Joe Klassen - CEO of Joey''s Restaurants

Date: JUN 19th, 2013

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Joe Klassen, the founder and CEO of Joey’s Restaurants Canada, started Joey’s in 1985 and started franchising his then 9 stores in 1992. Joe is involved daily with Joey’s while expanding his business and philanthropist endeavors. Joe is also partners in the systems of MVP Mens Hair Salon and Homes & Land Magazines. Joe sits on the board for Calgary Business for Kids, a society that aims to raise money for non-profit organizations that support local kids in need. Joe is always a visionary and ensures that Joey’s continues to be a vertically integrated company, with companies aligning Joey’s needs in printing, supply & distribution.

BeTheBoss: Tell us about the JOEY’S RESTAURANTS concept.

Joe Klassen: We have two great concepts, Joey’s Seafood Restaurants which is a full service, family contemporary dining experience and our Joey’s Urban concept which is a fast casual restaurant. Both concepts target different demographics which allows us to expand our brand across all ages.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with JOEY’S.

JK: My wife, Theresa, and I founded the concept as a fun, casual seafood diner on 17th Avenue in Calgary in 1985 and started franchising with our business Partner Dave Mossey in 1992.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining JOEY’S?

JK: I always had a passion for hospitality from starting my first job at 14 years of age on the Fintry Queen Dinner Cruise Paddlewheeler in Kelowna BC

BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a JOEY’S franchisee?

JK: Firstly, we call our franchisee’s partners, I think that’s our one big advantage over competitors. We understand that franchise partners are what make our group successful. We treat each partnership with sincerity and help develop our partners into successful business people in our system. We need our partners success to ensure ours.

BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?

JK: Our ideal franchise partner is outgoing, friendly and understands that nurturing relationships with their customers and their staff is their ultimate key to success. We teach them the rest.

BTB: Tell us a little about the restaurant/hospitality market?

JK: The restaurant business is a great deal of fun and constantly evolving. Success in this industry comes from attention to detail and treating your guests like family.

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

JK: People are the reason for it, IT being our business model. Recruiting the best staff and franchise partners is integral to growth strategies. Franchise partners need a reason to partner with you, it has to be about the franchise partners lifestyle and the ability to profit from our business model

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

JK: My mother, Joyce, has been a great deal of support and a mentor to me. I’d also have to credit my grandmother for my passion for food, she always had the Galloping Gourmet on TV for me at a young age. My inspiration is most certainly, my wife Theresa, along with our five children, they keep me going.

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

JK: Research the model, ensure that the franchisor is there to stand shoulder to shoulder with you, and will support you at every turn.

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

JK: We provide the support and training a franchise partner needs, period. We demonstrate the passion required to build remarkable relationships with their guests and help them build a business, not just a restaurant.