Franchise Fun November/December 2020

Franchise Fun: The Joy of Franchising

Quesada founder and CEO Steve Gill dishes about his adventures in franchising

Quesada operates with the vision and mission to share The Joy of Mex with hungry customers across Canada. Founder and CEO, Steve Gill, explains that the Mexican food franchise delivers the “delicious flavours of Mexico to every corner of our country,” by serving customers an endless combination of toppings that can be added to burritos, tacos, and quesadillas.

With over 140 locations, Gill notes that Quesada recently won gold in the traditional category of the CFA Awards of Excellence program. He says it’s “especially meaningful” given that the milestone was achieved based on an anonymous survey of franchisees and their satisfaction with how the business is run.

Here, Gill shares about his personal life as an active and adventurous family man who enjoys kitesurfing, sipping a cold Guinness beer, and hanging out mountainside. He also dishes on the most important things in life, the one person he hopes to meet, and his dream of nailing a perfect handstand, among much more!

The most interesting thing I’ve done recently is… Booked myself in an Intro to Mountaineering course in Canmore, AB.

In its best form, work is… A journey that allows you to explore creative ideas and bring them to fruition.  If along the way you get to visit parts of Canada you otherwise wouldn’t have, that’s even better! It should be something that you can look back at and be proud of what you’ve done.

A good franchisee… Delivers on their promise to Share the Joy of Mex with the local community, both in the restaurant and around town. They follow the systems but aren’t shy to express opinions and share their best ideas for the benefit of everyone in the Quesada community.

A good franchisor… Listens and responds to the needs and feedback of franchisees. On a day-to-day basis, a good franchisor is more concerned about franchisee success than their own.

My top advice for prospective franchisees is… To choose a business that they are passionate about.  Don’t just do something that you think will make you money. There are lots of ways to make money.  Choose wisely.

My top advice for new franchisors is… To understand that being a franchisor means taking on responsibility for the success of others. As a franchisor, you must lead and make tough decisions. Those choices won’t necessarily be the best for every individual, so you have to trust that you are making decisions that serve the greater good. Also, design your systems for growth. As we have expanded, information management has become a huge aspect of business. You don’t want this to overwhelm and distract from your true task, which in our case is serving delicious burritos.

The most important thing in life is… Family, friends, and creating great memories.

One of the most enjoyable things to do is… Kitesurfing.

The hardest thing for me to do is… A handstand.

My favourite drink is… Guinness, but I’d love a mojito right now.

If I could change one thing… I’d spend more time in the mountains and at the beach. In fact, I think I’ll start now!

If I could meet anyone… Tough question. It would be cool to spend some time with adventurer and filmmaker, Jimmy Chin. He and his wife recently shot a film called Free Solo.

Canadian franchising is… An eye opener. Franchising continues to expand my vision of Canada and how much is happening in the smallest of communities. It is also not for the faint of heart. It can be challenging trying to meet the needs of such a diverse population.

My franchise system began because… I wanted to build a business that was part of the larger community.

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

The key to success is… To keep at it. Achieving success is not a sprint, but a marathon.

I’d like my friends to describe me as… Caring, fun, and adventurous.

The accomplishment I look forward to the most is… That handstand I mentioned earlier.

One necessary item on my life’s “to do” list is… To climb a mountain.

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