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Friday’s standard of excellence made franchising difficult. My domestic attempts ended with the buy back of the restaurants. It was  frustrating to have people pay you so much money just to ignore your direction. After the buy back, when returned to the founding principles, the restaurants returned to prosperity.

International expansion, however, could best be accomplished with nationals in each country. I established very strict requirements, increased training requirements and was very careful in partner selection. We were very fortunate to have as our first partner Whitbread, a large diversified UK company. The key to their selection and ultimate success was Tony Hughes. Under his leadership Friday’s was incredibly successful. Later, after his departure, things changed and a near failure took place. We tell this story in the last chapter of my book, with a happy ending. The book also establishes the clear pattern going all the way back to our near failure in the beginning of Friday’s history.  Can you say ‘Back to the basics!’

We established a clear and successful template for international franchise expansion. Prior to our entry, many franchised concepts modified their fare to accommodate local tastes and food preferences. It was my belief that even though the British drank their beer at a different temperature, had their salads in a different meal sequence, etc., we  were an American restaurant and would do EVERYTHING EXACTLY as we were doing it in the U.S.  At the time this was controversial it but proved to be a major component of our success.

We have watched Karen Forrester demonstrate CLEARLY  that the founding principles of Friday’s work whenever and wherever applied. We devote the last chapter of my book to her story. You say, but Dan, you are repeating yourself , and I say yes but I AM PROMOTING MY BOOK, so you will probably hear it again.

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