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Brother-In-Laws to Business Partners, Footprints Floors Growing in Charlotte

All it took was a conversation on a hot summer night with Brandon McBrier’s brother-in-law to buy into a Footprints Floors franchise.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
Updated 9:21PM 04/20/23

Brandon McBrier’s brother-in-law, Bryan Park, is the CEO and Founder of Footprints Floors* which specializes in installing hardwood floors, carpet, tile floors, backsplashes and laminates. McBrier, who opened his Charlotte territory in Jan. 2020, is using his profits to open his second territory in South Charlotte which also includes the Rock Hill and Fort Mill communities in South Carolina. 

McBrier spent several years in his family’s restaurant business owning a chain of Little Caesars Pizza franchises between Erie, PA and Cleveland and a Dickey’s BBQ Pit in Erie. After connecting with Park, McBrier bought his first Footprints Floors in Nov. 2018 in Erie. When looking to relocate, McBrier identified Charlotte as it’s the third fastest-growing city in the U.S. 

1851 Franchise Magazine: Tell me your story – what did you do before franchising?

Brandon McBrier: I am from Erie, PA and attended the University of Colorado. I lived in Denver for just over a decade. My wife and I moved back to Erie six years ago and joined the restaurant business. My family owns a chain of 20 Little Caesars pizza franchises between Erie & Cleveland. We also opened Dickey’s BBQ Pit in Erie which is the largest barbecue franchise in the U.S. I am still involved in the ownership of Little Caesars and Dickey’s BBQ Pit but have turned my attention to Footprints Floors.

1851 Franchise Magazine: How did you initially find out about franchising? 

McBrier: My family has been in the franchise food industry for 15 years with Little Caesars and Dickey’s BBQ Pit. I’ve enjoyed the restaurant industry and learned the value of customer service and a quality product.

1851 Franchise Magazine: Why did you pick franchising over starting your own business?

McBrier: Franchising provided my family with a way to make a living and I see it as a way to take a proven business model to the next level with the skills I have. Footprints Floors had easy ideas to understand with an upfront cost that included a territory, company truck and company training. I developed several cost analysis spreadsheets and the data lined up.

1851 Franchise Magazine: What types of brands did you look at?

I didn’t have a lot of ideas on the table at the time. I never thought about joining a flooring franchise until I met Bryan. I wanted a brand that could thrive in a metropolitan area with a manageable upfront cost compared to my past experiences in the restaurant industry. I also knew I didn’t want a franchise with a stationary location. I like to be out and about in my local community. 

1851 Franchise Magazine: Why did you pick Footprints Floors? What excited you most about the potential?

McBrier: I wanted a lifestyle change. Two years ago this August, my wife’s brother and his family came to visit us in Pennsylvania for the first time. My wife’s brother is Footprints Floors Founder & CEO Bryan Park. I remember it was a hot summer night and we were talking about what each of us do for a living. Bryan explained to me that he was starting a franchise which caught my attention. I could tell he knew how to lead a team of people. Not every brand’s CEO is a franchise owner and that’s when I knew this could be a special brand to become a franchisee with. He owns ? of the Denver Footprints Floors location making him the largest & strongest franchisee of his whole system. When you’re able to learn from someone who is able to get it done on the franchisee side and franchisor side, I know this was the franchise for me. After our weekend together, I decided to pursue the franchise opportunity and bought my first territory in November 2018 covering the Erie and Cleveland region. My first territory is Charlotte and my second territory will be South Charlotte which also includes two communities in South Carolina, Fort Mill and Rock Hill. One of the advantages of doing business in South Carolina is there are no sales taxes in contracting labor. 

1851 Franchise Magazine: What are your dreams with the business? What does the future look like?

McBrier: Footprints Floors allowed us to move from Erie to Charlotte in January 2020 as I sold my Erie and Cleveland territory. I have my eyes set on a third territory in the Columbia, South Carolina region. Once you add that third territory, you’re able to grow the business and take on more employees. The main goal is to do $1.5 million in business. However, the main focus right now is setting up shop in Charlotte and South Charlotte. This June is going to be twice as good as any month we’ve had so far. Most of the money used to buy the second territory came from the profits over the last six months. 

1851 Franchise Magazine: What value do you see your business providing to Charlotte?

McBrier: Charlotte is a beautiful area with many old and modern homes that are heavily wooded. It’s a growing city too as the population is supposed to surge 47 percent from 2010 to 2030. Our model is created in such a way that I can scale up and double the size of the business but still keep it personal. I pride myself on the calm helpful relationships we create with our clients. Simple things like texting our customers when we are coming over or taking photos of the progress we are making goes a long way. Building trust with people is one of the biggest keys to being a successful business owner.

1851 Franchise Magazine: What advice would you have for others looking at buying a franchise?

McBrier: When you buy into a franchise, you pay a royalty fee. Therefore, a business you buy into should create a strong return on your investment. The biggest factor is buying a franchise you are passionate about. For me, it goes back to my conversation with Bryan. There is a calmness to him and the whole corporate team. They provided me with a model that was successful and allowed my family and I to move to Charlotte and grow the business.

1851 Franchise Magazine: What do you do in your personal time (hobbies, family, sports, etc.)

McBrier: I like to go out to Colorado and Utah and ski in the mountains. I also have two young kids and my wife and I love to go on adventures with them. My wife and I are also fluent in Spanish as we lived abroad in Chile and other countries in South America. We love the Latin culture and many of my workers are Latin so I am able to speak to them fluently. 

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.