With over 30 fast-casual restaurants and 40 years of experience under his belt, you could call Atlanta franchise partner Bill Byrd an industry veteran.
Since the age of 13 working for his family business, Bill has been in restaurants.
"I enjoy the people aspect of the restaurant industry," he said. "I don't think I want to do anything else.”
Owning and operating a number of Taco Bell and KFC restaurants, Bill knows all about the franchise industry, too. Bill’s son, Jason, approached him and about potentially getting in business together.
"My son wanted to get into business together, so we began looking at different franchise models," Bill explained.
Bill, his business partner, David Barr, and his son researched roughly 35 franchises and narrowed their options down to three before deciding on Capriotti's.
"We visited and talked to each of the three franchises, but we fell in love with the Capriotti's food quality," he said. "There's no other sandwich chain that compares to it."
After opening his first Capriotti’s in Georgia in 2019, Bill now owns four units, adding three more restaurants in Maryland to his portfolio.
The Quality Makes the Difference
Our fanatically delicious food and large variety of menu items intrigued Bill, who was just as amazed by our quality food as our guests are. After trying our vegetarian offerings, salads and soups, Bill was eager to start serving our food.
"Other brands just offer the same old types of sandwiches, and nothing is different but the types of meats. All of the Capriotti's sandwiches are best in class," he added.
Not only was Bill drawn to our commitment to quality food, but he was drawn to our leadership as well.
"The leadership matches the food quality," he explained, "the comparison between the leadership at Capriotti's and other franchises' was night and day."
Bill noted our commitment to both quality and profitability as a leading force in his decision to add our sandwich franchise to his portfolio.
"A lot of franchises are just about building more shops, but Capriotti's wants to maintain quality and profitability while opening shops; they don't outpace themselves with new openings," Bill added.
It was a done deal from there.
Ready to Hit the Ground Running
Having invested in multiple quick-service franchises, Bill felt more than equipped to open another fast-casual restaurant.
"Having two other brands is beneficial because no matter how big the company is, you can still learn something," he explained.
Already, Bill has taken his learnings from being a sandwich franchise owner to his other franchise brands, like utilizing digital platforms to target consumers. Each of Bill's locations is doing exceptionally well compared to their 2019 numbers, despite the global pandemic.
"The Capriotti's digital platform is amazing; it's something we can learn from at the other brands," said Bill.
At each of Bill's locations, digital orders are typically 20-100% higher per check.
"With updated digital advertising efforts and geo-fencing, we are absolutely killing it—and that's without our catering service," he explained.
Bill expects sales will continue to increase as catering orders pick up with local restrictions lifting and businesses reopening.
Driven By a Love for People
As a franchisee, the motivating force for Bill is his love for people, both customers and staff alike. Being part of PMTD Restaurants (People Make The Difference), Bill notes that people make all the difference.
"Everything going well in my life all depends on one thing: people. If you hire the best people, all you need to do is give them the tools, get out of their way and let them manage," Bill said.
Having worked in the industry for so long, Bill knows the importance of hiring the right people.
"If you hire the right person for the job, life gets simpler," he said.
Bill takes pride in seeing his employees advance, whether throughout the Capriotti's franchise system, in another company or even in their personal lives.
"I love watching people grow."
Future Plans for Expansion
Having built a strong infrastructure and talented workforce, Bill plans to add even more sandwich locations to his portfolio.
He plans to add his fifth and sixth locations in Maryland within the next two years.
Bill's management and leadership expertise have brought unparalleled value to the entire Capriotti’s network. Bill has served several terms on the Capriotti's Franchise Advisory Committee, he has mentored new franchise partners and is always an advocate for the Capriotti's brand.