Joe Tagliente has been in the hospitality industry since graduating from Cornell’s hotel school. His dad opened a Burger King franchise in 1981 and together they grew a franchising and hotel company.

Joe is now taking new, exciting fast casual and quick service concepts and turning them into the repeatable franchisable businesses that we love.

Joe’s 4 step criteria to choosing a franchise is absolute gold:

  • Leadership & Management – Do you like the leaders? Do they inspire confidence in you?
  • Product/Service – Is the product or service actually good? Is the service needed? Would you use it/talk about it/recommend it?
  • Opportunity – What is the size of the opportunity? Are the territories very competitive?
  • Competitive Advantage – Does the brand have a compelling competitive advantage compared to others?

Joe suggests prospective franchisees do an analysis of themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, their passions and interests, and find a franchise that resonates with them around a topic they are interested in.

He’s excited about automation, particularly the innovation in POS systems linking with mobile apps to provide on-demand, actionable information to help franchisees and operations people make great decisions.

A conference Joe recommends the Food Service Tech show, or FSTEC 2015, put together by Rob Grimes.

Joe suggests every franchisee pay attention to 3 critical elements:

  • top line sales
  • controlling cost of goods sold
  • managing labor expense (talent)

Together we suggested that this might be achieved by valuing your Employees first, Customers second and then the happy employees will provide a great customer experience and the money will flow. I recommended Simon Sinek’s Start With Why – a very powerful book.

The worst moment in business for Joe came one September 12, 2001 the day after the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. The hotel business was in a solid & stable position but within 36 hours of that event bookings for the next 18 months dropped by 30%.

Joe suggests looking at DigInn as an exciting example of what’s happening in fast casual and quick service today.

The book recommendation if you’re thinking about franchising is “Grow Smart, Risk Less” by Shelley Sun.

Joe’s favorite sources of information are:

  1. Wall Street Journal
  2. Nation’s Restaurant News

You can get in touch with Joe on LinkedIn, Twitter, or via email at [email protected]