Beef Jerky Outlet Conference Recap
It all started on Tuesday night, April 14th – the first ever Beef Jerky Outlet Conference. A mecca of all things beef jerky. So, we had to start with a welcome reception. Basically a cocktail party, because this was the first time franchisees had ever had an opportunity to meet one another.
On Wednesday, things started bright and early with breakfast, naturally. From there it was a day of workshops and meetings. But the day really began with an update from President and COO Paul Lyons and Scott Parker on the state of the company. Did you know that franchises are opening monthly, and there has been 1,000 percent growth, in terms of number of new stores opening over the past 12 months? Wow!!!
Paul and Scott also introduced the brand new board of directors for Beef Jerky Outlet. The three inaugural members are Bob Hathaway (Branson and Springfield, Missouri), Lisa Adams (Concord, North Carolina) and Jason Patterson (Madison, Alabama). Three new members will be voted in by BJO franchisees next year to push the board to six. The following year, 3 more will be elected to make 9. From now on, board members will serve for three years to always allow for fresh ideas.
Finally, the keynote speaker for the event was John Patterson. He is the co-author (with Chip Bell) of the international bestseller “Wired and Dangerous; How Your Customers Have Changed and What To Do About It.” To make a long story short, he was very inspiring.
All right, break! More accurately, it was time for more discussions on the topics of the day and lunch. After lunch, we all broke up into groups and had roundtable discussions. The topics were:
Supplier relationships – Paul Lyons/Mike Grillo/Kenny Needham
- Future growth – Mick Riddiough/Andy Mace
- Online sales – Scott Parker/Scott Curkin
- Customer service – Steve Lyons/John Patterson
- Marketing – Allen Hugo/David Chapman
- Employee issues – Allen Musick/Bruce Parker
Phew, after a long day of discussing the company, the locations, the growth and the new point of sale system rolling out soon, it was finally time for a well deserved dinner. Bonus, it was also time for the awards presentation. The hard-working winners of our first-ever Beef Jerky Outlet awards were …
Franchisee of the year:
Steven and Dana Crane, Greenville, South Carolina
Top Sales awards
No. 1 Franchisee sales 2014 Scharlean Cooper and Casey Lowery, Destin, Florida
No. 2 Franchisee sales 2014 Steven and Dana Crane, Greenville, South Carolina
No. 3 Franchisee sales 2014 Dan and Doreen DeYoung, Dells, Wisconsin
No. 4 Franchisee sales 2014 Lisa Adams, Concord, North Carolina
No. 5 Franchisee sales 2014 Robert and Deb Hathaway, Branson, Missouri
The SPSF Award (For getting the most out of the least!)
Clint and Laura Hall, Galveston, Texas
Rookie of the Year
“The WV Boys” Ryan Neal, Aaron Neal, Troy Stiffler and Steve Davis
If you thought the Beef Jerky Outlet owners had enough for one day, think again. This was the first time they had been able to get together and talk shop. And talk shop they did, even after conference day 1 was all said and done.
Conference Day 2
On Thursday, we all gathered for a special breakfast treat. An omelet bar featured omelets made with prime rib jerky. How’s that for a prime jerky morning? This was, after all, the supplier breakfast, where franchisees got to meet with different suppliers who help our company do great things.
After the breakfast, the suppliers gave brief presentations. We heard from the Complete Signs, 3 Beer Rub, accounting and a real estate lawyer. The event then concluded with a presentation by 919 Marketing detailing all the national press we’ve gotten this year, as well as coverage of our grand openings. Yep, they were grand!
All in all, it was an extremely productive and fun couple days in Atlanta. Here’s to next year!