All-Star Franchisees: Dean Kessel of The Famous Toastery
All-Star Franchisees: Dean Kessel of The Famous Toastery

After opening Famous Toastery in Cary, Dean Kessel Realized that Owning Your Own Business Doesn’t Mean Losing Your Free Time

Becoming a franchisee of the Famous Toastery was a no-brainer for Dean Kessel. He never considered exploring other businesses after he learned about the business model, freedom and comradery that the better-breakfast franchise offered his family.

Kessel noticed a lack of breakfast options in his town of Cary, and decided there was no time like the present to jump into this business venture with his wife and co-franchisee, Beth.

Kessel is a huge asset to the Famous Toastery with his passion for the brand and belief that there is no ceiling when it comes to serving the local community the best breakfast option around.

What was your perspective about franchising prior to joining?

I never considered joining another franchise besides Famous Toastery. I knew that franchising offered a set business model, but I was only willing to join a franchise that would improve my lifestyle, and Famous Toastery is the only franchise that I explored further. I had a personal relationship with Brian Burchill as a customer at Famous Toastery, and when they decided to franchise, I knew this would be my chance to get on board.

What is the top thing you think people don't understand about franchising?

I really think it’s important that you understand the people that you are going to be working with as partners. That doesn’t only apply with Famous Toastery – but any business model. You better have a good understanding of your own values, goals and objectives and then make sure they align with the people you plan to partner with. It’s not only about the financial benefits, but how the partnership will enhance your well-being.

How has being a franchisee changed your life?

It’s changed our lives dramatically. It’s given us a lot of freedom, not just business-wise, but personally. We are able to set our own hours, agenda, and grow at our own pace if we want to. We have a lot of freedom. We can hire who we want and there’s no ceiling to the height we can reach. At a normal 9 to 5 job, you get a raise when you are doing well. When you are your own boss it’s an entirely different kind of reward.

Why did you pick Famous Toastery?

In the restaurant space, I believe you have to differentiate yourself. Two things intrigued me, and continue to, with Famous Toastery. First, the service model – no one caters to the customers like we do. Second, the menu allows customers to eat at our restaurant every day. We are not a barbeque, Mediterranean, American or Asian restaurant. We have customers that are able to eat with us every day, some twice a day, and the menu offers diversity where you can have something different every day and enjoy it. I also think the breakfast and brunch category is underserved and the way we differentiate ourselves translates well to success.

What types of other brands did you look at?

I didn’t feel the need to look around at other brands. I knew Famous Toastery enabled me to have the lifestyle that I wanted. We close at 3 p.m. every day – this benefits our staff and the ownership. We aren’t trying to be all things to our customers, we have a clear identity and that’s breakfast and brunch.

Why should someone buy a Famous Toastery?

Someone interested in franchising should consider buying Famous Toastery for the service model, the differentiation, and the lifestyle. Because it’s a symbiotic relationship between the franchisee and franchisor, it’s very important to perform due diligence on the people you will be working with. You need to make sure they are trustworthy and of good character before becoming partners with them.

What advice would you have for someone looking to become a franchisee?

Do your homework. Know the brand and its capabilities. Know the market that you are looking at and make sure it is a good fit for you.

Visit the International Franchise Association's @Our Franchise website for more stories of passionate local franchise owners, employees and their communities. 

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