver's seat. And, and Russ was like, I think this is a great opportunity for you to, you know, prove yourself, you know, continue to build the relationship with the franchisees and the credibility with the franchisees and the team. I'm here if you need me, right? Speaker 2 00:14:49 I think you can take this and run. Um, so I was like, okay, <laugh>. So I knew Colvin's gonna last so long. Right, right. Um, but you know, we, uh, as everyone else learned so much during that time period, so as we're going through the process, you know, interviewing the private equity groups, which I was a part of those conversations, um, it, it kind of dawned on me like, I don't want somebody to come in and take over. Like, we're in such a good path. We were in such a good, like, spot as a company. Um, and I had been influencing so much of that, that the thought of somebody coming in and potentially derailing changing, shifting, um, I was like, whoa, wait, actually I think I, I wanna be in charge. Like I wanna continue to drive this forward. We've done so much, you know, in the last two years essentially. Speaker 2 00:15:30 Um, so that's when I was like, yeah, no, I wanna, I wanna do this. I wanna, I wanna make this happen. And, and of course, I had Russ's complete support. He's always been my biggest cheerleader, which I greatly appreciate. Um, so then when he told, uh, NewSpring, who was our private equity group that I remember vividly at dinner, um, they had said, oh, you know, Russ, we, we like to, um, back companies that are founder led, and we just, we back you up like, right, we don't wanna bring anybody in. Um, this is how we operate. And Russ is like, oh, I'm, I'm not sticking around. He's like, you know, I, I would like, as part of this o opportunity that, you know, I'm gonna step out. And they're like, oh, what are we gonna do? We have to find a CEO e. And he is like, no, she can do it. And I can see them like, all kinda look at me like, Speaker 1 00:16:11 Yeah, I can picture that picture. I'm visualizing that the dinner Speaker 2 00:16:15 Thing. Yeah. And I'm like sitting Speaker 1 00:16:16 There like, Speaker 2 00:16:17 <laugh> shoot, did I really say that out loud that I can do it? Like, is it too late? So, um, o of course there was lots of conversations after that and, and, you know, sh sharing with NewSpring what I had done up to that point, and, you know, my story, it interviewing essentially, you know, interviewing essentially for the job. Um, but, you know, I think they quickly saw that I had the potential to, to be able to continue down the path we had already started, um, and take it to the next level. You know, elevate was the word that I think I used a lot as we just continue to grow. So, yeah, I mean, not the normal Speaker 1 00:16:45 Great story Speaker 2 00:16:46 Happen here we are <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:16:48 Yeah. Well, look, I mean, sometimes surprises work out really great. And I mean, and it's coming in from a different approach. We're talking to Betsy Ham, chief Executive Officer of Duck Donuts, uh, a national chain right now growing like weeds. I guess the is is the way to say it. So let's focus in on a little bit about the brand, and then we'll talk about some franchising. But, um, you know, franchisors have, uh, you know, and, and it's something I've always questioned as a consultant and being in the industry for as long as I have, you know, people say the perfect franchisee, uh, for, uh, for Duck Donuts or the perfect franchisee for this person, I'm not a believer in there's such thing as a perfect franchisee because, uh, you know, perfection is far and f between, uh, ideal may be the right word, and that's what I like to use. So when we look at the word ideal, and the person who considers or should consider, or someone like myself a consultant to introduce Duck Donut to Duck Donuts, what am I looking for? I mean, what, what are some of the attributes? I mean, obviously there's the, you know, the, the, the known financials and things like that. Sure. But yeah, let's talk about character, uh, personality. Um, what are we looking for or what if somebody's listening thinking about, Hey, this sounds really interesting, what should they be thinking about? Speaker 2 00:18:06 Yeah. You know, our franchisees are very diverse, right? So we have some franchisees who maybe they were a teacher or an accountant, or worked in marketing and a big organization. So from a prior career, I would say it's all over the place. But I think the common denominator of our successful franchisees, um, is someone who can come in and be able to be independent, right? With those tools and resources and the support, um, who's very driven, who's resourceful, who's a great problem solver. Um, and I think the piece that a lot of people forget, no matter which franchise you get into, is you're gonna have a bunch of employees, right? So you have to be good with people, um, and be able to manage a team. And in, in our world, you're managing a lot of 16, 17 year old kids, which is a whole new opportunity for people, right? Speaker 2 00:18:49 Um, so, you know, somebody who can come in and, and build a team and make them feel supported. And, um, that's really the biggest thing. And, you know, we talk about the circle of success at Duck Donuts, and of course, we have this great image that's a donut, of course, is a circle. So as the franchisor, we need to be very strong. Um, and then we, as our job is to support the franchisees, but the franchisees job is to support their team, who then is delivering to the customer. And if the customers are happy, they're gonna keep coming back. So, you know, that's our circle is the franchisees who can focus on their team, and of course, the customer, uh, to ensure that we're delivering that superior product with an exceptional customer experience. So we can teach you how to make donuts. That's maybe almost the easiest