Taco John’s 2017 Managers Conference a rarity in franchising

Posted Sep 7th, 2017

Our Mexican franchise invests in employee development to strengthen our brand’s reputation and our franchisees’ bottom line

Most foodservice franchises have owner conferences, but how many of them are going the extra mile to help franchise owners develop their employees? At Taco John’s, we understand you have to do more than keep your franchisees engaged to be successful. The General Manager and the employees are the tip of the sword for the restaurant. Everything starts in the restaurant when a customer enters the building or drives up to the order board. Taco John’s is investing in the development of these key, often overlooked, employees. That’s why our Mexican franchise holds a Managers Conference every other year.

This year’s conference drew a record number of managers, with over 300 Taco John’s managers traveling to Minneapolis for the three-day event. Just like a franchise owners conference, the event was filled with seminars, workshops, inspirational speeches and more.

“Our franchisees are all at various levels of involvement in their business, and they all rely on their managers to get things done,” says Rocky Clark, Vice President for Operations. “There are nearly 400 restaurants in the system being run by General Managers or restaurant managers. The conference provides us with an opportunity to be able to reach those managers, train and develop them and celebrate their successes, along with just having some fun together.

“Getting them engaged in the brand is something we really value.”

A group of men and women sit at a round table in a conference room, with parts of other tables seen in the background. The table in the foreground is topped with colorful toy bits that can be connected together to build something. A man and woman holding clipboards stand on either side of a projection screen in the center of the background.
Taco John’s put restaurant managers through their paces at our 2017 Managers Conference. We feel it’s important to include our General Managers in everything we do as a top Mexican franchise brand.

When managers engage, franchisees see better results

The Managers Conference is a great platform to share new brand initiatives and make sure everyone is on the same page. We might roll out a new tech tool, talk about how to improve local store marketing or role-play new ways to develop better teamwork in their restaurants.

Plus, the conference gives our managers a chance to interact with each other face-to-face. With almost 400 locations spread across the United States, that’s a chance they don’t often get. “It’s so valuable for a manager in the middle of Montana or South Dakota to know that the manager in Missouri is facing the same issues and challenges,” says Clark.

Restaurants with highly engaged managers are much more likely to have satisfied guests, which inspires better word-of-mouth recommendations, guest loyalty and return visits. Highly engaged managers are more likely to have job satisfaction, too.

“Hopefully, franchisees see results through better performance,” Clark says. “That’s what we’re trying to do. Franchisees have to pay for their person to attend, and in some cases that means plane rides, hotel, rental cars. It’s an investment for them. Our challenge is to make sure it’s a worthwhile investment. We want their people to come back sharper, more informed and more engaged.”

People are seated at long tables in a conference room as a woman in the front of the room points to an image on a projector screen.
The Mexican franchise that will achieve the most success is the one that invests the most resources in their most valuable asset: their managers.

Good manager, good restaurant

There’s an old adage in the restaurant business, Clark notes, that’s simple but true: Good manager, good restaurant. Our Mexican franchise understands the importance of investing in people and making them feel like the valued members of the team that they are.

Without a good manager on board, your climb to success becomes much more difficult, if not impossible.

“They really are the pivotal piece,” Clark says. “People work for people; they don’t work for companies or support centers. In some cases, restaurant staff may not know who their franchisee is. But they know their manager. That’s who they work for.

“Great managers attract great people, provide excellent customer service and maintain standards, and these factors lead to franchisee success. When a guest comes in and has a good experience, it’s because there’s a good manager back there.”

Learn more about Taco John’s

Taco John’s Mexican food franchise has been around since 1969 and has nearly 400 locations nationwide. We have many prime territories available and are looking for qualified buyers for our Mexican franchise. Please fill out the form on this page to download our free franchise report, or check out our research pages for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.