When it comes to working high volume events and serving to thousands of customers over an extended period of time, Franchisee DuAnne Redus knows what it takes! She has been a thriving franchisee with Maui Wowi Hawaiian for over eight years and is a prime example of how much success can come from franchise opportunities. DuAnne operates a brick-and-mortar store in Wimberley, TX, as well as six mobile event carts. Her carts set up at events throughout her community and also at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), a state of the art venue in Austin, home of the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the 2014 Summer X-Games! She has provided some insight into her success at COTA and what it’s like to have her business in front of hundreds of thousands of people.
- What does it take to work a large-scale event/venue?
- An excellent relationship with the concessionaire and venue is a must.
- Planning in advance for multiple scenarios prevents upsets when things don’t work the way they ‘should’.
- Finding employees who can be resilient in all kinds of weather and changing conditions over a 3-5 day event is imperative.
- World-class customer service requires personality, skills and a strong person mentally, emotionally, and physically.
- How do you prepare?
Since the first Formula 1 races (F1) in 2012, we have built a core team of employees who know what it takes and can perform well. Each event has required us to expand the team in order to accommodate the large crowds. We begin the employee hiring process two months in advance. We research the event, as well as similar events to start the logistics and planning process for products, etc. We also begin a dialogue with our concessionaire to ensure we are meeting the standards of the venue.
When we do race events, we are located in 3-6 areas around the track. That means we must service our units over 3+ miles. Some units are busier than others or busy at different times of the day/night and sometimes we have to move employees and product to account for the variation.
- What makes it different from smaller events or a store location?
Small events require less capacity and less logistical planning, but still require good relationships. The store is a model that repeats itself on a daily/weekly/monthly/seasonal basis so we have developed procedures that allow it to run smoothly.
- How many people do you estimate you are able to reach by working at the COTA?
The events attract large volumes of people. If 200,000 people attend a particular event, we have a market penetration rate of over 5%. Tens of thousands of people are enjoying our products throughout the year of events at COTA.
Last year, we worked five races and 16 concerts. This year, with the inaugural Austin Summer X-Games, we will reach a whole new demographic of the population.
- What kind of benefits or advantages are there from working in a large venue?
Having a presence at events in a world-class venue places us in the hearts and minds of customers. We now have people who have come to the venue multiple times and they look for us! During the 2nd year of Moto GP, we had international visitors who tracked us down as soon as they got to the venue!
One benefit for me is that my employees have the opportunity to experience an event that is multi-cultural. Seeing the flags and hearing many languages is a rush and adds excitement. My local community is pleased to see us at the big events and tell others that we are ‘their’ Maui Wowi.
It pleases me to work with the ‘best of the best’ and offer the ‘best of the best’ beverages.