My Big Fat Greek Gyro NOW The Simple Greek – The Profit Season 2 Episode 17
Marcus Lemonis Vs My Big Fat Greek Gyro
The Company: My Big Fat Greek Gyro Now The Simple Greek
The Owner(s): Mike Ference and Kathleen Kamouyero-Ference
In this episode of the profit, Marcus Lemonis visits My Big Fat Greek Gyro. A small 5-locations gyros franchise that is looking to expand its business.
This McMurray Pennsylvania located business is run by husband-and-wife team Mike and Kathleen has seemed to lose their handle on the business.
So Marcus Lemonis goes in knowing that he would have to give a sense of direction and put a concrete plan into action to give the business a chance to grow.
Sons Andreas and Michael are now also helping to run the business and are in the process of buying the original location of my big fat Greek gyro.
Mike will like to expand the franchise business since it’s a good moneymaker. The franchisees pay USD10,000 upfront and an ongoing monthly royalty fee for using the brand. However, it looks like the franchise model is very dysfunctional and needs to be put right if the business is to succeed.
Problems/Issues In The Business Found By Marcus
- Low-quality food with little to no original Greek presence.
- Serving expensive frozen food.
- Unprofessional branding with the current trademark conflict.
- Lack of leadership.
- Under-performing franchises.
- No help and assistance to franchisees.
- Small tiny business location infrastructure and kitchen.
During The Show…
So we find out that Mike, is responsible for My Big Fat Greek Giro brand name and this is in a trademark conflict with another company using a similar name.
Sons Andreas and Michael are having friction with their stepdad Mike about how to run the business. Marcus who has Greek origins doesn’t understand why the restaurant doesn’t reflect the Greek culture as much as it should.
It looks like Mike shouts at everyone and is trying to tone down the Greek heritage of Kathleen and her sons Andreas and Michael.
Marcus Lemonis sits down with Mike and Kathleen to discuss the state of the business. He finds out that my big fat Greek gyro has just recently set up the LLC for the franchise business. So even after running the business for over 10 years, My Big Fat Greek Gyro is a relatively new business when it comes to facts.
Mike tells him that in the most recent fiscal year, the parent location of the business generated revenue of $300,000 making in that profit of around $100,000. My big fat Greek gyro has no debt but lacks the cash flow. Marcus is impressed with the return on capital considering the states in which the business is.
Marcus sits down with Mike and Kathleen to work out the deal. He is not happy with the total lack of support Mike provides to their franchisees. The business model needs a total makeover.
Kathleen ( who by now we know truly wants to invest everything into the business she loves) agrees with Marcus about dedicating more time to helping out their franchisees.
She feels held back and wants Mike to give her more of a free hand at running the business with the ideas she has.
The crux of the matter is that at the end of the day, Marcus really likes the financials of the business. It’s a money generating machine and with a little bit of tweaking, the potential to make money is huge.
Marcus offers My Big Fat Greek Gyro $350,000 for 55% of the parent company and full control. Mike counters he wants more, Marcus puts pressure on them and Kathleen agrees to accept Marcus’ deal.
They all agree to take Marcus’ check and the partnership begins.
The money will be invested in the franchise part of the business as that is where Marcus will make his returns from.
Solutions Suggested/Implemented by Marcus To Improve The Business
- Create a new name and branding for the business
- Reorganize the franchise
- Update the menu to reflect more of the Greek culture and cuisine
- Restructure the business
- Add more fresh and authentic home-made food items
- Get rid of frozen food items to maximize profit.
- Install free Wi-Fi at the locations
- Simplify the ordering process
Conclusion and Updates on the Business
After the deal, Marcus takes Mike and Kathleen to meet all the franchisees to fixe the relationship and try to restore faith in them. He pledges to put as much money into the franchisee’s business to help them make money.
Marcus Lemonis believes that simplifying the process of the restaurants and making the ordering process more efficient is the best way forward. The location in Mount Lebanon was in the worst state so Marcus decides to try out the new business concept there first.
He renovates that restaurant at a cost $85,000 but it now fantastic. All of the locations will be renovated so they can all have the same look and feel ala McDonald’s.
Next, Marcus drops a shocker. He renames and rebrands the business “The Simple Greek“.
Kathleen hates the name, she says it kind of sounds pejorative to the Greeks. After a little bit of convincing she finally accepts that it looks nice but we see she still doesn’t really like “what it says”.
So the future looks very bright profitable for the new The Simple Greek gyros franchise. It now reflects the very high standard which will surely invite many more franchisees from all over the country into the business. This is what Marcus plans and it will be the way he makes his money back.
We wish The Simple Greek all of the best and will be following up with any new updates we find.
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What is the status of The Simple Greek location in Cranberry Township ? I drove past the store 4/22/2015 and it wasn’t there.
The cranberry location was in so much debt and could not recover. Marcus Lemonis would not help the failing location. We had no choice but to close our doors
Just went to The Simple Greek website and see that there is only four locations… The original, the two other locations featured on the show (Mt Vernon and Market Street) and one more location (Chicago area)… I would like to see and hear what happened to the other locations that closed…
White Oak failed, Cranberry Township Failed and Wexford refused to change its name and menu
Are you aware that in the “My Records and References” section of your Employment area of your website, it mentions “Standard Burger” three times instead of “The Simple Greek.” If this is an error I thought you’d like to know.
I leaning to agree with “The Simple Greek” name being slightly offensive… I think a very minor change like naming it “Simply Greek” would have fixed it.
Already taken. http://www.simply-greek.com
So Simply Greek is offensive and Big Fat Greek is not? That is ridiculous!
If they were selling people it might be offensive but since the name refers to food it’s makes perfect sense. I agree the prior name seems more offensive for sure.
why weren’t they giving marcus his portion after all he did. seems dishonest