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Breakout Session / Thursday / March 31, 2022 / 10:30 AM

Automating the Franchisee Lifecycle

Vetting, onboarding, training and tracking franchisee progress are imperative to running a successful brand, but they are also expensive and time consuming.

What if there were ways to cut both the costs and the labor associated with managing franchisees? Well, there are several, according to our panelists who will share their go-to strategies.


Steve Lieber | VP Franchise Business Development | BurgerFi
Steve Lieber is an expert in designing restaurant concepts, the art of pizza making and is a certified pizzaiolo from Italy. As Vice President of Franchise Development, Steve leads the team who sold over 150 franchises to over 50 franchise groups. His team has sold franchises in 20+ states and international deals in Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Our teams built systemwide restaurant sales of $100+ million USD in under 5 years. Steve was on opening restaurant teams for 10+ states in the United States. He taught franchisees recruiting techniques, training and operating systems, professionalism, food ordering and preparation, inventory controls, labor controls, local store marketing to increase sales and profitability of all locations.
Greg Sausaman | CEO & Co-founder | Topper's Craft Creamery
Gregory A. Sausaman is the Co-founder and CEO of Ice Cream 4 You International - franchisor of Topper’s Craft Creamery and a Master licensee of Starbucks Coffee. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, and MS Management: Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness; both from the University of South Florida, Tampa. Greg is a published author of “Inside the Box: the power of complementary branding”. Greg is a seasoned franchise executive, having held positions with national franchise organizations: Domino’s Pizza, Allied Domecq Brands, and Beef O Brady’s family sports concepts. He is a former franchise owner of 8 Domino’s Pizza franchises in Gainesville, Lake City, and Jacksonville, Florida.
Jim Sullivan | Chief Development Officer | Qdoba
Jim Sullivan, chief development officer at QDOBA, is a seasoned restaurant industry executive with more than 25 years of experience in real estate, franchise development and site acquisition management. In his role with QDOBA, Jim leads all restaurant development activities, including market planning, site selection, real estate negotiations, franchise sales and more to support the company’s aggressive growth plan. He has held leadership positions with many prominent restaurant brands including CKE Restaurant Holdings, Friendly’s Ice Cream Corporation and American Hospitality Concepts. Jim received his Bachelor’s of Science in Sports Management from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Mini MBA from University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN.
Susan Taylor | President & CEO | Juice It Up!
Susan Taylor is the President and CEO of Juice It Up! and possesses nearly 30 years of restaurant industry leadership experience. Propelled by her extraordinary vision, guidance and commitment to helping franchise owners succeed, Juice It Up! is experiencing record sales as the brand continues to take more ownership of the ever-popular smoothie, bowl, and raw juice segment. A dynamic, people-oriented brand builder, Susan has made huge contributions in furthering the evolution of the brand and taking Juice It Up! to new heights. Leading her team through the many challenges of the past few years to emerge stronger than ever, Susan is instrumental to Juice It Up!’s success.

Taj Adhav | CEO | Leasecake
After starting as a Big Four CPA, Taj managed more than $2 billion in commercial real estate and new business launches over a decade at Disney Development Company and as an Imagineer launching Disney Cruise Line, and Disney Vacation Club. Transitioning into technology, Taj became an early hire at Channel Intelligence eventually leading business development to launch Channel Intelligence as a SaaS data platform which later was sold to Google for $125 million. Recognizing the opportunity to transform the market where everyone in business owns or leases real estate, Leasecake was born. Tenants, brokers, and landlords desperately needed a way to collaborate, share data, and keep track of business-critical events.
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