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Get to Know Our Newest Craft Beer Franchise Owners, Virgil and Jennifer Matos!

Get to Know Our Newest Craft Beer Franchise Owners, Virgil and Jennifer Matos!

Get to Know Our Newest Craft Beer Franchise Owners, Virgil and Jennifer Matos!

1. What is your personal/professional background?

I (Virgil) just retired from 22 years as a Federal Agent for the Department of Homeland Security, and now I’m coaching high school baseball. My wife, Jennifer, had worked for several different restaurants as a server throughout the years and was a claims adjuster for an insurance company before we started a family. Once the kids came, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom.

2. What are your personal hobbies or interests?

We are both very active volunteers in our community, serving in the local elementary schools and little league programs. I (Virgil) love all things sports-related and play ice hockey for two local adult league teams.

 

3. How did you first learn about the Voodoo Brewery franchise?

We first learned about Voodoo when we were looking for different franchising opportunities. Although, we didn’t know there was a difference between Voodoo Brewing Co. and the Voodoo Ranger craft beer products.

4. Why is Voodoo Brewing Co. the right fit for you?

We fell in love with the culture that Voodoo Brewpub has created and how they are community oriented. We also like that it’s inclusive for all ages so that families will feel welcome.

 

5. What did you like about Voodoo’s franchise business model?

The support and sense of community within the franchisees and the weekly check-in calls—the freedom to shape our Voodoo Brew Pub to fit our community and support our local community by sourcing locally.

6. What did you like about meeting Voodoo’s corporate team?

The team at Voodoo Brewing Franchise was very welcoming and relaxed. They made you feel at ease, and they explained everything in detail. No one was anything like we expected; honestly, they were down-to-earth and very open.

Virgil and Jennifer Matos: Voodoo Brewing Co. Franchise Owners - 3

7. What did you like about Voodoo Discovery Day?

Discovery day was exciting! It was great getting to sample the food and craft beer and to see it in real time, not just have someone explain how it works. The best part was after the “formal presentation.” It was great just getting to know everyone in a not-so-formal setting.

8. What was the “a-ha” or “lightbulb” moment that made you want to franchise with Voodoo Brewing Co.?

In complete honesty, I think it was just a pipe dream at first. Then we went to the funeral of a friend who passed away unexpectedly. It made us realize that life is short, and we didn’t want to regret not trying to make a Voodoo brewpub work for us.

9. Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?

We never really thought about becoming entrepreneurs exactly. However, Jennifer has always had small multi-level marketing (MLM) businesses on the side of running the household to help her with her creative outlet. She’s always had the urge to start something new to help support the family.

10. What do you think will make you successful?

After 25 years of marriage, we learned that we could be successful at anything as long as we communicated and worked as a team. We plan to bring that into our lives with our Voodoo Brewing Co. Franchise.

11. What sets Voodoo Craft Brewery apart, in your eyes, from other franchise opportunities in the restaurant/hospitality Industry?

Voodoo’s Franchise Owner support and the freedom to connect each individual location to its specific community was a huge draw. The enthusiasm that the Voodoo Brewing Co. team brings is contagious!

12. What has been the best part of your experience with the Voodoo Brewing Co. corporate team so far?

Definitely Discovery Day, and having the time after the scheduled session to hang out and get to know everyone.

13. What advice would you give to a potential Franchise Owner?

To put a lot of thought into it, take the time to research everything you can about the company and concept and if you’re comfortable, jump in and take the chance. Everything in life comes with a risk; trust the process.

14. What do you look forward to most about owning your own Voodoo brewpub?

We look forward to sharing Voodoo and the culture with our family, friends, and neighborhood. We want it to be a place where everyone can come together, feel welcome, and relax for a bit—who knows, maybe make a new friend.

If you’re feeling inspired to invest in yourself and think a craft beer franchise is perfect, click here for more information.

Another Year With More Craft Beer

Another Year With More Craft Beer

Another Year With More Craft Beer

Voodoo Brewing Co. closed out another great year with more flavorful craft beer and some incredible brewery franchise achievements.

We added 15 new franchise owners, some with multiple units in nine territories in nine states, including Texas, Indiana, and Tennessee, among many others across  the country.

We also collected some hardware along the way by being called a 2022 Top New & Emerging Franchise by Entrepreneur.com. So, yeah, we know what we’re doing.

But enough of us and how awesome our beer franchise brand is. Let’s get to know a few of our newest Voodoo Brewing Co. Franchise Owners.

Vinny and Leisa Leo - Voodoo Brewing Co. Franchise Owners

Meet the Leos! 

We are so excited to announce two of our newest Franchise Owners in Leisa and Vinny Leo! They left their day jobs because their hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, was lacking in quality craft beer. 

