Nick Kenner and Rob Crespi decided to quit their day jobs and jump into the entrepreneurial bandwagon, after quiting their jobs they decided to start their own restaurant that would serve a healthy, fast, and creative alternative after being tired of the options available to them.
So I decided to talk to them about why they decided to quit their job and start their own business, Enjoy the interview and dont forget to leave comments.
Hey Guys, How are you doing?
Enjoying the holidays!
Great, Can you quickly give us some brief background information?
Nick Kenner - I graduated Colgate University in 2003, then worked the next year and a half at Exis Capital where i traded currencies and fixed income for a macro-economic portfolio manager.
Robert Crespi - I graduated the University of Wisconsin in 2004 with a major in finance and is currently working in the equity sales division of Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co., Inc. an equity brokerage firm in mid-town Manhattan.
We both grew up in Manhattan and have been friends since eighth grade.
I mean quitting your job to start a business? How confident were you about that decision?
We were both so young that we were too naive to even worry about anything. Our thought process was that we have a good idea and we just need to make it happen.
How did you get finance to start the business?
We approached former co-workers, family, family friends, banks, anyone who would listen to us!
Describe/outline your typical day?
No day is the same. I get into work at 7:45 AM and leave around 7 PM but what happens between those hours is always different. The range is so wide; it could include negotiating with a land lord, reviewing company numbers, going over new marketing materials or my favourite, reviewing employee disputes.
How many hours do you work a day on average?
Usually around 11-12 hours but almost never on weekends!
How did you decide on the location for your business?
We take a location, estimate the amount of revenue this store will do (this estimate is made based on several factors) and then plug the rent for this space with the revenue number into our business model and see what type of projected ROI we will see.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
We tried serving breakfast starting out and it failed after about 4 months. The product was good and it stayed true to our brand but it failed because we were not ready to fully commit and unless you are willing to fully commit to a product you have business introducing it.
How do you find people to bring into your organization that truly care about the organization the way you do?
I think you just have to have a feel about someone from the interview process. Other then intuition you need to make sure you incentivise people so that it makes sense for them to care about the concept.
How many employees do you have?
How have sales grown in the last few years?
We have grown over 100% the last two years.
What plans do you have now to expand your business further?
We are aggressively opening stores in the US while continuing to bring on international partners that can grow the business themselves locally.
How important have good employees been to your success?
In one word, characterize your lives as entrepreneurs?
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Having customers truly happy that we exist and are in there lives is very gratifying. Also knowing that this company supports certain employees and their family puts a burden on us but also makes us feel we are doing something worthwhile.
What qualities have you developed as a result of running your business?
You develop such a vast array of skills that can be taken into any business, the most important of which is the belief that you can tackle any issue and achieve any goal.
In your opinion, what is the most important an entrepreneur should possess?
A very good work ethic.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Chipotle. They are the gold standard in my industry.
What advice do you guys have for young entrepreneurs looking to start up their business especially in your industry?
Good luck. Make sure you believe in your concept and that you give it 100%.
Thanks for your time Guys and happy holidays.
Check out their website to find out more about what food they serve.