I have been working in the food industry for 25 years

"It feels like the control that one used to have on making their business successful has been taken away.

The majority of this time has been with Arby’s. I worked my way through the ranks to become a partner with my franchise group. During the peak of the economic crisis in 2009, my wife and I purchased the 5 lowest volume locations from our partners and split off on our own in an effort to make our own way and assist the business scenario we were in at the time. Shortly after we began our own business, the food commodity prices really started to affect things. Our proforma costs went out the window as food commodities escalated. Our plans for growth were halted. The high food commodity costs have kept our margins tight and our outlook unsure. It has made our desires to grow the business a cautious challenge.

Decisions to hire infrastructure, offer employee benefits, and raise our pay scale for valued employees are painful and usually not the level we would like. The breathing room that a small restaurant business once had has become much tighter since the ethanol mandate.

Mike Breitfelder
Arby’s | Wisconsin