As a couple with a great passion for craft beer and entrepreneurship, it’s hard to find a better Voodoo Beer Franchise Owner fit than the Leos. Leisa and Vinny’s early background in the restaurant industry and the experience they’ve gained throughout their professional careers make them eager to begin the newest chapter of their lives as co-Owners of Knoxville’s future favorite craft brewpub.

But first, who the heck are the Leos?

For over two decades, Vinny has honed his professional background in the life science industry’s IT compliance and controls sector. He is looking forward to bringing the unique experience he has acquired to his new role as a Voodoo brewpub Franchise Owner!

His lovely wife, Leisa, has been focused on her dedicated career as a certified public accountant (CPA). After spending nearly 15 years in one of the most important roles of all—being a mother. In Leisa’s words, opening a Voodoo craft beer franchise is a great chance to work with Vinny as her partner both in life and in business, and she sees their new business venture as a chance to reignite her passion for learning. And what better thing to learn about than craft beer?

They Didn’t Need Restaurant Experience… But They Have It

One of the most common questions the franchise leadership team at Voodoo gets asked is if a potential franchisee needs any restaurant experience to own and operate a brew pub. And the answer is not really. In fact, many of our current Franchise Owners come from different walks of life without a shred of restaurant or bar industry experience before Voodoo. It helps, but it isn’t necessary. However, the Leos’ previous restaurant experience will go a long way toward their success as craft beer Franchise Owners!

Their restaurant experience started a long time ago. Leisa and Leo have done everything from bussing positions and servers to management roles. The Leos are confident that they’ll be able to apply their vast knowledge of the inner workings of a restaurant to the successful management of their Voodoo brewpub. Since our simple franchise business model eliminates a LOT of the typical headaches of running a bar or restaurant, keeping staff to a minimum with our European beer-hall style of service, Leisa and Vinny will be able to avoid some of the issues they surely remember from their days working at restaurants!

Passion & Commitment

We believe integrating passion with business acumen is an essential mix- the “special sauce” that makes our pubs different from those cheesy, cookie-cutter bar chains out there. With their real-world business experience and genuine passion for what Voodoo has to offer its customers, Vinny and Leisa bring this core value to life. According to the couple, one of their greatest inspirations for wanting to own a franchise was having control over the business process.

It’s essential for Franchise Owners to love and appreciate a brand as much before investing. With such a passion for the brand and business model, we can’t wait to see the new heights Vinny and Leisa take us to with their Voodoo pub franchise!

Good luck in Rocky Top, Vinny and Leisa!

Fahad and Manal - Voodoo Brewing Co. Franchise Owners

Goodbye to their 9 to 5s

What are the faces of a couple of people who told their traditional corporate jobs to kick rocks and bet on themselves? 

Meet Fahad and Manal Keen, the couple bringing Voodoo Brewing Company’s refreshing craft brews to Dallas, Texas. 

We’re so excited to see that they are making Voodoo part of their life, and we can’t wait to share their fascinating journey with you.

What’s Their Deal?

Manal spent the last 15+ years in the financial services industry. She ran strategy and finance in three sectors throughout her career: real estate, treasury/investment, and wealth management. About a year and a half ago, she left her corporate job to pursue her passions and become a teacher, becoming the first woman at the University of North Texas at Dallas to teach finance classes at the school. 

Her husband, Fahad, spent the last 15 years in business operations, analysis, and data. He is passionate about making an impact on his local community. In his free time, he coaches youth sports and plays sports himself.

Time for New Careers

When you’re in the market for a new career or a lifestyle change, you have at least one “Ah Ha” moment.

When we asked them what made them choose Voodoo Brewing Co., Manal explained, “When I was leaving my corporate job, I wanted to do something in a different niche: helping communities, bringing people together. I didn’t wanna go back to 9-5.”

So, her husband helped her research and ran across our Voodoo Brewing Co. Franchise video on YouTube. The video flowed with why she left her corporate job. Fahad called her to the computer and told her, “you need to watch this; they sound like you.”

Manal could see that we also want to bring people together and create a safe haven for people to come together and enjoy themselves. That shared belief is what led them to seal the deal with the Voodoo craft beer franchise.

Onwards & Upwards

If you’re tired of the corporate chaos, the 9-5, or the ongoing commute of agony you need to endure to work towards someone else’s dream: It may be a sign to start looking at other career opportunities, the same way Fahad and Manal did.

“Many people leave corporate jobs because of culture goals you want for yourself to match up with a franchise if you’re new to business ownership, a franchise is almost like a guard rail taking a risk, but you have support. Having a foundation helps build knowledge and take away some risk.”

We know Fahad and Manal will be another Voodoo Brewing success story. They took a leap of faith coming to us. They said goodbye to their 9-5 and jumped head first into a pool of entrepreneurship. However, there’s nothing for them to worry about because we’re going to be their “guardrail” every step of the way.

