Executive Team Member Spotlight: Sean Keefe
Businesses don’t succeed just because they have a founder with an exceptional idea. They need individuals who can handle the day-to-day operations, leaving the Founders to handle the big picture and take it to the next level. This is true for businesses across sectors, whether you’re planning to start a brunch franchise or marketing agency.
Toastique needed such an individual to take care of its franchise relationships, manager training, and everything else that a Franchise Owner would need to get their outlet up and running. The individual in this role would ideally need a background in hospitality and be proficient in project management.
Luckily, our Founder Brianna Keefe didn’t have to look far for such a talented and experienced professional. She found one in her family. With his project management background, commitment to health and wellness, and years of hospitality industry experience, her brother Sean Keefe was the right person to become Toastique’s Director of Operations.
Always into health
The Keefe siblings had hopes of following their parents’ footsteps and entering the medical field. Both Brianna and Sean went to James Madison University, with Sean initially wanting to become a pharmacist and Brianna’s original aspiration to be a pediatrician. But as we know, they found their calling in a different health-oriented industry.
Sean wasn’t a stranger to the hospitality industry. He has been in the sector since the age of 14. Although after college he was doing project management for government agencies, he was also helping his sister build Toastique. The brother-sister duo was “always hand-in-hand,” as Sean says. Both decided to enter the hospitality sector. Both moved to the Washington, D.C. area. And, now both are in the Toastique brunch franchise business together.
One of the reasons why Sean finds his role a natural fit is that Toastique combines two of the Keefes’ passions- hospitality and health. It isn’t just another brunch franchise or fast-food chain with traditional junk food. Toastique’s healthy and delicious toasts and cold-pressed juices are centered around the long-term health needs of its customers.
“We went through so many trials and tribulations when we were making the menu,” Sean recalls about the early stages of Toastique. But their love for good food and good health was all the inspiration they needed to stay the course and grow the brand.
Healthy brunch franchise, healthy growth!
Sean was with Brianna when they were coming up with Toastique’s signature gourmet toast and smoothie recipes. His primary responsibility was figuring out how to run the business. But they soon ran into a challenge that most entrepreneurs only dream of. Toastique started growing “way quicker than we thought,” as Sean says.
When they were starting the business, they had a five-year expansion plan. They estimated that they would have two to three restaurants in that span. But consumers wanted more of Toastique. Three and a half years since it started, the brand that’s redefining brunch is poised to have around 15 brunch franchises up and running by 2022. For Sean, that customer validation was the sign to leave his career in project management and come on board full-time. At Toastique, he handles all operations of the brand’s expansion, leaving Brianna and Kyle Izett, CFO & Director of Construction, to step back and handle the big picture.
Excited about the expansion
Sean is delighted about taking Toastique to different states and partnering with new Franchise Owners as they build a new brunch culture centered around healthy and yummy toasts and cold-pressed juices. He is in charge of helping the managers create efficient systems to handle their day-to-day operations.
He trains the Franchise Owners on how to create and manage timesheets, people management, training videos, manuals, and everything else they would need to successfully run the brunch franchise. Sean’s responsibility is to create a handbook that the Franchise Owners would need to manage on their own. The key is not to micromanage but to empower them with what Brianna, Sean, Kyle, and the team have learned from other locations.
When a new Toastique opens, Sean will be there for the first week or so to guide them. After that, they will have weekly and monthly calls to ensure that everything is going smoothly. Toastique’s objective, in Sean’s words, is that “we want all out Franchise Owners to be confident from day one and we want to set them up for success.” No matter what challenge comes their way, the managers should be able to handle that. “I want them to feel on the first day that they’ve been doing this for years.”
Built on relationships
Aside from assisting with routine operations, a key area for Sean is helping Franchise Owners find local vendors and build mutually beneficial long-term relationships with them. Sean knows the value of those connections. Brianna has excellent relations with vendors, which has been crucial for the continued operations of the brand even in challenging times.
“If we run out of bread, they would hop in a van and send it to us,” Sean notes. That’s exactly the kind of relationship that he and the rest of Toastique’s support team want every Franchise Owner to have. “In the end, it’s all about the people you can count on and the people who can count on you.” It’s not just professional relationships that Sean has been keenly building. He recently got engaged to his girlfriend of six years. The Executive Team member at Toastique certainly has a lot to look forward to in both his personal and professional life!
Work with Sean as a Franchise Owner!
You too can benefit from Sean’s expertise and guidance, just as other Franchise Owners are doing now. If you’ve ever wanted to be in the restaurant industry, this is the time to open a brunch franchise. With Toastique, you’ll be joining a brand that’s carved a unique space with healthy and delicious toasts and cold-pressed juices.
The brand also has a lean business model and several revenue streams that can withstand the challenges that restaurant owners usually have to face. With increasing consumer awareness about the need for healthy and wholesome food, the future is bright for those entrepreneurs who will partner with Toastique. Click here to start a successful entrepreneurial journey and reframe your future.