FOCUS Brands

www.focusbrands.com

FOCUS Brands Reviews

Updated December 4, 2014
Updated December 4, 2014
7 Reviews
2.7
7 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Russ Umphenour Jr.
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Licensing Specialist

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at FOCUS Brands

    Pros

    Great people and good work life balance.

    Cons

    There isn't a lot of room to grow professionally.

  2.  

    Disappointing experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at FOCUS Brands

    Pros

    Most of the Focus Brand companies have relatively good brand recognition. As such, working at one of the companies provides a foundation or launching pad for other opportunities. Work-life balance is good as well. Regardless of function, it is not particularly demanding.

    Cons

    There are a few challenges. The only high paid, well compensated employees are the company/brand Presidents. No one else has an equity stake in the business. On a related note, Roark Capital is totally committed to its chosen Presidents. Sounds good but it's not. Our President barely came into the office and couldn't make a decision unless forced into a corner. It resulted very low morale and lack of motivation. Lastly, the primary goal is to increase the number of restaurants and franchisees in order to enhance the overall brand value. Yet, very little attention is paid to the quality of the franchisees and training programs to support the franchisees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Visit your restaurants on an unannounced basis to really see what is happening. Don't just focus on the best franchisees but the ones that are just getting by. Also, provide an environment where there is more open communications deep within the organization.

    Doesn't Recommend
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good people, mostly... but some questionable products

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - I'd Rather Not Say in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - I'd Rather Not Say in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at FOCUS Brands full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The business, consisting of 6 franchise brands, is a dichotomous mix of philosophies and products with a loosely structured HQ and autonomous operating divisions. With some EXCELLENT brands such as Moe's Southwest Grill, where quality rules and creativity abounds, it is a great individual brand. All natural ingredients and hormone free, The experience of working at FOCUS will depend upon the leadership of the division you are in. Schlotzsky's and Moe's have great morale and team spirit. Cinnabon is a great group, a dynamic leader and delicious products, but the 1000 calorie CinnaBOMBs are deadly and truly meant to be an 'occasional treat.' The company has some truly creative and great people. Moe's has a creative team and solid management who have fun in their work. Steve Desutter, the relatively new CEO, is making a difference. Smart, savvy, direct and personable. Hope he sticks around past the planned IPO...

    Cons

    Consumer and employee beware. If it is an Auntie Anne's pretzel, it is (ALL) dipped in melted butter. If it is Carvel, it is a super high fat content ice cream. If it is Schlotzsky's the rye bread isn't really rye, and the sourdough is not sourdough... There is no teamwork between the different business groups. No cooperation at all. The HR department is a joke of cliches and 10 page employee reviews that everyone hates. Diversity has not yet hit the HR department, not as you might think, this is an almost all black department. The regular HR announcements that come out are cheesy and incessant, written by illiterate HR staff, memorable faux-pas include - "In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her dotson" (~ translation = dachshund) It gets embarrassing, but God-forbid you should make a comment for fear of being branded a racist. The education background of the upper level employees is a dubious mix where unfinished Community College degrees and no-name school grads abound. Those with a solid academic background and experience are viewed as outsiders. When one senior exec uses "FuhGedAboutIt" (Think - Sopranos) in a sentence, try not to cringe. Read the employee handbook carefully. It is the bible, until YOU need to enforce something in it, then it is just a "guideline." But when they want to fire someone, they'll use the handbook as a sacrosanct bible from which nothing can deviate. "Remember, this is at-will work state." The work ethic is abysmal. Employees saunter in after 10:AM and the same employees then leave at 4:30 (This is NOT the definition of Fex-Time), punctuated by the occasional workaholic. The push by management to open new franchises is shameful and the resulting high store turnover/closure rate is an indictment against the system. If you don't like the answer - "This is the way we have always done it" then don't come to FOCUS. At the end of the day, this is a FRANCHISE business, all about opening more stores and generating royalty revenue for the parent company. Period.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't pretend to be something you are not. You are a loosely knit organization of independent companies purchased by a Private Equity group, Roark Capital. Lead by example. The benefits plan is great until you need to use it. (Read: Awful). High deductible and very limited coverage unless the execs are getting a Cadillac plan that I don't know about... The training of certain brands is awesome, such as Cinnabon. Truly outstanding. Then there is Auntie Anne's... a mix of cheesy schmaltz and peppered by arcane processes and bitchy trainers, all dipped in butter. At Schlotzsky's, the training restaurant mixer is broken with the on-switch taped to the 'on' position and on/off operated by the 'safety' shield, racks are piled in front of the sink where you are supposed to wash your hands, the trainer complains that you are just in the way and slowing down the process as a new franchise owner being trained to run a restaurant. Management - be sincere 365 days a year and not just at your Franchisee Conferences or Day of Giving at the Food Bank. If you are going to continue the prior CEO's training, adapt to today. Don't attack employees in the training and tell them that if you were their boss, you'd fire them or tell them that they have no future in the company. Can you spell DEMOTIVATE? PEOPLE work at FOCUS Brands, try to remember that and you'll do just fine.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not bad, good values, mean well but struggle to follow through on them

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at FOCUS Brands

    Pros

    Decent work environment, good perks, family oriented

    Cons

    Unreasonable expectations, understaffed in all departments

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Diverse Work Load; Room for Growth; Great Connections

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Paralegal in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Paralegal in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at FOCUS Brands full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I have made great connections throughout the industry through my employment with this company. I see a potential for great career growth. I have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects.

    Cons

    Employees are placed or kept in positions that do not necessarily fit their skill set.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Where services are shared by the company, management from the different divisions should also have input on hiring and promotions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    general observation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at FOCUS Brands

    Pros

    feeling of ownership for the majority of work, franchisees are appreciative. What i do ultimately impacts the franchisees and the brand.

    Cons

    limitations and lack of balance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    be open to brainstorming, value the balance of family and work, seventy percent of the average employees time is spent at work..

    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Don't let the Smile on the wall fool you!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at FOCUS Brands

    Pros

    Free coke in the office

    Cons

    Brand leaders who are out of touch with Staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Russ started his time at Focus offering leadership training to the staff as well as leaders. His leadership encouraged the staff, but the leaders seem to not get it and did the complete opposite of what Russ "said." Leadership means your actions and the actions of your leadership team matches your rhetoric.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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