Cheers to the newest Voodoo-ers!

A Man, a Brewery, and  Dream

Indianapolis, Indiana, is home to so many incredible things: the NCAA Hall of Champions, a pretty good zoo (no San Diego International Zoo, but no big deal), St. Elmo Steakhouse, and other cool stuff. But thanks to a gentleman by the name of David Rivotto, Indy now has one of the best craft breweries in the country: Voodoo Brewing Co.

From Selling Medical Devices to Ice-Cold Brews

David has always been a go-getter with a drive to succeed. Before he decided to open his own bar franchise location, he was a surgical sales representative for a medical device company. Quite the career change!

David Rivotto - Voodoo Brewing Co. Franchise Owner

With Voodoo Brewing, he’ll do more than build a pub franchise he can be proud of. He’ll create memories and start a new and different journey than what he’s been doing the last few years.

Outside of Voodoo, David is a workout fanatic, a lifelong learner, and a devoted husband and father! Now that he’s a Franchise Owner, we can say he’s the complete package!

David, Meet Voodoo, Voodoo, Meet David

We met David at our Discovery Day event, and we immediately knew this would be a match made in Heaven. And, surprise! He knew it too.

Our corporate team embodies everything it means to be part of Voodoo Brewing Co. If you mesh with them, you mesh with Voodoo. That’s just how it works! Our team is passionate about what they do and wants to see Franchise Owners succeed. When we asked David what he liked about the corporate team, he mentioned, “The genesis of the concept, the journey that has been taken, and the passion they have for the product.”

“Touring the brewing facility and getting educated on the process, seeing how they invest in equipment for growth and the future, touring the individual brewery locations, and tasting the menu and the liquid.” If we had to guess, we’re sure tasting the menu and the liquid was his favorite part, but we appreciate him mentioning the rest!

See You, David, and Others in 2023!

We know David will be successful with us because he embodies the three most important attributes: drive, determination, and grit. He’s got everything he needs to be successful with us, and we can’t wait to see the mark he leaves on Indianapolis, Indiana. If you’re in the area, stop by, meet David, and see if becoming a craft beer Franchise Owner is the right option for you! David has one piece of advice for anyone interested: “Do research, ask questions, do Discovery Day and enjoy the ride.”

We’d love to keep going, but we’re so pumped for David and what he’s bringing to Indianapolis that we’re going to cut it short, crack open a Voodoo Love Child, and raise one up to Indy’s newest brew pub.

Ready to find out if Voodoo Brewing Co. is a good fit for you and your goals? Request more information today.

Our Craft Beer Franchise Team Answers YOUR Top Questions

Our Craft Beer Franchise Team Answers YOUR Top Questions

Our Craft Beer Franchise Team Answers YOUR Top Questions

 Hey, guys, this month’s blog post has been taken over by the Voodoo Brewery Franchise development team—Directors of Franchise Development Mike Edwards, Bill Wotochek, Rod Arreola, and our Franchise Development Manager, Ben Collins.

This week we’re taking over the blog to answer questions asked by people like you who want to bring some of the best damn craft beer on earth to their neck of the woods but need to do a little due diligence first. 

For the prospective Franchise Owners who asked about the Discovery Process, support, operations, funding, and more for this post, we respect and appreciate you taking this seriously. 

Below are the best questions received from Candidates in the Voodoo Brewing Co. Franchise Education Process.

OK, enough chit-chat. Let’s get to the questions!

Sean in Scottsdale, AZ, asks: “I am concerned about the economy, inflation, and possible recession. Is now really a good time to invest in a Voodoo craft beer franchise?”

Mike: There is no “good time,” nor is there any “bad time” to open a business. The time to open a business is when you are ready to do so!  

There are pros and cons to opening when the economy is humming and pros and cons during a recession. When the economy is roaring, there is a LOT of competition, as typically money is flowing, and people want to go into business for themselves because they have extra money to do so. And if everyone is trying to go into business at the same time, then specific finite resources get extra tapped. For instance, when the economy is doing well, everyone has jobs. Thus, hiring people becomes extra hard when the economy is strong. Conversely, when the economy is weaker, there is a surplus of employees, which makes it much easier to hire better employees. 

Rod: The same goes for getting good commercial real estate: when the economy is strong, there is less available real estate. When the economy is slower or in a recession, it can be an excellent time to sign a 10-year lease for a great location at a very reasonable rate.

So, to answer your question, no matter what kind of economy we’re in, the only person who knows if it’s a “good time” to invest in a Voodoo brewpub franchise, ultimately, is you!

From Laughlin, NV, Julie asks: “Interest rates are very high. Why should I invest now?”

