Dan Lepidas - EVP of Robin's

Date: MAY 1st, 2013

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Dan Lepidas is the Executive Vice President of Robin’s (2006) Limited. Dan is based in Toronto and has been with Robin’s parent company Chairman’s Brands for over 10 years.

Robin’s is 100% Canadian and was established on September 8, 1975, in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Currently Robin’s has locations in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. Robin’s is a neighbour and your friend. Robin’s fast, fresh and friendly.

Dan Lepidas: Tell us about the concept.

Dan Lepidas: The cornerstone of Robin’s, is its signature blend of 100% premium Arabica coffee. We brew our coffee fresh for our customers all day. Robin’s fresh brewed coffee is the reason we see our customers often. Along with our coffee, we offer our valued customers high quality, healthy, great tasting drinks, snacks and light meals that are made in store. Our fresh baked pastries, custom made sandwiches, salads and soups provide our guests with good value and choices in a warm, welcoming environment. But our products are also designed to travel to work, office or home. Bringing in the Robin’s coffees and snacks pleases your crowd and makes you a hero.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with Robin’s?

DL: Robin’s was acquired on September 30, 2006 and I became involved with Robin’s after the acquisition date.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining Chairman’s Brands and Robin’s?

DL: I grew up in a family restaurant business and worked summers in the restaurant business while in school. This gave me tremendous insight into the foodservice industry. I joined a large national foodservice company right after I graduated university. I have been with Chairman’s for over 10 years.

BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a Robin’s franchisee?

DL: We offer our operators a proven business formula and ongoing support. The Robin’s formula is proven. Our customers recognize the Robin’s brand and seek it out. To our customers, we are valued and valuable. Robin’s is reliable and provides great value. Furthermore, we provide ongoing support in 3 key areas: Operations, Procurement and Marketing.

Operations support provides Robin’s franchisee with regular location visits. Robin’s field personnel assist franchisees with their business and provide positive feedback. Operations support provides for assisting operators with their own local marketing to their respective communities.

Procurement support provides for consistency in Robin’s approved products being shipped directly to each and every Robin’s location. Furthermore, procurement consistency ensures that are Robin’s products come from federally approved and HCAAP approved facilities.

Marketing support provides for ongoing marketing programs being communicated in broadcast media and supported by in store merchandising.

BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?

DL: Our ideal franchisee is a “people” person who is customer service oriented and is fun loving. A “people” person to me is someone is very good with staff, customer, suppliers and his community. We want a person who is a self starter and has a passion for food and customers. We can train a franchisee in the technical side of Robin’s; recipes, procedures, accounting etc. Fun loving and people caring has to come from within.

BTB: Tell us a little about the Robin’s and Quick Service Restaurant Market?

DL: Canadians love to drink coffee. Adult Canadians consume over 3 cups of coffee per day. With each cup of coffee we pour is our opportunity to add a snack, breakfast or lunch to it. No other food or beverage choice has the frequency of coffee purchase. This provides Robin’s with great opportunity.

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

DL: Robin’s customers are the lifeline of our business. Robin’s is a local home town hero in all of the communities it serves. Robin’s has earned this reputation one cup of coffee at a time. Robin’s franchisees are the ambassadors of the relationship and the brand as they serve our customers one cup at a time.