part of the job, right? Um, but the franchisees who can come in and manage and build a team as well as build their sales, um, and through marketing programs and, and anything from a local perspective, I mean, that's what we're looking for is right. Franchisees who can come in and, and have that aptitude to do that. Speaker 1 00:19:47 So there is a sales aptitude to this. Absolutely. And again, that, those are one of the questions that I like to take a deep dive in with my, with my clients, because people don't realize that, you know, and when we talk about sales aptitude, we're not talking about, and I'm really dating myself here. We're not talking about the Willie Lomans, where you're carrying your briefcase around you're floor hopping, or knocking on doors, or going through the white pages or yellow pages, or index cards, uh, dialing for dollars. What we're talking about is the sales aptitude, the ability to go out and network, whether it's a chamber, totally, uh, a b Nni group, uh, getting to know the local car dealership, the sales manager or the vice president of finance. So what, that's what we're talking about. Absolutely. Speaker 2 00:20:27 As far as sales relationships, it's Speaker 1 00:20:29 Relationships selling. Yep. Yep. Speaker 2 00:20:31 Good. And then relationships are huge in, in general, because of course, they have to have a relationship with us and our team. They have to have a relationship with their own team members, customers, potential customers. So ha being able to have strong relationships and build them and be a great communicator. I mean, those are like the really big key things that we, we, we can give you some tools through that, but we can't teach people how to, you know, build relationships. That's really, um, something that they have to have that skillset when they come to us. Speaker 1 00:20:55 You know, your industry that you are in, um, is a competitive industry, but it's a unique competitive industry because in that quote donut space, and again, I'm just gonna use that term for a second here. You know, you really have maybe three players. I mean, I, I won't, I might mention 'em because we all know who they are, <laugh>. But that differentiator for Duck Donuts, obviously there's that local that, uh, locally owned that, you know, franchise business. Um, but what are some of the other differentiators that separates you from those larger organizations that really, you know, maybe have a bigger place on the map, but Sure. Really don't. And, and there's nothing wrong with those businesses. Sure. I'm not here to throw 'em on. They don't have their place. What's the dif Exactly. So what is your place in differentiator if someone's considering to get into this space? Because a lot of people like say, well, you know, there are a lot of those. I don't know if I, you know, but I'm a firm believer that, you know, there's a reason why there's a lot of burgers, chicken, pizza and everything is because it pleases the masses. And let's face it. Absolutely. A lot of people eat donuts. Yep. <laugh>. Yeah. So what is the differentiator for Duck Donuts? Yeah, Speaker 2 00:22:08 You, you know, the biggest thing is, well, first Donuts, because we have some competitors who don't even keep donut in their name anymore, being they focus more on beverage, which is great. You know, 85% of our sales are donuts. I would love to drive our coffee sales, or, you know, we have milkshakes and ice cream, but it's still a very small piece of our business. And then the, the other biggest, well, the biggest differentiator is the fact that, um, we are customizable and we're fresh. So when you walk into a Duck donuts, you don't see any donuts sitting there. Um, you have to walk up to the cash register and order your donuts, and you get to choose your coatings and toppings and drizzles. Um, and then once you order them is when we actually make them. So then you also get to see the entire process in front of you, and then we hand you a box of warm donuts when you walk out the door. So, you know, having that warm on demand fresh, I got to pick out what I have in my donut. We're never really out of any donuts. Um, that's really what our biggest differentiator is versus the other donut concepts. Speaker 1 00:23:00 So what is, we're we're talking with Betsy Ham, chief Executive Officer of Duck Donuts. I'm Scotty, my podcast host for all things considered franchising. Betsy, what's the vision like for, for Duck? I mean, where do you, uh, where do you see this going? I mean, you know, franchising, you know, a friend of mine, uh, you may know her, Emily Anderson, she's just a great developer. You know, she puts, she looks at franchising that people really have to get outside the box. There's a lot more to franchising than the golden arches in the $5 foot long <laugh>. So when you look at the, you know, what, where is Duck Donut going? What's your vision? Um, what are you seeing down the road? Speaker 2 00:23:39 Yeah, so we're obviously focused on growth and, and growth is really twofold. So obviously we, we wanna open up additional locations. We have about 118 locations in the United States. Um, we have a few international Canada, um, Egypt, Cairo, we just opened Saudi Arabia, and we have a couple other countries opening this year. So we wanna continue to extend that footprint. And we, you know, our goal is to sprinkle happiness around the globe, um, which is great. But the other piece of that growth is, is we need to continue to focus on our existing shops and making them more successful, which of course is driving sales, making them more profitable. Um, so our efforts is really around how are we driving transactions, how are we driving frequency? I would love to see our frequency numbers increase, and just trying to kind of crack that, um, to figure out what that entails has really been a focus. Speaker 2 00:24:22 So while we're focused on growth, it's, it's having duck