Many times in the franchising world we hear about Veterans starting new franchises and getting an opportunity to grow a business but we don’t get the chance to hear about their future success. As many franchisees are already aware owning multiple locations within a franchise organization is the right direction to take.
“Well, this is the case with Lindsey Gentry, an Army Veteran who proudly served her country for six years. She was stationed at Fort Hood, deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007-2009, and held various leadership positions, to include Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, and Company Commander.”
Lindsey did her undergrad at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, which is the city that Erbert & Gerbert’s is headquartered out of. Herself and her friends would be there every week hitting up the Erbert & Gerbert’s sandwich shop downtown and loved it. At the time she didn’t think, “Someday I want to own one of these.” She always knew that she wanted to be a business person in some respect. Even when she was in law school, she always felt that she would combine her legal knowledge with business pursuits. So she kept brands in the back of her mind that she really liked. When it came down to her picking a brand to buy into, when she met the team at Erbert and Gerbert’s she was sold.
Lindsey has built a whole career with Erbert & Gerbert’s and currently owns one location and she has purchased the rights to three more franchise locations. Her first year in 2014 she received awards for both, Rookie of the Year, and Marketer of the Year. Currently Lindsey is President of the Franchise Advisory Council for Erbert & Gerbert’s Franchise Systems and her success just keeps growing.
She states,” Truthfully, it’s a constant learning process, a very humbling process. You’re always around subject matter experts whether it be accountants, franchise attorneys, commercial brokers, or just whoever: a whole variety of people on your team who know more than you do. So, it’s constant learning for me, and I expect it to be that way for a long time.”Lindsey believes the military has prepared her in many ways, “just on a basic level, the confidence level that different leadership positions in the Army instill in you and build in you gives you the ability to go after something like this. When you’re in the Army, they build you up slowly by giving you more and more leadership, and before you know it you’re leading in a way that you couldn’t imagine when you first started. The confidence-building and leadership-building in the Army is so essential to tackle something like owning a business and run it because there’s a lot involved in this that requires guts. And of course on the organizational level, the Army is very methodical. Having that background of mission planning and meeting deadlines and all those kind of things that, when you’re in the military are just a norm that you take for granted, are very unique and can make you very successful in the outside world. Really mastering the fundamentals has prepared me to run a business in terms of communication and the desire to lead people.”
“I love the Erbert & Gerbert’s product. In terms of the unique flavor profiles and freshness of the product, I don’t currently see anything else in market like it. It’s very exciting to watch customers become raving fans of what you are selling. As far as the Erbert & Gerbert’s team is concerned, I have been very fortunate to have a strong working relationship with them. There are not too many companies out there where you can call the CEO direct and where that is the norm. I have always felt very appreciated and respected by this corporate team, and I feel that they truly care about my thoughts and success path. It’s very clear that they are invested in my growth, and that’s a good feeling.”
Currently, in addition to her one brick and mortar location, Lindsey also owns and operates an Erbert & Gerbert’s concession stand in Bobcat Stadium at Texas State University and a mobile Erbert & Gerbert’s food trailer at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX, where they serve crowds at such events as MotoGP racing, X Games, and Formula 1 Racing. Lindsey is a proud partner of Bobcat Athletics and a strong supporter of Bobcat Build, one of the largest student led philanthropic projects in the nation.
She plans to open at least two more locations in the near future. Veterans Business Services wishes Lindsey the best of luck with her future business endeavors.