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Finding Balance: Building the Right Team of Captains

Browns Restaurant Group is at the forefront of reimagining the restaurant business model to maximize growth while achieving work-life balance.

As one of the the fastest growing restaurant brands in Canada boasting annual sales approaching $175 million, Browns Restaurant Group was born out of a desire to create a business model that was simpler, with a restaurant space that was smaller and in an environment that was more creative. With a no-limits approach to good food and style, they continue to break new ground in the hospitality industry. And it’s paid off as they grow across Western Canada and into the marketplace in Eastern Canada.

Refining the franchise model

Reflecting on their innovative take on the restaurant business model — simpler with a smaller restaurant space than most — Browns Restaurant Group’s President and COO, Scott Ward, says it accomplishes two things: “the ability to be managed on a tighter string within the scope of a smaller, more sustainable footprint.” 

And that helps their franchise model. As Scott further adds, “By virtue of a smaller footprint (3,500 to 4,000 square feet), the cost of entry is contained, which casts a wider net for people to get into the business.” This aligns with the leadership team’s vision of creating mechanisms for entrepreneurial-minded individuals, including millennials, becoming business owners themselves. 

Garnering the support of more captains at the helm 


One of the more challenging parts of the franchise business is the fact that many franchisees have never owned a business before.

“There’s a moment in time when you realize that you’re going to accept an individual to become a franchisee of your brand,” explains Bruce.

“The day you make that decision you’re putting someone in a position to represent your brand, so you have to be thoughtful about it.” 

Bruce, however, notes that although helping franchisees become business owners, they will carry the weight of being captain every day with all its responsibilities, is a challenge, it is also a hallmark of their success as a company. 


Balancing the demands of a 24-hour work week


The hospitality industry’s 24/7 business cycle doesn’t stop Browns Restaurant Group’s leaders from striving for work-life balance. In fact, they’re dedicated to perfecting it. 

Although those who work in the restaurant sector live by a different clock, they’re given the support to make it work for them. “We’re given every opportunity to do the best we can to create appropriate work-life balance for the people who work in the company,” Bruce affirms.

“We try to learn what each individual needs so we can help maintain their work-life balance while still supporting the business’ needs and goals.”

For example, the company has shifted from requiring full-time presence to a more ‘supervision when needed’ style. This is largely due to many of their franchisees being multi unit owners where they aren’t able to be everywhere at once. 

Whether their teams are design or culinary focused, they get the chance to maximize where they fit in with Bruce likening it to a big clock with interconnecting gears that all come together at different speeds and rates to produce a high quality end result. And it’s working for them. 

Maximizing flexibility with CWB Franchise Finance


The Browns Restaurant Group leadership team looks forward to continuing their long and prosperous relationship with CWB Franchise Finance. “They’re willing to look at a lot of different ways to get something done, which is great,” says Bruce. “They’re down to earth, practical solution finders who believe that not everything has to fit in a single formula box.” He further adds, “We enjoy working with the CWB team — they’ve shown great interest in our business and have kept true to their character.” 

CWB Franchise Finance provides customized, flexible solutions for restaurant and hotel financing. Speak to an account manager today to see how they can help your business grow.