Smoothie King Franchisees Shape the Next Generation of Team Members
While the rest of the world vents about the frustrations of managing millennial and Generation Z employees, Smoothie King franchisees offer a refreshing and positive perspective.
In fact, outside of promoting the noble mission of inspiring people to live a healthy and active lifestyle, our franchisees say one of the most rewarding aspects of owning a Smoothie King franchise is working with and training young, talented people.
What is it about this challenging task that they find so fulfilling? Because many Smoothie King team members are in the early stages of their careers, working in our stores is often their first real job experience. Our franchisees say they see this not as an obstacle, but rather a golden opportunity.
Franchisees help these young, ambitious team members learn not just how to make the right smoothie, but also about responsibility, guest service and proper work ethic.
Offering Life Skills to a New Generation
Charlotte-based Smoothie King franchisee Chris Magno sees training and teaching his younger team members as a perk of owning a franchise. Knowing full well that most of his team has not been employed elsewhere, he has made it his mission to impart valuable life skills on the job that they can take into the next facet of their lives.
“I sit my team members down and tell them to relish the experience and take as much out of it as they can,” Magno said. “Teenagers notoriously know everything, but I want to make sure that they learn how to work with people, how to relate to costumers and how to problem solve on their own. If they ever need anything, they know they can come to me and I can help guide them through it.”
Watching his team mature and climb the ranks before his very eyes has been a very humbling and gratifying experience for Magno. A significant number of his management team have reached that point after starting out from entry-level positions, and Magno has been thrilled to provide the opportunity to grow.
“I can’t describe how great it is to develop a team member from part-time to store manager,” said Magno. “I even have one who graduated from college, found a high-paying job and still comes back to manage the store part-time on the weekends. At this point, I’m just waiting for the day when she’ll ask to go into business together and open up her own Smoothie King. If and when that day finally comes, I’ll be more than happy to do it.”
For some of our franchisees, it’s been a two-way street of teaching and learning. For example, in his past career as an HR manager, Indiana-based franchisee Chris Sgroi never had to work alongside teenagers. At first, the prospect of employing young people seemed somewhat intimidating, but he was able to find joy in the process.
“The entire experience has been great and has allowed me to really grow as a person,” said Sgroi. “Since I’ve never had to interact with high-school students before, I had to adjust how I communicate and embrace my role as teacher as well as a business owner. I find that there are a lot of teachable moments in the course of a regular work day, and my team members are always eager to learn.”
Instilling a proper work ethic and attitude can sometimes be tricky, but once Sgroi sees a team member acquire a new skill or handle a situation they weren’t able to before, it’s all worth it for him.
“It’s been amazing to work alongside these kids and watch them gain a sense of responsibility and provide our guests with a great experience,” added Sgroi. “I can honestly take pride in their accomplishments.”