with Tyler Carlson

Tyler Carlson dives into stories with industry experts to discuss the intersection between retail and technology.

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Episode 011, January 30, 2019


011 Chris Dull, Global Franchise Group

Talk Highlights
  • The importance of understanding how policy and procedures that are put in place from
    the office are executable in the field. How Chris spent time working in the store long after being an executive.
  • Is the customer always right?
  • Don’t react to what is happening from a technology standpoint today, but where you see it tomorrow. Lessons he learned and what he might have done differently.
Speaker Bio

Chris Dull understands what it takes to build successful brands. After graduating from Baylor, Chris took a position with Marble Slab Creamery, Inc. and rose through the management ranks. In 2007, as Executive Vice President, he led the brand through a go-public sale to NexCen Brands for $21 million. Chris went on to become President of NexCen Franchise Management.

In 2010, NexCen was acquired by Global Franchise Group, and Chris set his sights on maximizing the potential of the company’s most promising concepts in the QSR space.

Today, Global Franchise Group has a portfolio of six brands – Great American Cookies®, Marble Slab Creamery/MaggieMoo’s®, Pretzelmaker®, Hot Dog on a Stick®, and Round Table Pizza®.

Chris is credited with vertically integrating the company’s manufacturing business. Plus adding a corporate store vertical to the GFG business with the 2014 acquisition of Hot Dog on a Stick® (which he led out of bankruptcy). As well as the acquisition of Round Table Pizza® in 2017.

Most recently, Chris championed the successful sale of Global Franchise Group from Levine Leichtman Capital Partners to Lion Capital LLP and Serruya Private Equity.

Chris’ has led the organization to $1 billion in system-wide sales and more than 1,500 stores worldwide. He understands all aspects of franchising and is an expert in maximizing value.

Chris is an avid family man, triathlon, and true leader!

Show Notes
  • 1:26- How Chris went from going to Baylor University, to being a Marble Slab employee, to running on of the most successful businesses in the world
  • 6:08- What was he wrong about?
  • 8:17- Individuals that made a big impact on Chris
  • 11:33- Some things that he looks at when he visits locations that others are not
  • 14:27- Best experience in retail today?
  • 16:07- Technology at your disposal
  • 17:54- Technology advice. Where he wished he embraced technology more?
  • 19:33- Where Chris sees technology heading
  • 21:35- EVERY decision a brand makes should start with a conversation with the customer
  • 22:45- The age old question. Is the customer always right?
  • 23:31- Outsourcing or insourcing?
  • 25:02- Rapid fire questions

Episode 010, January 14, 2019


010 Jayson Siano, Sabre Real Estate

Talk Highlights
  • Lessons Jayson learned after landing the Starbucks account and bringing Chipotle to NY
  • If you do not differentiate yourself, then you are out of business
  • Why Jayson considers the word “broker” a curse word
Speaker Bio

Jayson Siano is the co-founder of Sabre Real Estate Group, a retail real estate brokerage firm based in Long Island, New York. Jayson was born into a family of car dealers, where he learned how to detail cars and make sales. His humble beginnings have shaped the way he conducts business. He first joined Breslin Realty in 2001 at the age of 25, making him the youngest broker at the company. After five years, his dedication proved itself when he became the top producer, responsible for leading the company with a focus on business development, strategy, corporate finance, recruiting and corporate culture. By 2007, Jayson was pursued by CBRE to co-create the retail services group out of its Woodbury office. After four years, he decided to break out and start his own brokerage company. Sabre Real Estate Group currently represents some of the world’s most recognized brands and strives to help each client through achieving their short and long-term goals.

Show Notes
  • 1:08 – Jayson’s transition from DJ to Director of Corporate Retail to Co-Founding Sabre
  • 4:00 – Advice Jayson would give himself when he started as a young broker
  • 7:30 – Lessons learned after landing the Starbucks account
  • 10:53 – What was the latest and greatest technology when Jayson was becoming the top producer
  • 13:33 – Most common mistakes commercial real estate brokers made in 2018
  • 12:45 – Why Jayson considers “broker” a curse word
  • 16:11 – Lightbulb moment when Jayson came up with the Real Sabre Vlog
  • 17:50 – What’s in store for Real Sabre’s vlog
  • 19:41 – Examples of those not moving with the evolution of retail
  • 22:11 – Things Jayson pays attention to when visiting a retailer that others may not
  • 26:00 – Why Jayson knew he was best suited to bring Chipotle to NY
  • 31:00 – Quickfire Questions

Episode 009, January 2, 2019


009 Ryan Rao, Apex Franchise Development Group

Talk Highlights
  • Creating an experience so memorable they will tell people about it
  • Why franchise sales are completely different from other sales
  • The first question every franchisor needs to ask a potential franchisee
Speaker Bio

Ryan is a franchise development expert who has grown multiple franchise-based businesses into national and international brands. Ryan’s passion for franchising grew and developed from his entrepreneurial spirit. Ryan has vast experience in real estate, start-up financing, start-up franchising, franchise development, and the intricacies of growing and developing a brand. He is an avid franchise blogger with thousands of followers. He also serves as a franchise consultant and is a personal growth advocate.

