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How Jay Hummer is Winning with Multiple Brands
Hummer describes the keys to success for being a franchisee, franchisor and development agent
Jay Hummer was once a part of a major franchise corporation with 3,000 sales associates working for him. He had the knowledge and wherewithal to create and maintain franchise growth. He hit a point in his career where he was ready to apply his expertise to emerging brands.

Today, as President of his entrepreneurial development firm, Firmitas Franchise Development, he is not only the Owner and CEO of Kennedy’s All-American Barber Club, but also a Kennedy’s franchisee and a Development Agent for Whole Hog Cafe, MOOYAH Burgers, Fries and Shakes and Native Grill & Wings.

“I think, first and foremost, I’m a person that thrives on a lot of activity,” Hummer said. “But most importantly, I am indescribably passionate about each of these brands and completely confident in what they bring to the table for entrepreneurs.”

Hummer went on to explain that in franchising there are a few key components that make a person successful in the management of multiple brands and the facilitation of their growth. He says, of course, you need to believe in the brands you’re representing and have a commitment to ensure these franchises thrive.

“What I love most about franchising is that it’s all about helping people achieve their dreams,” said Hummer. “The key to the success of a franchise is the success of its franchisees, and I get to facilitate a path to success and empower people every day to go after their dreams, while helping provide them with the tools to get there.”

With a background in real estate and being a franchisee himself, Hummer says he’s able to approach his job with a unique and more advantageous perspective than most.

“When someone knows you’ve already walked in their shoes, there’s an immediate level of trust and rapport that sets the tone for your entire working relationship together,” he said.

In terms of the sheer workload in comparison with the number of hours in a day, Hummer reiterates the importance of hiring a quality team. Delegation is key, as well as the ability to empower team members to make decisions and act independently.

“With the number of decisions we’re faced with on a daily basis, if I had someone on my team that needed me there for every single one, it probably wouldn’t work out as well it currently does. I’ve got great people on my team who are smart and confident enough in their knowledge to make decisions that fall under their role and responsibilities that they know I’ll trust in,” he said.

Ability to learn about multiple brands inside and out is a factor Hummer says could make or break whether or not someone is meant to manage multiple brands. In his case, he says his passion for each of the brands drives his energy level.

“I do not need anyone to motivate me,” he said. “I am self-motivated by opportunity both for myself and others.”

Hummer went on to describe a few things about each of his brands that motivate him to continue working with franchisees in building their individual success. In terms of barbershops, the Kennedy’s All-American Barber Club membership model provides a customer experience unlike any other. Not only a premier men’s grooming experience, but it gives a sense of community and opportunity for networking for customers and staff alike.

Native Grill & Wings has 30-year legacy - the concept is described by Hummer as a polished sports grill, able to deliver exceptional food and a family atmosphere while still giving customers a fun space to watch a game. With 31 restaurants open mostly in the West, Hummer is thrilled to have the first restaurant under development on the east coast in Massachusetts.

Hummer views MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes as the hands-down leader in the better burger segment, not only with an incredible menu, but one that provides unparalleled customer experience. This brand’s commitment to franchisees and culture keeps Hummer motivated to inspire and facilitate further growth for this brand, which will reach its 100th domestic location within the next couple of months.

For anyone who loves barbecue and has always dreamed of restaurant ownership, Hummer says Whole Hog Cafe is an unbelievable opportunity to buy into world championship caliber barbecue overnight. Inspired by traditional Arkansas barbecue, Hummer says the concept’s barbecue is unmatched in the segment, and he recently signed the first franchisee in the state of New York. He’s incredibly enthusiastic about continued growth with this brand.

Even by asking for a high level overview of each brand, it’s clear to see Hummer’s passion for brands that lend themselves to ultimate franchisee success is what drives him on a daily basis.
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