Interview with Andy's franchisee, Chris Plumpe

(1) How long have you been in the business? What did you do before becoming a franchise owner? 

It was not until after graduating from Mizzou that I decided to get into the restaurant business with the intention of learning the business and opening my own someday.  For about 10 years now, I have been involved in restaurant management, starting with running a couple of Subways for a year.  Then, I moved around quite a bit with Cheddar's Casual Cafe as a GM, opening multiple locations.  I moved back to Springfield, MO after a few years and became a Managing Partner with Ruby Tuesday.

(2) What drew you to Andy's Frozen Custard?

I grew up on Andy's, and it's honestly always been my favorite dessert even after moving around the country.  I want to recreate thatAndy's Springfield cult following down in the Austin area.  I liked the simple and straightforward business plan, focusing on an unmatchable product and atmosphere, taking care of your employees, and strong community involvement.  Furthermore, I felt like it was a perfect fit for the Austin area where I really wanted to settle.  There's something to be said for a business that's been around since 1986, and the founders are still as involved as Carol and Andy are.

(3) How has the market in your area reacted to your location(s)?

Round Rock has welcomed us as their own, and we really enjoy getting involved in local events with local organizations (especially those benefitting children).  We have only been open since January 7th, and we are blowing through the loyalty cards, creating many regulars already.

(4) Do you have interest in opening additional locations?

Absolutely!  Our second location is under construction and hopefully opening in late May in Pflugerville.  We are currently under negotiation on a piece of land for our third store.

(5) What is Andy's franchise support like?

I had the benefit of living in Springfield and getting to know most (if not all) of the Andy's team personally.  That really makes it enjoyable to conduct business with Andy's.  It's clearly a family environment in the corporate office as well as at the store level. 

(6) What’s one key thing you’ve learned since becoming a franchisee?

Refuse to lose the identity and pride of what Andy's truly is.  Focus on the people (both the customers and the crew), and the numbers will work.


(7) What advice would you give someone who is considering opening an Andy's of their own?

You will only be as good as the people you hire, train, and retain.


(8) Would you do it all over again?

Absolutely!  I have the honor of bringing the pride of my hometown to my favorite area of the country.  Also, it's such a clean, fun environment.  This venture presents new challenges everyday, and I'm learning a lot, allowing for professional development in my career.


(9) What's your favorite Andy's treat?

BY FAR the toughest question!  The James Brownie Funky Jackhammer has grown on me lately.  I grew up eating nothing but strawberry banana concretes though:)

Josh Stewart

Josh is the Chief Creative / Partner at Hook Creative.