Thirty-five years ago, Roland Spongberg embarked on a journey that would ultimately transform into a thriving restaurant empire. With the humble beginnings of one El Pollo Loco in Long Beach, CA, Roland laid the foundation for what would become the WKS Restaurant Company. Today, this remarkable enterprise employs 12,000 individuals across 375 restaurants, operating in 19 states and encompassing brands such as Denny’s, El Pollo Loco, Krispy Kreme, and Wendy’s. Yet, Roland’s path to success was challenging, especially when addressing the complex dynamics of family involvement in the business. As a father of six children, Roland initially contemplated a simple solution of dividing his estate equally among his offspring. However, the reality of running a business with family members in various roles and stages of life soon presented a more intricate scenario. Moreover, the responsibility of providing for the thousands of employees under his care added another layer of complexity to the equation.
Recognizing the need for expert guidance in navigating this intricate environment, Roland turned to two seasoned succession planners, Hugh Roberts and Jeff Bannon. With their invaluable expertise, Roland and his family embarked on a transparent and inclusive process to develop equitable succession strategies that would benefit the business and the family.
This video delves into the fascinating journey of Roland Spongberg as he shares his experiences and insights on building a complex multi-unit franchise and multi-brand business while addressing the intricate dynamics of family involvement.