Seth Bassett is the owner of Wings and Rings, a restaurant with a unique family atmosphere and elevated customer experience. In his early career, Seth worked at BJ’s Restaurants while pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration at California State University, which set his groundwork in the hospitality industry.
Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:
- Seth Basset’s experience improving a diminishing franchise
- Achieving operational flexibility during the pandemic
- Seth’s expert tips on building a new brand
- How creative business planning can be catered toward a unique customer experience
In this episode…
In this episode of the SpotOn Series, Chad Franzen welcomes Seth Bassett, owner of Wings and Rings. They talk about Seth’s early experience in the restaurant industry that prompted him to purchase a franchise, the challenges of managing a business during the pandemic, and how to establish a unique brand in a saturated market. Lastly, Seth explains how to go about reviving a franchise.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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Welcome to the Top Business Leaders Show. Powered by Rise 25 Media, we featured top founders, executives and business leaders from all over the world
Chad Franzen 0:20
Chad Franzen here co-host for the show where we feature top restaurant tours, investors and business leaders. This is part of our SpotOn Series. SpotOn has the best-in-class pet platform for retail and they have a flagship solution called SpotOn Restaurant with a combined marketing software and payments all in one. They serve everyone from larger chains like Dairy Queen and subway to small mom-and-pop restaurants. To learn more, go to spot on.com This episode is brought to you by Rise 25. We help B2B businesses to get ROI clients referrals and strategic partnerships through done for you podcast. If you have a B2B business and want to build great relationships with clients, referral partners and thought leaders in your space. There’s no better way to do it than through podcasts and content marketing. To learn more, go to Rise25media.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Seth Bassett is a franchise owner of Buffalo Wings and Rings. He opened his first franchise around three years ago pre-pandemic, and has opened a new restaurant location each year since. So thanks so much for joining me today. How much how are you?
Seth Bassett 1:19
Great, how are you doing?
Chad Franzen 1:20
Good, thank you. Hey, so tell me about Buffalo Wings and Rings and what a customer can expect when they go there.
Seth Bassett 1:27
So Buffalo Wings and Rings is obviously a wing restaurant, but they provide a more elevated experience to the customer. A lot of wing restaurants are known to be a little more quick service casual. In Buffalo Wings during is really caters to the families and tries to provide a I guess, more top-tier experience where some establishments are more for, you know, getting everyone right in the middle and more catered towards the heavy drinkers and Buffalo Wings and Rings is a little more catered towards the family experience.
Chad Franzen 2:04
Okay, what, what led to you what led you to invest in your first franchise and 2019.
Seth Bassett 2:10
So I actually what grew up kind of going to the establishment that we ended up purchasing. So we, I went there, throughout college, a little bit before college and love the food, love the service, love the product and ended up getting in restaurants. Further down, the line moved, moved out of the town that this one exists in, moved out, went to college, or you know, from a two-year university to a four-year university, started working in restaurants and worked through restaurants for about five years, decided we wanted to stay in restaurants and we want to move back home. So we started looking at different options. Obviously, I didn’t want to be a server for the rest of my life. I didn’t really want to manage someone else’s restaurant for the rest of my life. So I started looking at well, what if we buy something? And I remember, I’m like, what about that Wink spot? Why are they not more of them? That was a great, great spot. I would love to get, you know, involved in one of the franchises. And that caused me to reach out to try to figure out how much does it cost to build one. And I remember when I was eating there one day, they had a in their menu, they had a call about franchise options. You get your very own franchise for $30,000 $30,000. I could do that. So I called while 30,000 was the fee to get it not the cost of building a business, obviously, because building businesses is way more expensive. And I had no chance of building my own restaurant. But when we started talking to the people about what it you know, oh, where would you like to put yours? I’m like, Well, back in my hometown where I grew up somewhere close by they’re, like, funny thing is the lady is actually selling her franchise. And it’s way easier to get a loan on an existing business than it is I’m trying to buy a brand new business. So that started the ball rolling like, hey, what if I buy this one that I used to go to for my, you know, throughout early college and everything and that got the ball rolling? We’re about a year later, we were actually now the new franchise owners of the existing business.
Chad Franzen 4:09
Wow. So So you mentioned that you had prior restaurant experience. What did that look like?
Seth Bassett 4:15
Yeah, so I started working at a few different places as a busser takeout and then really landed a solid long term position with BJ’s Brewhouse just serving mostly, and my wife actually was serving at BJ’s as well. She’s actually the one that got me the job there because we were dating at that time and she moved up into Restaurant Management at beaches brew house and both of us were working at BJ’s. She was about six years I was about five years that we put in time to that restaurant. I was just serving the entire time because I had no desire to move up into management based on pay in availability of you know what I what I had time to do or More of scheduling wise and she had more of the desire to stay in restaurants long term, which is why she got into management.
Chad Franzen 5:06
Okay, so So you ended up purchasing a Wings and Rings that was already kind of in business, would you say that that kind of gave you an advantage, maybe with a lack of prior management experience.
Seth Bassett 5:19
I had prior management experience that some other opportunities, and I can purchase it with my wife. So it was both me and her, were the only restaurant were the only managers at this place. So it was always either her or me, that Wings and Rings. There’s a lot of management stuff I gain through BJ’s, even though I wasn’t managing I, you know, for five years, I could see what they did on a daily basis, watch how they react to stuff, but it’s those very different beast when you’re doing it yourself. So it was a steep learning curve for me, she had a little bit better grasp on it, because she’d been managing for I believe, two years prior to that two or three years. But that was my first dabble into restaurant management.
Chad Franzen 6:03
So what were the early days, like, I know, the place was already in operation, but what were the what were the early days like kind of under your, under your
Seth Bassett 6:10
leadership, I You could not pay me enough to redo that first year. It was one of the greatest experiences to have been gained. But the amount of work and effort and struggled to kind of figure out it was fantastic and rough all at the same time. And looking at how far we’ve come has been impressive. So that first year, we took over business that it was it was been trending downwards, and the more recent year, so there’s a lot that we had to kind of improve and work on and fix. And I think the toughest part was taking over the team, because they were used to doing things one way and we had a lot of corporate background, or we wanted things done a different way. And a lot of them didn’t have a lot of training when we took over like we expected. So that’s more where the growing pains were was are the lack of training and the the expectation of coming from place like BJ’s that was very well trained and very well managed by every aspect to going into a franchise that maybe wasn’t not not because the franchisees fault, but due to you know, a trending downward that needed a lot of help to kind of recover. Really, one of the best things that started happening was when we started trading out those employees, for new employees that we were able to train from the ground up, that’s when we started doing a lot better, better service better quality. And that’s a lot of struggles that we we dealt with when we first started out.
Chad Franzen 7:45
Sure, did you when you guys first started Did you have a vision that you would have multiple you know multiple locations or were you just trying to make the best we