As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop and affect millions of Americans, one of our brand partners, Tommy Pipatjarasgit, is sharing his Wingstop story and his tips for small businesses to weather this storm. Tommy and his wife, Annie, have been Wingstop brand partners since 2015 and own and operate 11 locations across Ohio and Michigan.
What made you want to become a brand partner with Wingstop?
My wife, Annie, came across Wingstop in a trade publication while we were evaluating brands to invest in. We visited some restaurants in Michigan and Detroit and met with some other brand partners who shared their great experiences. We thought it looked like a great brand with a simple concept and operational model, and obviously the 11 bold flavors are hard to resist. We’ve been hooked ever since and plan to open five more locations before the end of the year.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a brand partner?
The key is in the name – brand partner. The corporate team really does treat their franchisees like a true partner and is always collaborating with the franchise community when making decisions. We’ve been blessed to meet so many great people both at corporate and other brand partners. We appreciate that the expectations are high, and results are expected. We encourage our team members to get outside of their comfort zone and express the importance of learning from their mistakes. It’s very rewarding to watch our team members work their way up from crew member to management. During this pandemic, our team members have donated thousands of wings to hospital workers, fire fighters and police departments working the front lines in Detroit and Toledo.
Do you have any tips for young business owners out there?
Right now, more than ever, it’s important to give back to your community. There are millions of people who need our help right now, and it can really boost team morale to see their place of work giving back to those who need it and gives them a sense of hope and positivity amongst all of the negative news.
Annie and I also would encourage every small business owner to have daily huddles with their team members and find out what the issues are and how to fix them. It’s important to be transparent and entrepreneurial during this time and be flexible to the daily changes in government mandates.