Larry Santolini - VP Franchising of Eggsmart

Date: APR 24th, 2013

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Larry Santolini has been the Vice President of Franchising & Development for Chairmans Brands since April 2012. Larry started with Dominion Stores in 1975 in various financial roles before he moved to Grandma Lee’s Bakery as Controller and eventually CFO of that publicly traded company. In 1988, he started at Kelsey’s and worked there for 19 years as VP of Franchising growing the company form 10 locations to approximately 225 locations (Kelsey’s and Montana’s). Since 2007, Larry has worked with Imvescor and St. Louis Bar & Grill as VP of Franchising. Larry enjoys working with Franchise candidates to help them get started in business. On his free time Larry enjoys an active lifestyle playing hockey, baseball, snowmobiling and cottage life with his family.

BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the Eggsmart concept.

Larry Santolini: Eggsmart is a family dining breakfast and lunch concept that features assorted breakfast items all day along with an assortment of sandwiches, wraps, salads and soups for its customers. The concept offers customers good value in a comfortable and bright environment.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with Eggsmart?

LS: I started in April 2012 in my development role with the company. Eggsmart started franchising in May 2008 and its growth has been steady over the past 5 years.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining Eggsmart?

LS: I have been a veteran of the foodservice and hospitality industry for over 38 years with a number of well know and successful brands as outlined above.

BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a Eggsmart franchisee?

LS: Support to the Franchisee is key. The company works with the Franchisee through the design, construction, training, pre-opening process to assist the Franchisee in opening. Post-opening the Franchisee receives marketing, menu development and operating advice to assist them on the successful operation of their location.

BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?

LS: Our ideal franchisee is an owner operator who has good communication skills, a passion for business and is hospitality minded.

BTB: Tell us a little about the Eggsmart Market?

LS: The breakfast market is a rapidly growing segment with only a handful of competitors. Customers are going out for breakfast more often and this segment provides opportunities for guests to meet friends and family while enjoying an affordable dining experience.

BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?

LS: Look for franchisees that will follow the Eggsmart System and are passionate about delivering great food and service in a clean restaurant. Without this commitment to excellence, the Brand will never meet its full potential.

BTB: Do you have a mentor and is their someone you use for inspiration?

LS: I have been very fortunate over the years to work for successful companies where I experienced great leadership from individuals who encouraged me to work hard, have integrity and to treat franchisees with respect. If you can’t serve the guest, then serve someone who does is a mantra that drives me.

BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

LS: My advice is to do your homework, ask lots of questions and speak to a number of franchisees in the system. You must also ensure that you have the drive and commitment to work hard and deliver great food and service to your customer each and every time.

BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that Eggsmart would be a great opportunity for someone?

LS: The Eggsmart brand is appealing to franchisees due to its hours of operation 7am – 3pm, which allows you to balance business and family life. Breakfast is a growing segment and the menu is affordable and easily executable.