Bill: Actually, interest rates are almost the same as in 2019—the year before Covid. We just went through a period of extreme money printing and rates well below the historical average, which led to rampant inflation. Rates are returning to their historical norms now. It is an excellent time to take advantage of that normalization by realizing that rates probably won’t go back to zero for a very long time, if ever again, and that there is lots of competition waiting and hoping it does. Get a jump on the competition!

From Charlotte, NC, Aditya asks: “Why is a craft beer franchise like Voodoo considered recession-resistant?”

Rod: People drink when times are great….and drink more when times are bad! Beer and having a good time are recession-proof concepts especially sought out by customers during a recession. A bad time in the economy is actually an excellent time to offer these goods and services that will never not be in demand.

Jackson in Buffalo Grove, IL, asks: “Can I brew the beer myself?”

Ben: To keep the taste of our award-winning craft beer consistent, all the beer we serve at each franchise location is brewed at our 30,000-square-foot compound in Meadville, PA. We also allow up to 20% of your Voodoo taps to be ‘guest’ beers from local breweries in your area.

Shirley in Plano, TX, asks: “I don’t have experience in the bar or restaurant industry. Can I be a successful Franchise Owner at Voodoo anyway?”

Mike: That is A-OK. Most of our Franchise Owners have little or no craft beer or restaurant experience. Is it advantageous to have experience in the field? Yes, it is. A necessity? Absolutely not. This is why someone would join a franchise instead of opening an independent bar or craft brewery. We have the playbook and blueprint of what to do and how to do it right. We will train all of our Franchise Owners on a step-by-step process to successfully own and operate their Voodoo beer franchise. 

Bill: Now, the one key to success that is important to us that we cannot teach is that you must be a good culture fit for our brand AND love working with people! We are all about the community and people. Becoming a Voodoo Franchise Owner means serving your local community and its people by hosting a good time with excellent craft beer and food!

Andrea in Grand Rapids, MI, asks: “What are the backgrounds of some of your most successful Franchise Owners?”

Rod: People come from all walks of life. We’ve got military veterans and former wealth management experts, folks who’ve worked in the hospitality and bar industries for their entire careers, and even people who have owned franchises before! Again, the most important thing to be a great owner is to be a great fit for our culture, and you must love working with people.

Nick in Terre Haute, IN, asks: “What will my average workday look like?” 

Mike: It will vary greatly depending on what you want to do. The average brew pub Owner wears ALL the hats in their business. At any given time, you could be doing anything from waiting on customers to assisting the cooks in the kitchen to pouring beer behind the bar.

Now, if you hire a General Manager to take on these duties, your primary role will be overseeing the GM and the other managers of your business. Your role will be on growing your business, working with marketing, fine-tuning your operations, and community outreach!

Ben: One of the great things about Voodoo is that the Franchise Owner can set their pub’s hours. While we give our Owners guidance on our other successful pub hours, it can vary from location to location. Some pubs are open seven days per week, and others five days per week. Additionally, most pubs close no later than 11 PM or midnight. (We feel nothing good happens after midnight anyway!) This also gives our pub Owners and staff a regular working schedule to help maintain a great work-life balance.

Roger in Mobile, AL, asks: “Do I need special licenses or certifications to run my Voodoo pub?”

Rod: No, you do not need anything special. You will need a beer and wine license and preferably a liquor license to serve alcohol. We will help you with this entire process.

Scott in Tallahassee, FL, asks: “What kind of support can I expect to receive as a Voodoo Franchise Owner? 

Bill: We will train you on all facets of the business! We have very comprehensive instruction that happens when you come to Meadville/Pittsburgh for your hands-on week of training in our corporate and franchised locations. And then, we fly out to your location to train you and your staff when you are ready to open. Once we ‘cut you loose,’ if you feel like you forgot something or need help on an issue, we are only a phone call away.

Jeremy in Ft. Myers, FL, asks: “Is the food menu flexible?”

Ben: Yes! You or your kitchen manager will work with our Executive Chef to create an efficient and appropriate pub menu for your area and customers. We have several popular, high-selling food items we suggest. But you have the final say in what’s offered from your kitchen.

Alex in Scranton, PA, asks: “I am not strong with marketing but great at engaging with my local community. How will Voodoo help me attract my customers?”

Mike: We have a Chief Marketing Officer who works with every Franchise Owner to create a personalized marketing plan specific to their location. We have opened many brewpubs and always take a little away from each one to put together our list of ‘marketing best practices.’ Our CMO will also work with every Owner to organize a list of community events they should participate in. We are also big on social media and will train our Owners to use social media properly to drive attention and traffic to your location.

Leticia in Corpus Christi, TX, asks: “What is the first hire I should make? How will this person help my business?”

Bill: Always start from the top down. The first hires you want to make will be your GM, or if you take that role yourself, shift managers will help you manage your employees. We will train you on how to find the best employees.

