John Dallis began his career in the QSR industry working at McDonald's in Detroit, Michigan. He worked his way up through the ranks until he was promoted to Director of Operations. He became passionate about the career, honing his skills in management and working as Director of Operations for not only McDonalds, but also Churches Chicken, Popeyes and Burger King. His career led him to a number of different places around the country, moving from Detroit to Missouri, Ohio, Illinois and Jersey. But nowhere made him feel quite at home like Atlanta.
John had initially moved to Atlanta with plans to open an independent restaurant, but when the economy took a turn for the worse in 2005, he pursued different options. He assisted a former colleague in opening a few restaurants in the area and decided he had an opportunity to use his skills to do the same. Now with more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, he is tackling his first attempt at ownership and could not be more eager to get started.
Why did you decide to buy the Checkers and Rally's restaurants?
I found out about Checkers and Rally's about five years ago because I was eating there so often. Anytime I was craving a great, bulky burger I went to Checkers. A lot of companies try to change their image based on trends, but I think Checkers has stood their ground.
There are burger restaurants that have identified with their burgers and restaurants that serve chicken that identify with their chicken, but then people talk about eating healthy and they try to add salad to their menus. That’s not what it’s about. I don’t have anything against a salad, but I don’t have a problem getting a burger every now and then either.
I think Checkers is a solid company. They know their brand image and they know what they do. We’re good at it and you get a great price. Checkers has re-positioned themselves and sales are steadily increasing. I also think over the next few years they’re really going to continue to dominate the space and the late-night market through revamping their image. I want to be a part of the growth and I want to be part of the story that they’re re-writing.
What part of your previous QSR experience do you think is going to be a benefit as an owner?
I think the people skills I have are definitely going to be a benefit. I have the ability to take care of customers, which, to me, includes employees and external customers. I want to build a team because the skills that we learn together are vital to running a successful organization. When I visit other restaurants, I think that’s what’s lacking. I want to be a part of the team instead of just the person barking out directions. Our goals need to be reached as an organization, and we’ll implement those with a smile.
What are your future development plans?
Our goal is to be the best operating and one of, if not the largest, franchisees in the organization.
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