Franchisees Tell All: Are You Listening?

Rolling out anything new – whether it’s adding a new menu item or deploying the latest technology to help streamline operations – is often a challenge in the franchise world.

Franchisees often feel pressured to spend money that they don’t have and franchisors can become frustrated at what they perceive as a franchisee’s lack of passion for growth.

This session features franchisees who have a successful and mutually beneficial relationship with their franchisors. As franchisees, they will tell attendees what they need and expect from the corporate office in order to be profitable.


Daven Acker | Franchisee | Pizza Inn

Daven Acker has been in the restaurant industry for over 16 years. He now owns four Pizza Inn locations in South Carolina with a fifth set to open this Spring. Starting out in restaurant construction for brands like Long John Silvers, Fatz, Bruster’s Ice cream and Zaxby’s Chicken, Acker developed a passion for the restaurant industry. He was previously a multi-unit operator for Zaxby’s Chicken and now leads a crew of 140 including six team members who have been with Pizza Inn for over 30 years.

Steve Weigel | CEO | Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts

Steve Weigel joined the Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts team as Chief Executive Officer in April 2016 to lead strategic vision and execute growth strategy. He has over 25 years of casual dining industry experience, which includes previous roles as COO of Friendly’s Ice Cream, COO of Tom’s Urban 24 and SVP of both Smashburger and Darden Restaurants / Red Lobster. Steve is responsible for orchestrating the turnaround of Friendly’s Ice Cream through recruitment of executive team and development and execution of strategic initiatives. He has managed P&L and operations of 345 restaurants generating more than a half a billion in revenue at Friendly’s and 320 restaurants generating more than $1 billion in revenue while at Red Lobster.

Larry D. Kruguer | President of International | Wingstop

Larry D. Kruguer joined the company as President of International on June 11, 2015. Prior to joining Wingstop, Larry was at Wendy’s International, where he served as Vice President, International Joint Ventures and Key Markets from October 2014 to June 2015, Vice President, International Business Development and Finance from January 2010 to October 2014 and Vice President, International Marketing from October 2007 to January 2010. Prior to that, he was the President and Managing Partner of Prontowash USA, a global car wash services company, from January 2002 to October 2007. From October 1998 to August 2001, he served as Vice President, Marketing and Strategic Alliances for, a CBS Sports affiliate. Larry has also held management positions with Alamo-Autonation and American Express. He received an MBA in Business Management from University of Miami School of Business Administration in 1992.


Daniel Brookes | Visual Retail Segment Marketing Manager | Intel Corporation

Speaker bio coming soon!

session sponsor