Sherri Lind opened Native New Yorker in Arizona in 1979 and now has begun to franchise her concept.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing and where are you located?
Native New Yorker is a full service casual restaurant. Our franchise started in Tempe, AZ and we are now based in Gilbert, AZ.
Native New Yorker is currently positioning itself and its systems to grow nationally as a franchise.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
Our family lived in Buffalo, NY and survived the blizzard of '77! We had had enough of the snow and decided to move West. This was our first business venture as a family.
Where did you get the startup money?
The founders (my parents) borrowed money from family, friends and even loan sharks!
Who are your main competitors? How do you compete against them?
We compete in the general casual dining segment with other sports bars. We strive to offer exceptional customer service, great value, combined with an incredible sports experience.
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
We never expected our growth and expansion to franchising our system. We are still very humbled by our success.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
We wish we would have had more siblings to assist in opening and operating new company owned locations.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
We become entrenched in the communities that we serve, giving support back to the citizens that have made us a success.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Hire good partners, including legal, consulting, P.R., and advertising, that really have your best interests at heart and who know your business inside and out.
Thanks for your time, Sherri.