Franchisee Spotlight: Q&A with Scott and Jackie Ammerman from Wayback Burgers
Summer is here, and what better way to enjoy the season than heading to Wayback Burgers for delicious burgers, hot dogs, hand-dipped milkshakes, and a whole menu full of outstanding food, with a touch of nostalgia!
Our Franchisee Spotlight series continues as we interview Jackie Ammerman, who co-owns multiple Wayback Burgers franchises in South Carolina and Georgia with her husband, Scott Ammerman. She shares how a love for Wayback Burgers as guests led to franchise success!
Tell us about your background! What did you do before owning Wayback Burgers franchises?
I had studied Marine Biology in school, and was working at a large east coast aquarium. I wanted to be the trainer hosting the dolphin shows there, but there was one little thing holding me back: I couldn’t swim! Eventually, I started teaching.
Scott had his masters in Cartography, and worked for a popular software mapping firm, which provided dashboard directions for vehicles. He travelled a lot, helping plot cell phone tower locations for the system.
Why did you two decide to get into franchising?
We both liked the idea of working for ourselves, plus with tech advances, there was no guarantee Scott’s job would continue forever.
Because of our passion for kids and education, we decided to buy a franchise business tutoring kids in Connecticut. However, once our own children came along, we started looking for something different.
What made you decide to buy a Wayback Burgers franchise?
It was Scott! He loved Wayback Burgers so much, he would fill up on their burgers during the day, then tell me he wasn’t hungry for the dinners I prepared at night. When he finally ‘fessed up, he told me how great they were, and offered to take me to one of their restaurants. I got hooked, too!
That’s when I decided to investigate franchise opportunities with Wayback Burgers. When I met with the leadership team, I was impressed with their enthusiasm, commitment to quality and customer service. Plus, they shared their detailed, proven support system for franchisees, letting me know their focus was on our success first.
What’s the difference between Wayback Burgers and other fast casual food franchises?
The quality and consistency that goes into every order. It’s all fresh, prepared the way the customer likes it. For instance, our famous milkshakes are made with milk and hand-dipped ice cream, not a mix out of a box or bag. That’s important to me.
There is also a premium on customer service. We realize people have tons of restaurant choices out there, so we are determined to make their experience as positive as possible so they keep coming back and bring their friends.
What are some of the challenges you have faced in a food franchise business?
We received excellent training from the team members at Wayback Burgers, but sometimes, you must go off the page. For instance, our first year there was a mix up in our drink cup order, and we were running out quickly. I ran to a nationally famous coffee shop close by, and bartered with them: free Wayback Burgers for several sleeves of drink cups. Of course, their iconic logo was on them, but I just slapped our stickers over their logos, and kept our guests drink orders filled.
What goals do you have for the future?
We have two locations open now, one in Hilton Head, SC, the other in Savannah, GA. A third location will be opening very soon inside a Wal-Mart in Blufton, SC. We have plans to open three more over the next few years.
If you could offer advice to someone considering a franchise business, what would it be?
Find a product and franchise, such as Wayback Burgers, you really believe in, first. But investigating the structure of the franchise, thoroughly, and having a real comfort level is paramount. Who will be your liaison? How quickly do they respond to issues which may need immediate answers? How much ongoing support is available to you? How long and in-depth is the training? Will they accept input from you regarding different ways to accomplish greater goals? Doing your due diligence is the bottom line.
Interested in following in Jackie and Scott’s footsteps and taking control of your entrepreneurial future with Wayback Burgers? Visit http://www.franchise.org/wayback-burgers-franchise to get started today.