Franchise Fun September/October 2020

Franchise Fun: Fostering Franchise Growth

CEO Ken Otto is helping Redberry Restaurants expand with more Canadian locations

Redberry Restaurants is one of Canada’s largest and fastest-growing quick service restaurant (QSR) franchisees, operating two iconic global QSR brands: Burger King and Pizza Hut. CEO Ken Otto notes Redberry is Canada’s largest Burger King franchisee, with 111 Burger King locations in Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba, and also proudly owns and operates more than 20 Pizza Hut restaurants in Alberta.

With more than 130 locations, Otto says Redberry will continue to grow in Canada, as evidenced by the recent signing of an area development agreement with Burger King to build 103 new Burger King restaurants in the next five years.

Here, Otto, a self-professed energetic early riser and builder, shares his insight into Canadian franchising, including how both franchisees and franchisors can continue to foster franchise growth. We also highlight his personal side as he emphasizes the importance of dreaming big, spending time outdoors with family, and unwinding with a taste of awesome tequila. Read on to learn more!

The most interesting thing I’ve done recently is… Sailed a catamaran in the British Virgin Islands with my family.

In its best form, work is… Fun.

A good franchisee… Is an advocate and growth engine for their franchisor.

A good franchisor… Builds a highly profitable, sustainable, and world-class operation system for their franchisees.

My top advice for prospective franchisees is… Commit 98 per cent of your time to the flawless execution and being an advocate for the 98 per cent of the system that is right. Spend 2 per cent of your time on the 2 per cent that needs work. Simply, you bought and are paying for a system. Use it; don’t fight it.

My top advice for new franchisors is… Know how to make money for your franchisee. A great concept, even loved by your customer, is useless to a franchisee (and you) if it does not make lots of money.

The most important thing in life is… Family.

One of the most enjoyable things to do is… Spend time outdoors doing cool things like biking, boating, and skiing.

The hardest thing for me to do is… Slow down.

My favourite drink is… Super awesome tequila.

If I could change one thing… I would have more hair.

If I could meet anyone… I would meet the CEOs of Restaurant Brands International (RBI) and Yum! Brands.

The person who has had the most positive influence on me as a businessperson is… My dad, Gunter Otto.

Canadian franchising is… World class.

My franchise system began because… There was a need for franchisee consolidation in Canada.

The most positive influence on my life as a person is… My wife Julie.

The key to success is… Dream big. Then write it down. Build a team to make it happen.

I’d like my friends to describe me as… There for them.

The accomplishment I look forward to the most is… Everyone I have the privilege to lead and work with feels they are achieving their lifelong goals and dreams.

My personal motto is… Make it Happen.

One necessary item on my life’s “to do” list is… Stay health

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