From Cedar Rapids, IA, Josh asks: “I’m all about community involvement. How will Voodoo help me support my local community?”

Rod: Voodoo is all about being involved in the community. We will show every Owner how to get involved in various community activities and events. We will show Franchise Owners how to find specific marketing events related to beer drinkers and what events are the best to attend. There are a multitude of charities, colleges, clubs, and local organizations to interact with to promote your business, and we will show you how to gain access.

Dani in Ft. Collins, CO, asks: “How long will it take for my Voodoo beer franchise location to open?”

Mike: On average, it will take 6-12 months. We certainly target the six-month mark; however, it will vary from market to market based on the time it takes to acquire the property, the turnaround on getting permits, and the overall construction process. We don’t cut corners, and at the end of the day, the main objective is to get our Franchise Owners into the right space at the right price so that we can set them up for long-term success.

Miguel in Phoenix, AZ, asks: “How many staff members will I need?”

Bill: Voodoo is designed to run on fewer employees than the average comparable bar or restaurant. On average, each pub will have a total of 10-15 employees. This will be a combination of part-time and full-time employees. About half of the employees will run the bar, and the other half will run the kitchen.

Depending on how busy the pub is, Franchise Owners will have about 6-8 people working on any given shift. Voodoo is excellent at training our Franchise Owners on optimizing the number of employees working at any given time. This type of efficiency significantly impacts the bottom line and is one of the big appeals of owning a Voodoo craft beer franchise.

The Voodoo Brewing Co Team Hero

Amir in Boston, MA, asks: “How will you help me find and open my location?”

Rod: Voodoo is very involved with helping you find a beer franchise location and has partnered with CBRE, the largest commercial real estate firm in the U.S. Soon after you sign a franchise agreement, we will have an onboarding call with you, CBRE and Voodoo to start working on finding you a site. CBRE will assign you a local commercial real estate broker that knows your specific area best, and they will find the best sites available in the area that meet our specific criteria.

Together with CBRE, we will assist with all aspects of the site selection and lease negotiation process to get the best deal possible based on our expertise. After the lease signing, we will also support you in all phases of the construction process, from concept to completion. We have partnered with a national construction management firm called SFV services, which will help with all stages of the project development, including design, construction, and management.

Nate in Santa Fe, NM, asks: “I have a few locations in mind already. Can I use these?” 

Bill: Yes, you can absolutely submit these locations for us to consider and review. We will let you know if we believe they could work for a Voodoo brewpub franchise, but of course, final approval will come after executing a franchise agreement.

Maya, in Sarasota, FL, asks, “What are the required funds?”

Ben: To be considered for a Voodoo craft beer franchise, you must have a minimum net worth of $450,000 and $150,000 in liquid capital. Our initial financial investment ranges from $321,750 to $716,500 for a single franchise location and varies mostly due to the condition and size of the premises for your Voodoo brewpub. The lower end assumes a second-generation location like an existing restaurant or bar that can be converted into a Voodoo brewpub. On the higher end, you are looking for a new site with more building and construction costs.

Bill in West Chester, PA, asks: “I have funds in my 401K. Can I use these?”

Bill: Great name, Bill! Yes, you can use your 401K or IRA retirement funds to start a business. We work with Benetrends Financial, which is an expert in helping our Franchise Owners with top funding options, including 401K funding. You can learn more by going to their website at https://www.benetrends.com/.

Deborah in Tempe, AZ, asks: “What is an SBA Loan?”

Rod: An SBA loan is a business loan that the Small Business Administration guarantees. The SBA does not directly lend money to business owners. Instead, small business owners secure an SBA loan through an authorized SBA lender (such as a bank), and the SBA provides the bank a guarantee for a portion of the loan: thereby mitigating some of the risks and incentivizing financial institutions to lend money to small businesses.

The SBA’s mission is to help entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses, and an SBA loan may provide the longest-term and lowest-interest loan available for your business. The most common one for small business owners is the 7(a) program, which is more generally focused on helping small businesses start and grow. Voodoo is proud to be an SBA-approved franchise.

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Is there anything we didn’t cover that you still want to ask us? Visit our website to schedule a call so we can talk to you one-on-one. We look forward to speaking with you about how you can bring a Voodoo craft beer franchise to your local community!

This Couple is Leaving Their Careers to Bring Voodoo to Their City!

This Couple is Leaving Their Careers to Bring Voodoo to Their City!

This Couple is Leaving Their Careers to Bring Voodoo to Their City!

We want to introduce you to our newest Voodoo Franchise Owners, Fahad (he/him) and Manal (she/her). This lovely couple decided to leave their careers and pursue a life of good craft brews, good times, and fun. They plan on opening up their own Voodoo Brewing Co. location in Dallas, Texas!

