Dream Dinners franchisee Jackie Purnell understands what it’s like to be busy. As the owner of two Dream Dinners franchises – Lancaster, Pa. and Flemington, N.J. – and a new grandmother of twins, she’s got a lot on her plate.
Take Charge of Your Schedule
“People have actually asked me if I’m retired,” Purnell said. “I’ve had the time and flexibility to help my mother and husband, who both had some health issues recently, along with my daughter who had twins this year.”
She credits her schedule to the flexibility that owning a Dream Dinners store offers. Purnell sets her own schedule, allowing her to do things like babysit the twins, or take her mother to the doctor.
“Thank God I have these stores because otherwise, I would probably have to take family medical leave,” she said. “I’m blessed that it works the way it does. How I got so lucky, I don’t know.”
Back in 2005, Purnell discovered Dream Dinners through a newspaper article about the opening of the Harrisburg, Pa. store. She visited the store and fell in love with it. She realized that this is what she should be doing.
She opened the Lancaster store with her partners in 2006 and decided to buy the Flemington store as a sole franchisee in 2014.
Find the Right People
Purnell stresses the importance of hard work and credits her store’s success to hiring the right people and constant, consistent communication with her store managers.
“It’s not easy, you have to put in the work to reap the rewards, but if you want to be your own boss and can find good staff – go for it,” she said. “The only way this works is with a great staff at both stores.”
She describes the hiring process as a trickle-down effect. When you hire good managers that you can depend on, they hire good employees. Finding the right incentives are also imperative. Listen to your staff and find out what really motivates them. When you set goals and reach them, follow through on your promises. For example, when Purnell’s store reached a particular sales goal by the store’s 10-year anniversary, she treated the staff to a spa day.
For Purnell, the bottom line is to invest in and take care of your employees.
“We take care of our people,” she said. “We strive to be the type of employers we would want to work for. After 11 years I still have the same passion. It’s like a family business. It’s awesome to help families in our communities spend more time with each other around the dinner table.”