donuts on in every market, essentially. You know, I, I don't think we're a brand that will have a duck donuts at every street corner. Like, we're not right on the level of like, say a Starbucks, you know, you can go a half a mile and there's another Starbucks, and that model works for them. Um, but, you know, we are a special treat. We are something that people go to for events or for holidays or, um, just for a reward. So, no, I think as we grow, we'll be very strategic about that and not oversaturate markets and, and keep that distance that, you know, we are able to sustain growth, um, with a few additional locations. Right. But, you know, we're probably not gonna hit the 10,000 mark location anytime <laugh> in the future. Speaker 1 00:25:03 So Duck Donuts is really more of a destination, Hey, I want to go to Duck Donuts today. Yeah. It's not like you're driving by some of the other places. Go, oh, let me stop in there. Right? It's, people say, this is where we're going today. It's that treat, it's that, it's that want, I want to go to Duck Donuts today. Yes. That need versus want. Great. Just switching real gears real quickly, um, you know, um, and you were at I f A, um, and there's a lot of whispers about what's going on in the industry, um, uh, the, uh, the joint employer, uh, uh, thing that's going on in California and everything. Um, but if there's it, somebody's listening today and they're really contemplating whether the pick up the phone and start learning about franchise opportunities and owning a franchises versus doing it themselves, talk to the audience and the listeners, the advantages that you see, not only with the Duck Donuts, but the franchising industry itself. I mean, can you share some just the words of wisdom? Speaker 2 00:26:04 Absolutely. I mean, the franchising industry is so huge, and I love going to I f a to be reminded of the impact that our industry has across the globe. Um, it, it's just amazing, and I, I can't remember the numbers off the top of my head, but just some of the numbers that they throw out with the number of, and even McDonald's, when the McDonald's c e o was talking about the number of employees that are part of McDonald's, and you think about how many people McDonald's touches every day. Um, it's just amazing. And I, I think from a, from a customer perspective, I think it's, it's such a huge part of people's lives that they don't even realize or take for granted that consistency piece that I know that if I go somewhere to a new market, I'm traveling, I can look for that consistent brand, say at McDonald's or Duck Donuts that I know, and I know I want to go there, um, because it's the consistent experience. Speaker 2 00:26:49 So I think that's so important from a customer standpoint that we take a grant for granted. And then again, it goes back to that small business opportunity. Um, the number of people who've been able to control their own wealth and their own growth of their wealth is huge within the franchise industry, right? So again, it goes back to being part of a larger system where you're taking out a lot of that risk versus opening your own donut shop down the street. Um, it's, it's just a lot safer. Um, and, and being able to give people that opportunity. You know, I, and I remind our team of this all the time, is people invest a ton of money into our brand or other franchise brands, um, and we get to help support them live their dreams of, you know, being able to be that small business owner and, and control their destiny of their wealth. Speaker 2 00:27:33 Um, so I, you know, I, I appreciate if a's attention and work on all this from a, from a government standpoint, it's, it's messy and it's, you know, kind of frightening, but hopefully continuing to have the franchisees, I loved how they talked about that, sending the franchisees to different, uh, meetings because you're hearing straight from the people who are impacted by this. And, and I think that's really huge. So I hope we can continue to head down the right path of, of making sure franchising is, is continuing to grow and succeed as it's set up now. Speaker 1 00:28:02 Wow. Well, this has been great, Betsy. I mean, anything else you'd like to share about Duck Donuts? Anything I may have missed? A asking, um, you know, uh, unique brand, um, uh, you know, very good validation, strong validation, uh, definitely something to, you know, add to the list of considerations. Uh, it's not as complicated as some of the other food concepts. Yes, very true. Uh, but it is still the food business. I mean, it's, uh, you know, um, it's, uh, I tell people that it's not hard work, it's just long work. Speaker 2 00:28:34 True. It's Speaker 1 00:28:35 Typically what I tell people. But, uh, but anything else, uh, you wanna share anything about franchising? Anything I'm, you may want to add to our audience? Um, Speaker 2 00:28:42 I mean, I feel like we covered all of it, but you're right. You know, we can, we can teach you how to make a donut. It's really how to run a business. And, and if that's something that's of interest, you know, we're obviously continuing to grow and looking to span, uh, across the us so feel free to check us [email protected]. Speaker 1 00:28:57 Okay, great. Well, everybody, we've been talking to Betsy Ham, chief Executive Officer at Duck Donuts, a a, an amazing story. Um, you know, it's just, uh, you know, I guess it's what entrepreneurship and, uh, America is all about. I mean, it, it's, it's just a, it, it's just a great story. Uh, this has been All Things Considered Franchising, powered by Scotty Myas, Scott Myles franchise coach.com. Uh, it's been great to having you, Betsy, and we, uh, hope to get you back maybe in another six months, couple months Speaker 2 00:29:26 Ago. Yep, absolutely. Speaker 1 00:29:29 All right, everybody, until next time, this is Scotty my saying, see you later.

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