We’re so excited to see that they are making Voodoo part of their life, and we can’t wait to share their fascinating journey with you. Once they decided Voodoo Brewing Co. was for them, we had the opportunity to sit down and learn more about their story. 

Here’s their journey to Voodoo:

Let’s get to Know Fahad and Manal

Manal spent the last 15+ years in the financial services industry. She ran strategy and finance in three different industries throughout her career: real estate, treasury/investment, and wealth management. About a year and a half ago, she left her corporate job to pursue her passions and become a teacher. She became the first woman in North Dallas to teach finance classes at the university. However, she soon realized there was little to no diversity and inclusion at UNT. 

She helped set up outreach programs for underserved students to help them get financial literacy training, is the CEO of a coaching platform for startups, and is even a podcast founder and force multiplier. Outside of her professional career, she loves yogi meditation and coaching for mental fitness.

Her husband, Fahad, spent the last 15 years in business operations, analysis, and data. He is passionate about making an impact on his community. In his free time, he coaches youth sports and plays sports himself.

The “Ah Ha” Moment

When you’re in the market for a new career or a lifestyle change, you have at least one “Ah Ha” moment.

When we asked them what made them choose Voodoo Brewing Co., Manal explained, “When I was leaving my corporate job, I wanted to do something in a different niche: helping communities, bringing people together. I didn’t wanna go back to 9-5.” 

So, her husband helped her research and ran across our Voodoo Brewing video on YouTube. The video flowed with why she left her own corporate job. Fahad called her to the computer and told her, “you need to watch this, they sound like you.”

Manal could see that we also want to bring people together and create a safe haven for people to come together and enjoy themselves. That shared belief is what led them to seal the deal with Voodoo. 

A Shared Love for Passion

We knew Fahad and Manal would be a fantastic fit for Voodoo because we all share the same drive, motivation, and passion. They noticed a recurring problem in the restaurant industry and shared with us, “The effort is missing in many foods and restaurants. Voodoo puts a lot of effort into the work they do and a lot of passion into the work they do. We want to represent a franchise brand with a lot of passion.”

We’re here to inspire them to see the fun in everything they do with Voodoo. We provide guidance and direction to our Franchise Owners but never overstep our boundaries. This means they’ll have the freedom and flexibility to take their Voodoo vision to new heights and build a business they can proudly call their own. 

Outside of their passion, Fahad and Manal look forward to having fun and building a place where people feel comfortable and want to have a good time. We strongly believe they deserve just that! After 15+ years in corporate life, it’s time to take a step back and enjoy the better things in life, like Voodoo.

Their Advice for Future Franchise Owners

The last question we asked was if they had any advice for future franchise owners who are so close to taking the next step but are afraid of the unknown. They responded, “The biggest advice is to know you have a passion or strong desire to learn whatever franchise it is that passion drives entrepreneurship and drives the want to succeed.”

If you’re tired of the corporate chaos, the 9-5, or the ongoing commute of agony you need to endure to work towards someone else’s dream: It may be a sign to start looking at other opportunities, the same way Fahad and Manal did.

“Many people leave corporate jobs because of culture goals you want for yourself to match up with a franchise if you’re new to business ownership, a franchise is almost like a guard rail taking a risk, but you have support. Having a foundation helps build knowledge and take away some risk.”

There’s going to be a risk with everything you do in life. However, with Voodoo Brewing Franchise, you can let us take some of that stress from you. We provide foundational support to all of our Franchise Owners. We brew the beer, help you outsource vendors, and can even help you handle the logistical aspect of running a business. 

Now that Fahad and Manal are part of the Voodoo Brewing community, they get all of that and can now call themselves business owners. How cool is that?

Say Goodbye to Corporate and Hello to Entrepreneurship 

We know Fahad and Manal will be another Voodoo Brewing success story. They took a leap of faith coming to us. They said goodbye to their 9-5 and jumped head first into a pool of entrepreneurship. However, there’s nothing for them to worry about because we’re going to be their “guardrail” every step of the way. 

If you’ve always wanted to own your own business but weren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. We have passionate individuals say goodbye to the corporate world and hello to freedom, fun, and beer. 

To learn more about Voodoo Brewing Co, Request more information today.

Meet the Newest Voodoo Brewing Co. Owners!

Meet the Newest Voodoo Brewing Co. Owners!

Meet the Newest Voodoo Brewing Co. Owners!

We’re excited to announce that we have two new Voodoo Brewing Co. Franchise Owners to introduce you to! Meet Chris and Lacole Rudin. These two are passionate and driven individuals ready to turn their dream into reality by opening up one of our newest locations in Ponte Vedra, Florida. We’re excited to see their new Voodoo brewpub location thrive in this location, and we’re sure they are on their way to becoming the hometown heroes of their community. 

Once everything was signed, sealed, and delivered: We had the pleasure to get to know them better and learn about this sudden career change from a corporate employee to a business owner. 

