Anne Maleganeas - CEO of Shamrock Burgers

Date: JUN 8th, 2012

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Anne Maleganeas, CEO of Shamrock Burgers, graduated from York University with a degree in Economics. After graduation, she focused on accounting and finance. After 2 years in public accounting at Deloitte and Touche, she subsequently entered investment banking in Finance at TD Securities. She worked with teams to promote institutional equities through analysis, and cash management for more than 11 years. She then moved to the private sector working in the Finance department of a company in the Nuclear Engineering Consulting industry. Anne’s diverse experience has enabled her to understand the high-level financial decisions necessary to make the franchise a success. She has also been involved with the family business from an early age and fully understands all job functions that make a franchise work.

BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the Shamrock Burgers Concept

Anne Maleganeas: Shamrock Burgers started operations more than 40 years ago. It was started by the founders Danny and Nick Maleganeas finding a niche in the quick service restaurant market, which was not so prevalent back then. Their motto was “Good fresh food, served fast”. Shamrock Burgers signature has always been quality homemade food. This is found in our home burgers, fresh cut fries, onion rings, ice cream milkshakes and all that we do.

Shamrock Burgers is a Toronto based fast food /QSR concept offering convenient, homemade, freshly prepared foods in a retro rock and roll edgy sustainable environment. We continue to feature a wide selection of foods including our signature burgers, poutine, steak, chicken souvlaki and salads. Our menu has evolved with the times, but we have never wavered from our over-riding motto of “Good fresh food, served fast.” Over the years, we have established our brand and generations of loyal customers in a very dynamic setting.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with Shamrock Burgers?

AM: You could say my brother, Greg, and I were born into it starting to work very young. My father had me help him preparing the accounting ledgers at the age of 9 which lead me to my financial career. Greg and I worked summers, and part-time during university until we each started full time careers elsewhere – it was actually very therapeutic. Upon the retirement of my father after 40 years, Greg and I decided to take over the business full-time. We knew we had a successful product and company and had to carry on the legacy.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining Shamrock Burgers?

AM: My experience working in the food industry began before high school working for my father, learning the business both inside and out. Later, I worked for Prizm as a hostess and began to understand how other restaurant franchises were run. After University I worked at an accounting firm and then in investment banking years prior to joining a nuclear engineering consulting firm. All my post-university experience has been focused on operations and in finance and accounting roles.

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

AM: Firstly, Shamrock Burgers has existed for over 40 years with generations of customer loyalty.

We offer the following:

  • Opportunity to be your own boss
  • Complete turnkey operations. Which means we research and market the best location, negotiate the lease with the landlord, build to our design, construct to our corporate profile and include all fixtures
  • Infrastructure for the business
  • On site training for staff
  • Ongoing support and marketing and social media awareness
  • Continued assistance and recommendation for profitability
  • 900 to 1100 sft with minimum cost outlay
  • 2 to 4 people to operate at any given time
  • Owner operator to work 45 to 50 hours per week
  • Lifestyle change
  • Simple operation
  • Great product which is sustainable in all environments

BTB: Who is your ideal franchise?

AM: Our ideal franchisee is one who has an entrepreneurial spirit filled with passion and believes in the product and can work within the franchise framework. The franchisee appreciates the benefits working with a team and attaining goals. The franchisee will be financially and operationally sophisticated and have a strong work ethic. They also understand that the strong work ethic they bring will pay off for them.

BTB: Tell us a little about the quick service restaurant market.

AM: The quick service restaurant industry has evolved from burgers and fries to include offering for the more nutritionally conscious minded customer. This is where Shamrock Burgers has become very successful. We monitor trends and our menu has evolved over the years. We now offer more salads and lighter menu choices beside our mainstay burgers. As an example, our home burgers are now made with grass fed lean angus beef and we have the nutritional value posted on the internet. All innovations requested by our customers.

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

AM: Branding and profitability surrounded by excellent people. A combination of these both will help sustain a franchisee.

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

AM: My father came to Canada with a dream for a better life – a land of opportunity. He was an entrepreneur, honest, took risks, worked hard, and was loved by his loyal customers and family. Along with maintaining those underlying principles he became financially successful as well. You do not have to look far to see how that constitutes a successful life.

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

AM: Research research research.

One must ask:

  • do you love the business
  • do you have the skill set
  • are you financially and emotional able
  • are you willing to work the necessary hours

Once you answer yes to all of the above:

  • research the company
  • make visits to the restaurants
  • taste the food
  • understand the structure
  • consult a professional accountant and lawyer
  • perform due diligence
  • understand the franchise disclosure document and agreement

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

AM: Shamrock Burgers has a proven track record of over 40 years - quality, fresh food at an attractive price. Combine that with a strong supporting franchise team that knows the business inside and out and you have the makings of a success.