Millennial entrepreneur opens up about why he decided to become a multi-unit owner with the rising Mexican QSR franchise
It’s well known that millennials love Mexican food. MIC reports that the majority of Millennials confess to eating at least one burrito a week, with 72% of that demographic owning up to eating two or more burritos a week. But how many of them take their love of Mexican food and go into business before their 25th birthday?
For Steve Majkrzak, owning a business in a segment that he loved was always the plan. After graduating from college in California, Steve and his brother made the decision to explore franchise opportunities in North Dakota. They researched a lot of brands, but when they landed on Pancheros they were hooked. In fact, Steve says he was ready to sign on after the first bite.
Now he is 35 years old, and he and his brother co-own three Pancheros franchise restaurants. This is his story:
Why did you decide to go into business for yourself? Why did you choose to invest in Pancheros?
Steve: It started years ago. When I was living in California for college, my brother and I always dreamed of becoming a part of the sports bar world or being in the restaurant industry. We would go out and would judge the restaurants we ate at. We were especially fans of the Mexican fast-casual segment. We like Chipotle, Baja Fresh and others. The more we went, the more the idea developed. My brother and I moved back to North Dakota, we started our development company and we began exploring options. When we found Pancheros, it was a natural fit. The food was tremendous. We were confident in the product and we knew it would work in our markets.
How did you know that Pancheros was the right choice?
Steve: It was really unbelievable our first time going to Pancheros. The experience all the way through was phenomenal; the fresh-pressed tortilla, the taste, the freshness of the product. It was nearly a done deal from the first bite. We knew we could sell it.
Why is Pancheros a good investment for a Millennial entrepreneur?
Steve: Younger generations are all looking for ways to keep themselves active. Pancheros is for the active person; there’s always something to be done. You can check things off your list, and things get added to your list. I think that is what I like most about it — the job is never done.
Why is being an active owner important to your success?
Steve: One of the philosophies I have in my stores is that my employees need to view me as someone who will join them and get his hands dirty. Everything I ask of them is something I am willing to do myself. They have to respect me as a leader who will join them, not as someone who stands on the mountain and expects people to do things I wouldn’t do myself. This makes a huge difference and helps you build a great team that you can trust and depend on.
Why did you decide to scale up to multi-unit ownership?
Steve: We signed a four-store deal with the state of North Dakota. We started in Bismarck in 2007, and we had a tremendous amount of success from day one. From there it made it easier to scale up to multi-unit ownership.
How does Pancheros support you in your business?
Steve: The level of support is exceptional. At the beginning, they’re very involved. They want to know what you need to be successful. I’ve been doing this for 12 years, so I don’t need as much support anymore, but if I have any questions, they are there for me immediately.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are interested in opening a Pancheros franchise?
Steve: This brand has been around as long as it has for a reason. Dedicate yourself to the brand, to the business model, and you will be happy with the results.