Let’s take a closer look at their journey to Voodoo Brewing Co. and owning their very brewpub franchise:

Get to Know Chris and Lacole Rudin 

Chris graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Alabama and has worked in the hospitality industry in some facet for most of his life. He’s taken on many different roles in every side of the hospitality industry, such as equipment sales, management, and operations. He’s run and helped open casual and upscale casual concepts in the Southeast and is currently the VP of Sales of the largest food service equipment manufacturer in the country.

Outside of his professional career, Chris loves watching sports with the guys and spending time with his best friend in the world, Lacole, and their two awesome kids. When Lacole and Chris have free time, they love to try out new independent restaurants with a diverse food and beverage selection.

 

The Path to Entrepreneurship

Chris has spent most of his professional career on the corporate side of the hospitality industry with the logistical and operations side of the business. When they were ready to seal the deal with us, we had to know where the change of heart came from. Chris explained, “Being in corporate America becomes more or less a rat race daily. I wanted to be able to take the knowledge and skills I’ve developed for 15+ years in the corporate world and put them into something that I can call my own, with the added experience and collaboration with Voodoo Brewing Co. only making it more of a perfect match.”

Chris has spent over 15+ years in the hospitality industry, fine-tuning his talents and getting a clearer understanding of the hospitality industry as a whole. We’re sure he can use the skills he’s learned throughout the years to provide a next-level customer experience to his future Voodoo Brewing Co. customers and create something he and Lacole can be proud of in the near future. 

Accidentally Finding Voodoo

We strongly believe their run-in with Voodoo was no accident. However, when we asked Chris how he found Voodoo he explained:

“Strangely enough, I was trying to find out who did the artwork for that “other Voodoo brand.” and then I clicked on the Voodoo Love Child graphic and realized there was a difference. I went to the website and started to just get ingrained with all the information on Voodoo, which led to lots of Vimeo videos, and needless to say, I was hooked and had to be a part of this.”

Just a good ol’ fashion case of fate!

The Voodoo Franchise Business Model

Our business model is unlike any other franchise or brewery on the market. We’ve spent years building the perfect model for our Franchise Owners. When we asked Chris and Lacole what they liked about our business structure, they stated, “The unwillingness to settle for the status quo in the industry. They bring a true passion to perfect their craft and create the best quality craft beer and upscale pub fare in the space.”

Outside of that, they loved the atmosphere, the lean staff, and not having to deal with cumbersome brewing equipment. Which is what we are all about. Once we learned these two were obsessed with our craft, we knew they were definitely Voodoo material.

Attending Voodoo Discovery Day

We had the pleasure of meeting Chris and Lacole in person at our Discovery Day. Discover Day is when we get potential Franchise Owners together to learn the Voodoo way. They get to meet the corporate team, learn more about what we’re all about, and of course… taste the delicious food and brew.

When we met Chris and Lacole at Discovery Day, we knew they were the perfect cultural fit for our brand. They fit the mold for what we look for in a Franchise Owner. They were energized and excited about the opportunities. Chris mentioned, “From seeing where the beer is made, to seeing the different pubs and layouts, getting the chance to speak to a variety of people that work at Voodoo, experience the great liquid, food, and good vibes that Voodoo is all about.”

Advice to Future Franchise Owners

We’ll be the first to admit: It’s not always easy to break out of the 9-5. However, we knew that future Franchise Owners would find Chris and Lacole’s story inspiring and help push them closer to their dreams as business owners.

If you’re considering taking the next step with Voodoo, listen to their advice: “Do your due diligence research, trust and enjoy the process, have humility, and communicate with everyone you can (corporate team, development team, current franchisees) and have an open mindset about the entire journey and soak up all the knowledge you can.”

Next time you’re in Ponte Vedra, Florida: Stop by and say hello to Chris and Lacole for us!

If you’re interested in learning more about Voodoo Brewing Co., Request more information today.

Let’s Learn About Craft Beer Franchise Support With Tacocat!

Let’s Learn About Craft Beer Franchise Support With Tacocat!

Let’s Learn About Craft Beer Franchise Support With Tacocat!

So, you’re thinking about opening a Voodoo Brewing Co. craft beer franchise in your neck of the woods. Obviously, we’re thrilled—we’re always on the lookout for amazing humans to carry the good Voodoo name to U.S. cities from coast to coast!

But we also understand that owning a craft beer franchise can be a hell of a big deal, and we totally get that you’ve got some questions about the level of support you’re going to get from the corporate team once you’ve opened your doors.

That’s why we approached our Director of Franchise Operations, the incomparable Andrew “Tacocat” Volanski, to address your potential concerns head-on and show you exactly how and why we do franchising differently from other concepts in the food and beverage industry. Take it away, Tacocat!

