1851 Franchise Magazine connected with franchisee Bob Gregg to learn more about the importance he puts on community engagement and how it translates into professional success.
When buying into Slim Chickens, Bob Gregg vowed to himself that he would offer more to his customers than merely ‘Life Changing Chicken.’ While the business’ motto describes its food, “life changing” is also something to aspire to as a small business owner in a local community. To embody that motto, Gregg began to get involved with local community events and give back to the customers that came into his restaurant day after day.
“Our motto at Slim Chickens centers us around the fact that we are here each day to do more for our customers and each other than just serve good food,” said Gregg. “That motto creates our true purpose and a vision for how to interact with our customers, team members, suppliers and community as well as our overall efforts to support and impact organizations other than our own.”
Gregg currently operates two Slim Chickens locations in Texas. Within each market, he keeps an active pulse on the different community events taking place and is always on the lookout for ways to get both himself and his local business involved.
“We are always looking for different ways to be involved and support efforts around our restaurants,” said Gregg. “We donate food and meal services for various fundraising events to support local charities and host events inside our restaurants while also cutting a check for a portion of sales to give back to local schools, churches and groups needing funding or extra support. We have worked together as a business to provide life changing awards to members of the community who are embodying this motto that our business stands behind.”
In putting a large focus on charity outreach, Gregg has not only been able to become more ingrained within his community, but he’s also noticed an unexpected boost of awareness and sales at his locations. He is getting in front of new customers in different ways and areas that were not a part of traditional marketing before. His biggest advice on how to do this is to keep marketing and actively reach out.
“As a new business, or when evaluating marketing opportunities, we are inundated with sponsorship opportunities,” said Gregg. “At the end of the day, those opportunities are only a logo or ad in a publication or on a fence. That’s why we get ourselves and our team in front of people — of course with our food whenever possible -- to build a connection with who we are and what makes us special. Local marketing is a ground level game and it’s about building relationships – it takes persistence, personality, commitment and purpose.”
Now, as a restaurant veteran with a strong bond with his local communities, Gregg is able to look back and give advice to franchisees that are in the initial stages of getting their business off the ground.
“Don’t jump on sponsorship opportunities – find a way to activate a relationship by participating in events. Also, don’t be afraid to use your products as a donation as a way to get someone’s support,” said Gregg. “Be involved with as many charitable organizations as possible and create an opportunity for your teams to donate their time and resources to build their own support locally. Be involved, active and driven – be the face of your business.