The PublX CEO has a message for the restaurant industry, as his company gears up to become the first U.S. chain to open a new location in the state of Virginia.
John Barone, chief executive officer of Publox, told a gathering of the Virginia Restaurant Association last week that he’s “always been a believer in franchising, and I think franchising has the potential to really improve the state’s economy.”
The restaurant industry is in the midst of a renaissance as fast food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King have taken over more and more restaurants.
The growth of restaurants has been driven by the advent of online ordering, which allows customers to order their meals online and then pick up at the counter.
But many restaurants are struggling to stay competitive.
“The trend for small, medium, and large restaurants is very good,” Barone said, according to the Associated Press.
“We see that trend continue to accelerate.
We have the opportunity to bring the same kind of quality to our customers and to be able to take the same quality and make the same customer experience, and that’s a win-win.”
Barone added that he expects the U.K.-based chain to be the largest restaurant in Virginia by the end of 2019.
“We’re very excited about the growth opportunities we have in Virginia,” Barones said, adding that the company will invest billions of dollars in new restaurant buildings.
“Virginia is a great market for us.”
Baronne said the Virginia market is ripe for a franchise, which he said will create more jobs and bring more revenue.
“Virginia is the number one market in the country for franchising and for restaurants,” he said.
“You’ll see the success of PubliX in the Virginia marketplace.”
But many Virginia residents are skeptical of franchising.
Virginia Restaurant Council President and CEO Bill Hargreaves said the industry has been a “very good place to be” but that the current franchising system “is not working for us, and the way we’re doing business right now, I don’t think that works.”
Hargreakes said he thinks the U,S.
is at a tipping point where the franchising model will be out of date.
“I don’t believe we’re going to see a major change in the industry for many, many years,” he told the AP.
“It’s the industry that has really been at a breaking point.”HARRISBURG, Va.
— A Publax manager is warning Virginia consumers to brace for another downturn as the state faces a food supply shortage and the threat of a new food stamp program.
John Baronne, who has been with Publux for 22 years, told the Virginia Retail Association annual dinner on Tuesday that the “franchising system is not working” for Virginia consumers.
The Virginia Restaurant Federation and the Virginia Public Service Commission issued a joint statement Tuesday urging consumers to be prepared for another crisis.
“If you’re not ready to embrace a new model, we urge you to stay home,” the statement read.
“Policies and practices are not going to change overnight, but you’re going do what’s right for your family.”
Bannon, the founder of the controversial company, has vowed to bring back the Publx franchise system if he wins the November general election.
Baronnes’ comments came at the beginning of a forum on the state economy, which included panelists including Sen. Mark Warner, R-Va., who is a member of the Senate Banking Committee.
Barone and others said they were worried that the state was heading toward a food shortage and a potential food stamp rollback.
“There are a lot of folks out there that are not really willing to change, that have not changed their habits and attitudes,” Baronne said.
He added that there was also concern about whether or not the food stamp benefit would work.
Batonne also told the forum that the industry would be a “bust” if the program was eliminated, but he suggested that it might be easier to survive on other types of spending.
“When you look at what’s been going on around the country, it’s going to be a bust,” he continued.
“There’s going be an opportunity to continue to grow and expand, and you’ll see our growth in Virginia grow.”
Baronne said he doesn’t think it will be too late for Virginia to find a way to get the job done.
“What we’re really trying to do here is help Virginia grow, and we’re hoping to be successful,” he added.