Kyle Noonan is the Co-founder and CEO of FreeRange Concepts, a Dallas-based restaurant and hospitality management company with a mission to create remarkable memories. The company owns and operates 12 food and entertainment venues, including Bowl and Barrel, Mutts Canine Cantina, The Rustic, and The General Public. With over 13 years in the restaurant industry, Kyle gained experience opening eateries for the well-known Pappas franchise.
Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:
- Kyle Noonan talks about FreeRange Concepts and his journey in the restaurant business
- The philosophy behind FreeRange Concepts
- The challenges of opening numerous venues in a short timespan
- The inspiration for creating a culture within the brands’ concepts
- How the pandemic impacted Kyle and his team
In this episode…
In this episode of the SpotOn Series, Chad Franzen speaks with Kyle Noonan, Co-founder and CEO of FreeRange Concepts, about the restaurant’s innovative brand. Kyle shares his journey in the restaurant industry, the inspiration behind FreeRange Concepts, and the philosophy he attributes to the company’s success.
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Welcome to the Top Business Leaders Show. Powered by Rise25 Media. We feature top founders, executives and business leaders from all over the world.
Chad Franzen 0:20
Chad Franzen here co-host for this show where we feature top restaurant tours, investors and business leaders. This episode is brought to you by as part of our SpotOn series. SpotOn has the best in class payment platform for retail and they have a flagship solution called SpotOn Restaurant, where they combine marketing software and payments all in one. They sorted everyone from larger chains like Subway, and Dairy Queen to small mom and pop restaurants. To learn more, go to SpotOnn.com. This episode is brought to you by Rise25. We help b2b businesses to get ROI clients, referrals, and strategic partnerships through done-for-you podcasts. 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 [email protected] Kyle Noonan, the owner and CEO of FreeRange Concepts is an American entrepreneur, Speaker television personality and creative tastemaker. He was first known as an entrepreneur who grew his hospitality and entertainment company to a $15 billion company in five short years, and has been described as innovative as he is engaging by the New York Times. Kyle, thank you so much for joining me today. How are you?
Kyle Noonan 1:31
I’m well, thanks for having me on. I appreciate the time.
Chad Franzen 1:34
Good. Hey, my pleasure. Tell me what is FreeRange Concepts and how did you get involved?
Kyle Noonan 1:41
Sure. So FreeRange Concepts is a hospitality and entertainment based company. We’re located in Dallas, Texas, and we have restaurants and, and venues all throughout the state of Texas. And soon we will be as we say, crossing the borders, and going outside of the state of Texas to hopefully maybe state somewhere near you. And we started the company in 2011. It was my college roommate and I we were SMU students here in Dallas, Texas. And we went our own ways professionally after college. But personally we were and still our thick as thieves. We’ve been best friends since we were 18 years old. And about 10 years after college, we decided it was time to join forces and start FreeRange Concepts. Josh’s he was a finance major and one of the Wall Street’s investment banking world and and then I was an art major and went into the hospitality space. And so about 2011 is when we decided to leave our respective careers and and form FreeRange Concepts and the rest is history as they say.
Chad Franzen 2:58
So FreeRange Concepts is a conglomeration of multiple brands. Did you guys start those brands? Or did you just invest in them?
Kyle Noonan 3:09
No, all of our brands, we currently own five different brands, all of them were created by us they were our brainchild. There, there certainly are our babies that we’d love to see and grow. Our first our first brand was Bowl and Barrel, which is a high end, boutique bowling alley, restaurant and bar. And we currently have three of those throughout Texas, that Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston. And then our second concept that we opened six months later was a Commons or is a concept called Mutts Canine Cantina, which is a restaurant and bar that overlooks a private membership based dog park. So you can come in and your dog can run around and we have park rangers in the in the park taking care of the dogs and you can sit there and have a have a margarita under a tree with your your dog gets to socialize and exercise and, and do all that good stuff. So we started that, like I said, six months after we opened Bowl and Barrel. And we currently have three of those all in the DFW market. And then our next concept that we opened three months after that, so we’re talking in a nine month span we opened three, three very unique concepts. Our third concept was called The Rustic which is a restaurant and bar that overlooks a 3000-person outdoor concert venue. And we currently have four of those in Texas. And then our next concept is The General Public which is a whiskey centric American gastropub that we have two of those in San Antonio and Houston. And then finally we just opened this year, our first dip into tech specs, which is called Joe Leo’s Fine Tex Mex. It’s named after my grandfather, his name is Joe Leo Romero. And we opened that on Cinco de Mayo this year. And that’s going gangbusters as well, so, so those are our brands. And we’re really proud of him. We we’ve created a mall, and we operate them and we love them.
Chad Franzen 5:09
Yeah. Wow, that is amazing that you opened that many in such it kind of started that many concepts in such a relatively short period of time. Well, what was your background prior to like kind of your restaurant background prior to FreeRange Concepts?
Kyle Noonan 5:22
Sure. So I, I love telling the story. I have people ask how I got in the restaurant space. And I would say, because it’s true. I got into it for a girl. I was I was in college, and I asked the girl on a date. And she said yes, surprisingly. And I thought that’s great. And then I realized, Oh, I gotta have money that take her on a date. So I called my dad and ask him for money. And he said, what what I will say to my son, go get a job. And so I did. And I got a job waiting tables at a company called Pappas Restaurants. Pappadeaux’s, Pappasitos, Pappas Brothers Steakhouse, they’re a Texas-based company. And I started waiting tables for them in college, and ended up working my way up through the corporate rates, and was with them for 13 years before I left to start my own venture, which is FreeRange Concepts.
Chad Franzen 6:17
So what do you think made your company so successful in such a relatively short period of time?
Kyle Noonan 6:24
Well, I mean, I think it really just comes down to the fact that we have been able because they are unique brands, and they kind of stand out in the marketplace, we’ve been able to attract, obviously, the consumer, but more importantly, or as importantly, the talent to help us grow. So we have a tremendous team. And we there’s no, there’s no chance that we would have grown at all, and certainly not to the degree which we did. Without the without the key players in place.
Chad Franzen 6:59
What do you look for when you’re looking for, for, you know, team members that you value so thoroughly?
Kyle Noonan 7:04
Sure, that’s a great question. I don’t care about background, I don’t care about experience, the only thing I really care about is, Are you do you have a servant’s mindset? Do you have an ability or a desire to take care of people, and I think, because that’s ultimately what the restaurant business is about. It’s about people taking care of people. And if you’re somebody that wants to take care of other people, you will excel in our, in our business, and particularly within our company, because that’s, that’s what we’re all about. And when we find that individual, we embrace them and, and get them into the family as quick as we can.[Continue to Page 2]