Pioneering Social Equity Restaurant Franchise Aims to Correct Discriminatory Industry Practices
Co-founded in 2016 by CEO Sam Polk, Everytable is a mission-driven food company that fights for food justice and equality by providing healthy and nutritious food that is accessible and affordable for all.
Everytable is a fresh, multi-channel food company that mixes take-out display cases, subscriptions and SmartFridges provided by a central kitchen with meals priced according to the income level of the neighborhood. To date, Everytable has sold over 4 million meals and has 10 branches in the Los Angeles area. The goal of Everytable’s innovative new social equity franchise program is to foster the economic empowerment of entrepreneurs in marginalized communities, by providing training, marketing support and, most importantly, essential access to capital.
With a total of $ 4.5 million in program-related investments from the WK Kellogg Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness) and Dignity Health, the program plans to open 40 Everytable franchises. in Southern California over the next two years.
The new program is led by Bryce Fluellen, a food justice veteran, who has led food justice and social equity programs at Magic Johnson Enterprises through Starbucks, TGI Fridays and Loew’s Theaters, and most recently the American Heart. Association. He is also a Master Cook.
BLACK COMPANY spoke with Fluellen about the new Everytable franchise program, as well as Dorcia Whitebrake, the first franchise candidate in training.
BLACK COMPANY: Bryce, how does the Everytable franchise program work?
Bryce Fluellen: Everytable is a food company that sells nutritious, freshly prepared meals, as well as subscription meal plans, at affordable prices for customers who live in the community. With the program funds we have secured from various foundations, we are able to offer five year loans to franchise owners to cover the cost of the location, with a very low interest rate of 2%. This removes one of the biggest hurdles for franchise applicants, as we don’t require any upfront capital, nor the traditional requirements for getting a bank loan.
Upon acceptance into the program, an applicant must attend Everytable University. This is a six to 12 month multidisciplinary educational series that provides in-depth, hands-on paid training to empower and prepare disenfranchised entrepreneurs to open an Everytable. This includes leadership training, public speaking, civic engagement, accounting, finance, marketing, management, operations, retirement planning, and more. After successfully completing the training program, the candidate officially becomes the owner of a franchise and a turnkey location. is ready to open. Our in-house real estate team secures the location and takes care of the construction. Then, we provide advice and support to the franchisee in hiring and training their staff. The average cost of an Everytable location is $ 250,000. However, the repayment of the loan does not begin until the store begins to make a profit. Plus, because most entrepreneurs of color often don’t have a cushion to lean on, Everytable franchisees are guaranteed an annual salary of $ 40,000 during their first three years of operation.
This is an incredible opportunity for people who have never been able to afford a traditional franchise and dramatically increases the success rate by removing the burden of having to worry about starting a new business while paying for the expenses of life. daily.
It’s correct. This franchise program is designed to foster the economic empowerment of entrepreneurs from marginalized communities. Our social equity initiative has the potential to change lives, create equity while promoting health among those who have been marginalized from society. It is also a huge opportunity to create economic mobility, empowerment and ownership for those who have been dispossessed for so long. We believe this program can serve as a model that can be replicated across the country and the franchise industry.
Our goal is to open 40 Everytable social equity franchise stores in Los Angeles over the next two years, and then expand to the East Coast in late 2021, early 2022. We want to empower the owners economically, so that ” they are able to use their income and take advantage to open additional locations, become owners, create retirement plans and create a generational wealth.
What is the application process to consider for the Everytable franchise opportunity and what do you look for in an owner?
Well, we’re still working on the application process, so for now we’re focusing on internal applicants. Current Everytable employees, such as retail store managers or employees who work in our centralized production kitchens where we prepare and assemble all meals. We have an incredibly dedicated pool of employees to choose from, and we anticipate that many of them will want to participate in this opportunity. As the program grows, we plan to work with community colleges and economic development organizations to identify more applicants.
When it comes to what we look for in a candidate, we are looking for mission oriented people who care about community. Of course, we want them to want to make money, but also to see the community doing well. Everytable’s operations are relatively straightforward as we don’t have to deal with the complexities of an on-site commercial kitchen. So we can focus on people who are passionate about entrepreneurship, or someone who has worked in the fast food industry for many years but does not want to run a full service restaurant. We require the business to be owner-managed, so this opportunity is not for people who want something semi-absent or passive. Having the owner operating the store also lowers labor costs. Managers typically work on the ground 30 to 40 hours per week. Finally, we are looking for people capable of showing leadership and willing to grow with the company, and in turn come up with suggestions and improvements that can be implemented. Some of the best suggestions for new menu items come from employees.
Everytable First Franchise Owner Candidate – Dorcia Whitebrake
Dorcia Whitbrake, 51, is a black single mother of three living in South Los Angeles. For decades, she has managed to make ends meet by holding multiple jobs. Today, she is proud to be the owner-in-training for Everytable in Hollywood, CA, located at 6775 Hollywood Blvd.
Dorcia is the very definition of hard work and resilience, serving as a teacher’s assistant in the Los Angeles Unified School District for many years, while also starting and running a successful housekeeping and cleaning business. ‘events. She is also working towards obtaining a double associate’s degree in sociology and liberal arts.
BLACK COMPANY: Congratulations on being the first nominee for the Everytable franchise program. Do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
White brake: Not at all! I started my event assistance and cleanup business to earn some extra money – it was more about survival. But I was never able to build it where I wanted it to be. I think I’ve always had the entrepreneurial spirit, but certainly not the background. I have worked 2-3 jobs most of my life.
How did you first get involved with Everytable and how does it feel to be selected as the first franchise candidate?
I started out as a store clerk and they offered me a managerial position. I didn’t feel ready for this, so I refused. Fortunately, they approached me again, and this time I accepted. Then, a few months ago, Sam Polk approached me with the opportunity for a franchise program, and I couldn’t believe it! It didn’t seem real.
As for being the first, it’s both an honor and a bit of pressure. But ever since I started working for Everytable, you have been taught to make it your own, no matter what position you hold. I have always felt very supported. It’s great to represent black women and entrepreneurs of color. I know that I am capable and that Everytable believes in me.
What are some of the expectations you have as an owner and what would you say to other people who might be interested in this opportunity?
My expectation is that I will be supported and successful. I have three children. Two of them worked at Everytable and my daughter is very excited to become an owner – she wants to know everything! They want to know when they can start helping out with the store. My oldest son has just been rehired at Everytable as well. Hopefully this will become a family business and we will buy additional pitches. I am focused on building wealth and making my dream of buying a house and eventually creating a trust fund for my family come true.
When you’re part of Everytable, you have to really want to serve people. You have to have a spirit of love and care about the community. We are all driven by the mission of providing healthy, affordable and nutritious meals for people who could not normally afford this type of food. It’s more than a job, you have to get into it body and soul.