People skills, leadership abilities and business aptitude are a few of the characteristics that make an individual a good fit for franchising. A Freddy’s Franchise Owner since 2016, Brett Rickert always wanted to be his own boss. He also appreciated how being a restaurant Franchise Owner could give him the freedom of being in business for himself, but not by himself, by giving him corporate support, a known and respected brand and access to a network of successful Franchise Owners. In a recent interview, Brett shared his story about how and why he chose Freddy’s and what it is like to be a fast-food Franchise Owner.
Before Becoming a Franchise Owner
Prior to launching his career as a Freddy’s Owner, Brett had just finished college, earning a degree in economics from the University of Kansas. He had both restaurant industry experience as well as business experience, working as a financial analyst for about a year after graduation. He knew he had what it took to be his own boss and was ready to take the leap with Freddy’s.
It was a natural choice. Brett was from Wichita, Kansas, and had grown up eating Freddy’s—a Bacon & Cheese Double Steakburger remains his all-time favorite. Another influence in his decision was his longtime family friendship with Bill Simon, one of the brand’s co-founders, who was happy to help him get started on the franchise ownership journey.
Choosing the Right Franchise Opportunity
For Franchise Owners, choosing the right franchise to invest in can be overwhelming. And the sheer number of fast casual restaurant franchise opportunities available doesn’t simplify the decision. Fortunately for Brett, the choice was clear.
Because of Brett’s existing love and loyalty for the Freddy’s brand, he didn’t even consider any other franchises. He knew and believed in their values and culture, not to mention their delicious food. At the time, Freddy’s was new to the South Carolina market, so Brett was able to get in on the ground floor. And because the brand started in Wichita, it was a known quantity to local investors, and Brett understood this would simplify the process of finding capital. He also had the support of his family—his dad is his business partner, which helped him get off to a strong start when he was only 24 years old.
Brett’s affinity for the Freddy’s brand culture played a big role in his decision to become a Franchise Owner. Compared with other fast casual brand (and adjacent quick-service restaurant franchises), Freddy’s Franchise Owners are very involved in running the business. He appreciated the emphasis on genuine hospitality—extending Guests warmth, friendliness and great service from the moment they walk through the door. “I love how we always put a huge focus on hospitality,” Brett said. “There is no other concept that has store managers and Team Members greeting tables and Guests like Freddy’s.” Everyone is part of the Freddy’s Family, and managers and Team Members are incentivized to keep them involved in creating the best possible Guest experience and drive sales. That commitment to friendly, excellent service helps Freddy’s stand out from the competition in the quick-service industry.
The Daily Life of a Franchise Owner
A day in the life of a Freddy’s Franchise Owner is busy, challenging and rewarding. You need to be able to solve problems, build relationships, manage teams and keep operations running smoothly. As a multi-unit owner, Brett currently has a general manager, two assistant managers and several managers at each location. He serves as the operator, ensuring that all aspects of the business are running smoothly. When he opens his fourth location, he plans to add a district manager to his team to share responsibilities. Brett is a stickler for getting the right people in place—he’s proud of how well the system works, and it’s key that every Team Member buys into it.
Growing a Successful Franchise
With his background in finance, Brett knows the key to long-term success is stable franchise growth. After joining Freddy’s in 2016, he moved from Kansas City, Kansas, to Columbia, South Carolina, looking for new territory that felt like the original market. He currently has two franchise locations in Columbia, one in Irmo and is opening a fourth restaurant in Florence. A big believer in promoting from within, Brett cites his first hire, Devin, as “his best general manager ever.” Starting at Freddy’s as a ColdLine team member, then working his way up to supervisor and assistant manager, Devin now runs the restaurant. And just like Brett, he can’t live without The Freddy’s Way. “Once,” Brett said, “he even took another job to explore something new and within a month came back because he missed it so much.”
Being a part of the Freddy’s Family can be personally and financially rewarding. Brett loves bringing the brand’s great hospitality and classic, All-American food to new communities, building strong relationships with both his teams and the Guests they serve and the chance to build a business from the ground up.
If you’re passionate about great service, building relationships in your community and have a strong background in franchising or restaurant operations, see if you have what it takes to be a Multi-Unit Owner, and learn more about the process of joining the Freddy’s Family.