Restaurant Development & Design

JAN-FEB 2018

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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2 0 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 Peer to Peer Q&A with Randy Icard Vice President of Franchise Development, Bojangles B ojangles has more than 700 locations across the Southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States. The brand has three locations in Honduras and some nontraditional units in airports, on college campuses, in foot- ball stadiums and in other entertainment arenas. The average build is an approxi- mately 3,800-square-foot stand-alone unit with a drive-thru. The chain rolled out its newest prototype in 2017. What's your background, and how long have you been with Bojangles? I handle construction, both franchise and company-owned new builds and remodels. I've been in the restaurant business — and I'm giving a little bit away here, but this is my 40th year in the business. I started when I was about three years old. Ha! Any- way, I've worked for a couple of different brands over that period of time, but I've been with Bojangles for about nine years. My background is more from an operator's perspective. I've been a multi- unit operator up to the vice president of operations level with other brands, and I have experience opening dozens of restaurants over my career — dozens and dozens. So, I approach development more from an operator's perspective in looking for return on investment. There's the science part of it, and some of it is intuition and some is the experience piece. You try to use all those tools in development. Of course, we use all the tools that companies use for demograph- ics and traffic counts to tell us what are growing areas and what are new areas of interest. There are a lot of people at Bojangles that bring a common-sense approach to development. What are some of the best parts of your job? Anybody that's in development has a great sense of accomplishment when seeing a new restaurant being built and you see your chain growing and new locations opening. That certainly gives anyone in this business a sense of satisfaction when you're able to step back and see the finished product. More importantly, I enjoy the opportunities it provides for people: the local jobs as well as the franchisee's livelihood and watching them making a lifetime com- mitment to growing their business and our company. That's one of the things I enjoy most about what I do: seeing other people be successful. Bojangles rolled out a new prototype recently. The first of our new prototypes opened in 2017. As we look back at our history, we had three distinct prototypes over the years, and it was time for us to take another step into the 21st century. This new building really helps us do that. It hearkens back to the heritage of our brand with awnings over the win- dows and the use of some of the orange and canopies we used to use as well as the use of brick. But we've also incor- porated a lot more natural light. We've got more windows in this model. We're using all LED lighting, both on the interior and the exterior with very few exceptions. The building itself, from the exterior, really gives us that crisp, new, modern look without being a radical de- parture from what a Bojangles tradition- ally looks like. It's still recognizable as a Bojangles building compared to some of our other prototypes. On the interior, some of the big BY REBECCA KILBREATH

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