YOUR BUSINESS AUTHORITY
SBJ: What has been key to your growth?
Andy Kuntz: It’s been great locations. There’s been a tipping point for locations. We’re in certain markets and been there long enough to get a little traction. People in those markets are now wanting other locations in that city, whether it be Kansas City, Dallas or Chicago. We spend a lot of time saying no in new markets. We’ve gotten real estate brokers educated enough that they know what we’re looking for. It’s also about people. We’ve spent a lot of money and resources on training. That’s paying off. Our opening procedures are much better.
SBJ: What are your top issues when it comes to managing growth?
Kuntz: Money. Having the capital resources to build new stores. It is very expensive. The cost of the land and the buildings are going up every day. We do a lot of build to suits – we don’t own the real estate. They buy it and lease it back to us. Corporately, we do that 99 percent of the time. Those have allowed us to grow at a faster rate – instead of traditional financing where you’re putting 10-20 percent equity in the deal. The margins have continued to get a little tougher and tighter.
SBJ: What has the company’s growth enabled you to do?
Kuntz: People look at Andy’s as a career now. There are opportunities to grow within the company. It’s no longer looked at as a typical high school job or college job, though it is that too. But you could start working at Andy’s as an associate at $10 an hour and work yourself up over the next 10 years and own a franchise at some point, if that’s your dream and vision. We are not far from where we’ll start seeing some buying power in our cost of goods – and we’re seeing a little bit of that now. Maybe more when we hit 100 stores. For every advantage in buying power, we’re also seeing disadvantages in stores way out east or west. It’s harder to get the products there. For every cost savings in cookies or fudge, we’re losing efficiencies in shipping.
SBJ: Is your fast growth sustainable?
Kuntz: It absolutely is. You can probably go faster. The key in that is you don’t make bad decisions on locations and potential franchisees and staffing. Staffing can be eventually fixed but a few bad decisions on locations can be very costly. From where we’re standing, there really is no end in sight for opportunities to put an Andy’s. There are market sizes to watch. We have a franchisee in Atlanta, Shreveport, Louisiana – they’re also in Longview, Texas, and Texarkana – and we have a store getting ready to open in South Carolina. Corporately, we’ve looked at parts of Nebraska and some more areas in Texas.
SBJ: Can you grow too fast?
Kuntz: Absolutely. When you lose focus of the time to pick out the right sites and hire the best people and offer the right training. It just takes time and manpower to do that. We go and look at every site and spend time at it. Quite honestly, that’s a lot of what limits us today is the time to go do it. But it’s extremely critical.
SBJ: Have your goals changed as business has taken off?
Kuntz: It’s still about selling frozen custard. Period. It’s about providing the best treats in the world and serving those treats with great staff, smiling faces who have a strong desire to serve. That’s what it’ll always be about.
The iTooth Family Dentistry facility under development in south Springfield is centered on patient care.
Beef-A-Roo adding 2nd Springfield restaurant
Second Springfield Target store in the works
$350M development slated to open next year in Lake of the Ozarks
Poll: Does Springfield need a second Target?
Carnahan Evans hires Kutak Rock partner
Sporting KC signs naming-rights deal