 

Can you please give me a brief overview of the opening support a Voodoo Franchise Owner can expect from you and other members of the leadership team?

Pre-opening really starts from the minute you sign the franchise agreement. From that moment, we start weekly meetings where we walk you through the process of finding real estate with our national real estate brokers (CBRE) and finding a site. Once we find a site location, we lock in a lease, and then you get a store number and task card. The task card has a bunch of things to do on it by certain dates. These include things like ordering glassware, kitchen equipment, setting up point-of-sales systems, virtual training, and more.

On your actual Grand Opening week, some of the Voodoo Executive Team, including me, come out to your franchise location and do a very regimented and deep training. We’re working with front-of-house staff, as well as the management team. Our culinary director, Sean Kirzyc, is working with the chefs and back-of-house. It’s really a five to seven-day pre-opening training process, with several days of training and a very intentional soft opening to grand opening process.

What are some of the most common issues, opening-day jitters, etc. you have to combat when opening a new Voodoo brewpub franchise location?

The whole point of Voodoo is that you don’t need previous experience to open. A lot of pre-opening jitters are from the standpoint of, “What about this? Well, what if this happens?!” They’re more worried about what could happen, rather than any actual issues. Running a bar is very fluid—you have to go with the ebb and flow of it and work with what is thrown at you.

For your Grand Opening, we don’t leave and we are there to support you. If you’re getting backed up or are falling behind, I’m there cleaning glasses or helping to clean tables with you. We don’t leave you behind even after that Grand Opening. 

In your opinion, what are some of the most important aspects of the support you provide for new Franchise Owners in advance of their Grand Opening? 

The most important aspect is really the cultural knowledge we provide. Personally, I’ve been with Voodoo for almost 8 years now. It’s knowing why we do things a certain way. It’s a bit different from a restaurant business model, but there’s a reason for it. It’s the knowledge of how and why we do things that contribute to success for Franchise Owners. 

What are some of the mistakes other franchises make in terms of training and support that Voodoo tries to actively avoid? How does Voodoo do it differently?

As I mentioned earlier, we have weekly calls with Franchise Owners and then part of those calls are additional weekly training calls with the Director of Training. Each week those training calls teach a different subject. One week it can be the point of sales system, another week it’s inventory management, or people management. Each week it’s a different topic. We have that pre-opening virtual call, then about four weeks before the Grand Opening we invite you and your management staff to one of our locations and work at the bar and kitchen to get hands-on experience before you open your location. Then the pre-Grand Opening, or the soft opening, is there with us in person working with us up until your Grand Opening. It’s very hands-on, which I think we do differently than most. We’re always touching base and checking in.

Let’s say a Voodoo Franchise Owner has their Grand Opening and still doesn’t feel 100% confident about operating their location on their own. How far does the support extend until a Franchise Owner is able to run the business “without a net?” Also, what steps do you take to make sure they feel ready to stand on their own two feet before you leave?

After your Grand Opening, we don’t immediately leave you behind. We stay for two or three days after your Grand Opening, after the dust sort of settles, and go over any concerns or worries. We do all this training beforehand and then during the soft and Grand Openings were there to sort of watch and make sure everything is running smoothly. If we, as the corporate team, notice potential issues we can tell Franchise Owners to try it a certain way or do it differently. 

Even after we leave your location and you’re running your day-to-day operations, our calls don’t stop. Even four to six weeks after opening, we still have a time slot to meet with you and we are still touching base every single week. Even after that, once weekly calls end, we have monthly functional calls. Every month there’s a marketing meeting, operations meetings, and culinary meetings. We’re not just like, “You’re open, bye!”

Finally, do you have any advice for prospective Franchise Owners dreaming of their Voodoo Opening Day in their city? Any words of wisdom about how to get adequately prepared?

The best way to prepare is to be adaptable. I think in the hospitality industry, in bars and restaurants, and even more specifically in the craft beer industry, having the ability to be adaptable and to roll with the punches and roll up your sleeves is so important. 

Here’s the situation, grab it, and make the best of it, rather than freezing or freaking out. Being adaptable is so huge when you’re six people deep ordering at a full bar, completely filled. It’s like, “You have a busy bar— that’s badass!” 

Be adaptable and don’t get overwhelmed. Take it one person at a time. 

Work with Tacocat! Own a craft beer franchise with Voodoo Brewing Co. 

Now’s your chance to get in on our special brand of franchise support as a Voodoo Brewing Co. craft beer Franchise Owner. Work with Tacocat and the rest of our experienced Executive Team to realize your dream of owning the baddest craft brewpub in town. We’ll be there for you from the day you sign your franchise agreement through Grand Opening and beyond! 

Still have questions? Learn more about how you can get started bringing Voodoo Brewing Co. to your hometown here.