Ice cream, lunches and business

Pic Courtesy: Kahala Corporation

This Thursday, September 26, Ajay Vaddi, Danielle Rinderknecht and I were invited to a luncheon in honor of Global Issues Forum speaker, Mr. Michael McGill, President of International for the Kahala Corporation. Kahala Corporation is a premier quick service restaurant brand with 14 brands under its umbrella– Cold Stone Creamery is a subsidiary of Kahala. The luncheon was also attended by Andrew Gerhard, Director of International Operations and Kyle Engels, International Project Manager and Public Relations Manager and was hosted by Prof Nathan Washburn. The luncheon was prior to the Global Issues Forum on “The Launch of a Global Brand” presented by Mr. McGill at the Yount DLC.

Pic Courtesy: Sneha Gayatri

At the session, Mr. McGill talked about the brand and also about Cold Stone Creamery that was started in 1988 with a unique ice cream creation technique and a focus on the customer via the “Make your own ice cream” or “Create your own happiness” efforts, not to mention the “in-store entertainment factor” that recently opened Cold Stone Creamery stores have in place. He talked about the business model that was primarily based on franchising and partnerships and also discussed the history of expansion of Cold Stone Creamery into different global markets and the challenges that have to be faced. Mr. McGill delved into the “2015 Pyramid of Success” created in 2007 to fulfill Kahala’s vision as being a unique, quick service restaurant brand. He talked about key success factors, most important of which were having the right international market partners and the push/pull philosophy of getting these partners on board.

Another exciting fact that we learned about was that Mr. McGill’s son wanted to study at Thunderbird since he was in the 7th grade, so we may hopefully join us in a few years! Mr. McGill shared stories about how new employees gain a few pounds after just joining the company, thanks to the R&D and testing laboratories in the company premises. I think the International team has the coolest job ever –travel the world tasting ice cream! Does that tickle your taste buds? Brain freeze, anyone?

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