Show Notes
  • 1:18 - Evolution of Ryan’s career - from Junior PGA Championship to the Principle at Apex Franchise Development Group.
  • 2:55 - Ryan’s father buys a franchise, Romeos Pizza.
  • 4:00 - Lessons learned from his mentor Ryan Rose. Infrastructure for growth!
  • 5:45 - With the importance of experience, any unique or remarkable recent experiences.
  • 7:20 - Best form of marketing is word of mouth.
  • 7:40 - Why not every salesperson can sell franchises.
  • 8:41 - Go to questions in franchise development “interview”.
  • 9:50 - Companies like Chick Fil A that limit the number of units per franchise. Opinions? Industry going multi-unit.
  • 11:30 - What are millennial franchisees interested in that others are not?
  • 13:22 - Summary of Ryan’s points.
  • 13:52 - Scalability has never been easier

Episode 008, December 3, 2018


008 Kevin Foreman, INRIX

Talk Highlights
  • Self Driving cars are coming whether you are ready or not.
  • Pick the industry that is winning and have more fun along the way.
  • Why does Amazon call it shipping instead of trucking?
Speaker Bio

Kevin Foreman lives with his family in Seattle, WA and serves as a VP at INRIX. INRIX is the global leader in connected cars and transportation intelligence. They provide information such as, which side of the road has more morning traffic?

Not only was Kevin one of the first 1,000 Facebook users and has an MBA from Harvard, but he also hosts legendary “fist bump Fridays” for his thousands of social media followers. Kevin is an excellent story teller and knows how to speak in a language that any audience can understand.

Show Notes
  • 1:41 – Evolution of Kevin’s career. From word processing in the 80s to AI in 2018.
  • 3:45 – 3 things we will never solve
  • 5:23 – Advice from Kevin on picking industries that are WINNING.
  • 8:15 – The “takeoff” of certain industries
  • 11:53 – Shipping vs. Trucking. Speaking in terms that your audience understands.
  • 14:02 – Pain is Opportunity. Why selling Advil is a lot easier than multi vitamins.
  • 16:00 – Self-driving Cars - they are coming and coming soon.
  • 18:30 – BMW i9. Was he able to park it without brake?
  • 20:30 – Go Play to Win
  • 22:45 – How to maximize a conference by getting organized.
  • 24:45 – Rapid Fire Questions

Episode 007, November 19, 2018


007 Adam Saxton, The Saxton Group

Talk Highlights
  • The mistake of rolling up your corporate identity to the brand you’re a franchise of rather than focusing on your company’s culture and what is under your control.
  • Having a mindset that you are a new neighbor when opening a restaurant in a new community.
  • The transition from focusing on site characteristics to focusing on the trade area when choosing new locations.
Speaker Bio

Adam Saxton has had restaurant and operations running through his veins ever since he can remember. As a fourth generation to continue the tradition of food service Adam and the rest of The Saxton Group carry on the tradition.

The Saxton Group. Founded in 1982 with just two Mazzio’s Pizza restaurants. In 2004, the Mazzio’s Pizza stores were sold, allowing The Saxton Group to fully focus on one objective: bringing the beloved McAlister’s Deli brand to Texas. Once The Saxton Group opened its first store in Longview, Texas the path of introducing the McAlister’s brand to Texans didn’t just grow, it took off. Today, The Saxton Group operates 75+ McAlister’s Deli locations across Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. Over 25 of those locations are in the DFW metroplex.

Adam is an incredible leader who puts his employees and guests ahead of everything else. You can find him seeking out his customers on Twitter to get their feedback. Or promoting his team members from within to produce what is an unparallel company culture.

Show Notes
  • 1:28 - Growing up in the family business
  • 4:37 – What Adam observes when visiting restaurants and the thing he finds most important
  • 7:10 – Major takeaways Adam got from a keynote with Jeff Bezos of Amazon
  • 10:00 - When anecdotes and data disagree – which story is probably right?
  • 15:10 – Why Adam takes the time to acknowledge and interact with customers on his personal social media pages
  • 17:56 – Why The Saxton Group promotes within the company
  • 21:03 – The mistake that organizations make with employee retention
  • 22:25 – Lessons learned from building the culture at The Saxton Group
  • 25:21 – Changes in the process of site selection over the last 15 years
  • 32:53 – Mobile data at The Saxton Group

    33:26 – McAlister’s in the Houston area

  • 36:20 – Tyler show Adam his location services activity
  • 38:01 – Importance of giving back to nonprofit organizations and being a “good neighbor”
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