For the past three and a half years, Famous Toastery franchisee Dean Kessel has taken the time to understand his business from the inside out. With enough know-how and experience, Kessel has committed to opening ten more locations, in addition to his one existing location, over the next three to four years.
Before digging into all the ways in which Kessel has created an incredibly successful business, it’s important to note that he has 20 plus years of senior executive experience in marketing and development under his belt. Before joining the Famous Toastery brand, Kessel was a loyal customer who saw the potential of expanding this proven model on his own. Clearly, it was the ultimate franchise industry match.
“I love the entrepreneurial side of things and that I’m responsible for every aspect of my business’ health,” says Kessel. “As an executive, I was able to control around 90 percent of things. But there was this 10 percent that was up to others and that really bothered me. I knew I wanted to work for myself.”
Among the perks of working for himself, closing his North Carolina Famous Toastery location at 3 p.m. is among his favorites. The day-time hours give him and his staff the ability to be home with their families in the evening, help their kids with homework and never miss events like baseball games and recitals. To Kessel, knowing when to give his business his everything, and knowing when to set apart time for his family, is imperative.
“We are a breakfast and brunch restaurant. We don’t try to be everything for our customers and they don’t expect us to. But when they are here, we make sure to provide them with the best service, atmosphere, and food possible. That’s what keeps customers coming back,” Kessel said.
Kessel says there’s not another food concept outside of Famous Toastery that he’d consider. The differentiation amongst the locations, the autonomy of the brand’s franchisees and the high level of support he receives from corporate made for an ideal business opportunity. And three and a half years later, Kessel is incredibly proud of the business he’s built, from the cozy fireplace which warms his guests in the winter to the stellar customer service provided by his trusted staff.
“The first step was really knowing my market and how to reach them,” says Kessel. “Once I understood those factors, following the policies and processes set in place by Famous Toastery was enough for me to create a successful business. At the end of the day, the best advertising you can have is providing good service and good food, because your customers will tell other people. The secret is there’s no secret.”
With the momentum of the Famous Toastery brand and the growing demand in and around North Carolina for its better breakfast, Kessel feels that right now is the perfect time to grow his business. And he feels confident doing so, understanding how to hire the right kind of people to make for an efficient, cheerful day-to-day operation.
“As the owner, it’s not really about me. It’s about the people I hire,” says Kessel. “For a long time, I’ve been working in the business, getting to know its every facet. Now, I’m working on the business, which is a big difference. As long as I’m making sure I’ve hired the right people, that I give them the resources they need and that I hold them accountable, I know my new locations are going to run well.”