Tina D. Howell, a mother of three, became a brand new Wingstop franchisee in 2002. Today, she is raking in $1.5 million annually making her a top production franchisee for the chain In South Florida.
Howell, a former school teacher who also owns home agency Virtual Home Care Inc. in Dallas, opened her first Wingstop location in Miami in 2003. In 2016, she opened a second.
Howell told TNJ.com how and why she got into the franchise business and what?s ahead for her.
TNJ.com: Why did you want to become a Wingstop franchise??
Tina Howell: I wanted to become a Wingstop franchise for two reasons.?The first reason is that I love the product.?When I first started exploring the opportunity of opening a franchise, I was frequently commuting between Dallas, Texas and Miami, Florida.?Miami did not have a Wingstop franchise and hence did not have a place for me to enjoy the lemon pepper wings I loved.?As a result, I started looking into franchise opportunities in the Miami-Dade County area of South Florida.?The other reason is that I owned a business in the healthcare industry and wanted to diversify my business holdings.
TNJ.com: What was the process like??
T.H.: Back in the early 2000s, Wingstop was still a young company. The process back then was a lot?simpler?than it is today.?I basically had to prove that I meet the requirement for minimum investment dollars and net worth.
TNJ.com: What were your initial thoughts when you opened the franchise??
T.H.: My initial feeling was one of pride for being the first to open a Wingstop franchise in Dade County. It was challenging for me because I was new to the restaurant industry. However, it was a simple business to run and I was excited and appreciative of the opportunity. ?
TNJ.com: How do you account for your amazing success??
T.H.: Hard work, dedication and relationships.?I have had a great deal of support from Wingstop employees and executives.?Even now as the company has grown, I still have the comfort of knowing that I can speak to someone at corporate who will hear me out and offer assistance as best they can.?Wingstop has always asked its franchisees to focus on?producing?a quality product and offering great service. I focus on my restaurants being the best they can be with the goal of performing in the top percentage of Wingstop restaurants across the country. ?
TNJ.com: What are your goals for 2016??
T.H.: My goals for 2016 are to improve sales and customer service in my current restaurants as I begin the process of opening two additional locations.
TNJ.com: What are your long term goals?
T.H.: My long term goal as it pertains to Wingstop is to have as many well run and profitable restaurants as I can, all producing a healthy bottom line to fund my retirement account.