Greg Flynn, Flynn Restaurant Group - California - Open for Opportunity

Greg Flynn is the founder, chairman, and CEO of the franchise Flynn Restaurant Group. The group is the franchise operators of 6 brands: Applebee’s, Panera Bread, Taco Bell, Arby’s, Wendy’s, and Pizza Hut. In total they have 2,400 restaurants in forty-four states and employ 73,000 people, making them the largest franchisee in the world.

Before becoming a franchisee owner, Greg was an independent restaurant owner but had many struggles convincing landlords to rent space, recruiting employees, getting vendors to sell them equipment, and borrowing money. Then he decided to buy an Applebee’s, and all of the former issues were no longer a problem. Plus, they had a guaranteed pool of customers because they were familiar with the brand.

Greg has found franchising invaluable for a number of reasons – one being the way it benefits his employees. They are provided with a stable work environment and have the opportunity to rise up in the restaurant business, in ways they wouldn’t have otherwise. One of his employees immigrated to the U.S. from Armenia when he was just seventeen. He worked as a dishwasher at Panera Bread and is now the area director at that same restaurant and fourteen others. Greg makes an extra effort to show that his employees are truly valued, which is evident when there were no layoffs and everyone was able to keep their benefits during the pandemic.

Although Greg has many franchise locations, it is essential that each store has ways to give back to the community. Some help raise money by giving a portion of their proceeds made on a specific day to charity, and others donate to cancer research or support local schools, churches, and Boys and Girls Clubs. Franchises are part of the fabric of their communities, and Greg’s restaurants go to show that.

Greg Flynn is a local business owner, and he is Open for Opportunity