President & CEO
Rita’s Franchise Company, LLC
“A Mentor & A Guide”
“Communication is the key!” says Linda Chadwick, President & CEO of Rita’s Franchise Company, LLC. She has been inspiring her team to drive results, celebrating success along the way, and leading by example. “When obstacles present themselves, this is not the time to be stagnant. Break it down so the team doesn’t get overwhelmed. Lead by example – coach, guide, teach, train and mentor. Provide development opportunities,” says Linda, who has been an inspiring & motivating leader.
Linda always wanted to ensure she had time to help, especially when a need aligned with her strengths. She has an open door for all business owners; knowing what it took for her to rise in a male-dominated industry, she is always willing to share her experiences with female leaders to lessen the burden. “Mentoring is a unique process because the goal is to teach someone to think and solve problems on their own independently. In the early days I always wanted to help people avoid hardship and pain but realized that taking the pain away and solving the problem with my thinking only weakened them as a leader,” asserts Linda. “My most successful mentorship moments come when I teach leaders to identify potential issue indicators before they turn into a full-blown problem. When problems or challenges arise, I work with them on how to focus on the opportunities, solve the problems and learn from each situation.”
According to Linda, any leader's challenge is understanding where someone is coming from and the best ways to help them reach their goals. This is done by ensuring the employees are always heard through bottom-up influence and working together as a team to implement top-down strategies. “What I mean by bottom-up influence is that each generation and each individual have their own unique experiences and different motivators that drive them to produce higher outcomes,” explains Linda. “If you don’t take the time to understand what motivates your team truly, you run the risk of ordering your employees around rather than collaborating with them.” This concept and approach show her employees that they are part of an optimal team and empower them to perform at a higher level in this competitive world.
The steadfast leader elucidates that it took many years to get to this point, but Linda has been blessed in her life to be able to touch things quickly and get outcomes. The true success she witnesses comes from her ability to see how fundamental aspects lead to major results. “One analogy I always refer back to is the process of building a wall. When you’re building a wall, the focus should never be about building the perfect wall, instead, it should be about laying each brick perfectly,” says Linda. “When each brick is placed correctly, the perfect wall results. It’s all about ensuring every team member understands that each fundamental aspect must be done right for our outcomes to come together properly.” Linda’s biggest piece of advice would always be to solidify the building blocks of a business with detail so that the foundation is strong. “When you truly understand the building blocks and their details, you understand how to adjust your strategies to meet your ideal outcomes.”
As a mid-sized Franchisor with over 550 locations, the major challenge that Linda faces is competing with more extensive franchises with deeper pockets when it comes to investing in technology and marketing. One of the things she solved better than anyone their size is how a mid-size franchise can leverage their technology and engagement without spending the big box budget that more extensive franchises have. To solve this problem, Linda architected an approach allowing them to head-on approach the challenge. “I brought the technology internally and hired a team to execute my strategy. In doing this, we now have full ownership and control over the technology we use and the data it collects,” she says. “This strategic move allows us to quickly catch up to larger franchises while spending a fraction of the cost. The success came from my team’s ability to provide me key data points and details on what we needed to successfully move into a digital solution that led to true 360 guest engagement.” WL
President & CEO
Rita’s Franchise Company, LLC
At Rita’s, Ice Custard Happiness is our way of life. We’re passionate about delivering friendly service and providing our guests with a delightfully different treat experience. Each Rita’s shop is individually owned and operated by someone in your community, making it an honor to serve our guests as a neighbor.