The road show starts next week with a trip to Seattle, followed shortly thereafter by trips to Vegas and Atlanta. In between trips we are flying in several very strong groups from around the country, many of whom are highly successful restaurateurs and owners of various other brands. You can always feel it when things are about to go to the next level, and that is exactly how things feel here. It seems like the buzz from all of the press, the brand expansion and consumer marketing, and the talk amongst the industry insiders all comes together to create that halo we all look for in growing from a successful regional player into a truly national name. While I have been really fortunate to have gone for this ride a couple of times before in my life, I am definitely more excited about building HGW into a national brand than I have ever been about any other company I have worked with in the past. I am actually starting to invest in and own as many of these as I can, something I haven’t done in a number of years. I get to see under the covers at our revenues, profitability and consumer feedback. I also get the inside scoop on the new programs coming down the pipe, and the early results on the testing of these new promotions and products. All I can say is that we are definitely building a powerhouse brand with serious legs.
I believe that the economy will continue to turn around, people will continue to invest, and we as a country will get back on track for a sustained period of expansion and economic growth. I know that given the choice we are all given, I will be investing in my future for the long term. It’s pretty rare to find a company and a group of people you really believe have what it takes to go all the way. I know from personal experience that despite the road blocks that inevitably arise, the right team, with the right brand, business model and resources will prevail every time and build tremendous wealth for those that were prepared to invest and work hard.
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