Juice Bar founder gets back to the ‘why’ of juicing franchise
A letter from John Hunt
Dear Juice Family,
On many days I live in the “I’m in the restaurant business” mindset, which is for sure true. Check averages, marketing and more marketing, getting sales up and costs down, staying on top of labor… these are all part of the Juice Bar brand business.
Having just wrapped up our pioneer year as a franchisor, and still being a new brand in the marketplace, we are also still working hard on negotiating national contracts with our many vendors as well as studying the best ways to tell people about our juice! Getting our average unit volume (AUV) up and keeping our cost of goods sold (COGS) down — that’s just Business 101. In fact, that is our huge focus for the entire year: increasing our AUV and decreasing our COGS.
That is the WHAT of all we’re doing.
It’s important for me to also be connected to the WHY: Why is Juice Bar a brand? Why do we carry the types of goodies we do? Why do we have juice, and new Monster Shots…?
For me, this is a passion play, a passionate-owner thing. Feeling great and helping others feel great, too. I was 50 pounds overweight and taking medications every 3 months or so for a recurring lung infection (steroids, antibiotics, prescription inhaler). I thought all that was normal — a tad unlucky, maybe, but otherwise normal — for a guy in his mid 40s.
I was WRONG.
I stumbled onto a documentary called “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” (free on Netflix — please watch it if you can!) I watched it and cried. They were telling my story. I started juicing, and I started to lose weight. I began to feel not just better, but actually great — I had no idea how bad I’d been feeling until I began to feel great! About 8-9 weeks later, we opened our first I Love Juice Bar in Brentwood, Tennessee, and we’ve never looked back.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been deep in emails, spreadsheets and the like. Very important WHAT work for sure. But then I had a moment when I realized I was slightly off the path in terms of being connected to the WHY of all this.
So, here I sit, on Day 8 of a juice cleanse. I am feeling fantastic, fantastic, fantastic. No, it does not immediately make my P&L different, but it immediately makes ME different — and I take that great feeling into the store with me, which over time DOES impact my P&L.
“Living” Juice Bar and not just “working” Juice Bar gives us a stronger chance of spreading this movement to the people who need it, the people who might not even know they need it.
I just wanted to share my realizations to the Juice Bar family, and to anyone who is considering becoming a member of the Juice Bar family. As a business we naturally care a lot about our AUV and our COGS and our P&L. But there’s a much greater mission at stake, and it’s the reason I started Juice Bar in the first place.
Learn more about the Juice Bar family
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