(RestaurantNews.com) Over the past decade, women have become more and more prevalent in the franchising world. According to Franchise Business Review, 32% of all new franchises opened in the past 24 months are women-owned businesses. But how many of these women are mothers, too? For franchisees to fully succeed, companies need to cultivate a space where their operators can prosper not only at their restaurant but also in their own home as a parent.
Coolgreens – the healthy lifestyle eatery with “Food That Feeds Your Life” – has extended its commitment to providing “more than” experiences to its franchisees who double as parents. Franchisee Cassidi Brown – who operates a Coolgreens in Richardson, Texas and is a mother of three – shared her thoughts about how the brand has fostered an environment in which she can thrive as both a franchisee and a mom:
As a mom, why did Coolgreens stand out to you as a good franchise opportunity?
When I was first introduced to Coolgreens, being a mom was not on my radar. My first time there was actually my first lunch date with my now husband, and I fell in love with Coolgreens from the first bite. After becoming a mom, I’ve learned that motherhood is a complex, multifaceted role. There are certain values and skills that I want to show my children as they grow up. I want them to see that there should be passion behind anything you set out to do because just thinking a business will make money is not enough. I love Coolgreens’ food, atmosphere and culture, and I want my kids to see that there’s true fulfillment in operating a brand I’m passionate about.
Coolgreens also provides a family-friendly atmosphere where I can bring my baby work, if needed. On top of that, my kids are able to step foot in a place where their mom busted her butt to open and provide quality employment opportunities to the community of Richardson. Coolgreens is a place where I can excitingly show my kids what it’s like to work a job I truly believe I was created for.
How are you able to balance running a business and family? Does Coolgreens offer you flexibility or resources that make it easier?
I have a great support system! I make it a point to be present where I am and draw a line between the two parts of my life. When it’s work time, I’m focused on work. When my children and husband are home, it’s family time. This could mean that I am up at midnight to get my work done while everyone is sleeping or challenging myself to get 30 things done during my 6-month-old’s daily nap. Or I can commit a Saturday to my kids and keep my phone off all day. If my husband picks up the babies for soccer, I am able to stay an hour later to help my restaurant team with what they need for success so that both are taken care of.
I utilize Coolgreens’ advanced tools and operation systems to provide the flexibility of spending more time with family. The company’s systems, resources, ordering guides, checklists and more help me get prepared for days I’m out with my kids. I can walk away from operations on a Saturday because I have my opening and closing manager checklists in place, my prep lists filled out with proper pars, my ordering guides ready to be executed and my store standards hung up, so everyone in the restaurant understands the expectations. My staff has been trained properly to succeed in their roles thanks to our online training platform, Schoox. These are the types of tools and systems that more brands should have in place to promote a successful work/mom balance.
What advice do you have for other moms who are looking to break into franchising?
Think of the operation as your “second spouse” and look for a brand that you can fall in love with. Difficult situations and choices will arise, but if you’re passionate about the brand you’ve chosen, you’re able to walk away at the end of the day with a sense of accomplishment. I would also look at the brand’s systems. Are they setting you up for success where you can “parent” your store with a great foundation? Or is it truly in its “pregnancy” stage with a lot of areas that need to be worked out? You have to decide what you’re willing to take on in advance.
Founded in 2009, Coolgreens currently has 11 corporate and franchise fast-casual restaurants in Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska and Florida. For more information about Coolgreens, please visit coolgreens.com. For franchising opportunities, visit franchise.coolgreens.com.