Jim went to work in his first restaurant at 12 years of age. He has seen just about everything that works well and can spot those things that can be improved quickly.
McKenna Associates was formed in 1993 with specialties in Retail and Restaurant Management, Franchising, Strategic Planning, Market Planning and Real Estate Site Selection. We consult with companies in the design and development of their systems, on the appropriateness of franchising, both domestic and international, as a business strategy to achieve their goals. We assist multi-unit companies and multi-branded companies as well as new or established franchisors in strategic and tactical planning, headquarters and field support systems, manuals and training programs, marketing and expansion strategies, franchisee relations, purchasing co-ops, advisory councils, crisis management, expert witness, litigation support, and the strategic restructuring of systems.
Jim has over 25 years of experience as a senior executive with major franchise and food companies as well as consultant in the retail, restaurant, hospitality, petroleum, and service industries.
Jim started his professional food service career while still in college when he bought the concession rights for two snack bars and a specialty restaurant at the largest luxury resort campground in the Northeast. Jim was responsible for designing the layouts, purchasing all equipment, creating menus, recipes, marketing, and all operations. The business was a great success for several years until the gasoline shortages of the early 70’s brought the recreational businesses in the U.S.A. to a grinding halt.
Shortly thereafter Jim landed a regional manager position with a 50 unit Connecticut restaurant chain, Litchfield Farm Shops - later merged with Friendly’s, where he had responsibility at various times for system-wide training, operations, new restaurant openings, and general operations manager for all 50 units.
This was followed by seventeen years with Dunkin’ Donuts including various responsibilities for Baskin - Robbins, and Togo’s Eateries. He also worked on special projects for Allied Domeq, LTD (a later parent of DD) in their pub division. With V.P. positions in operations, marketing, and development Jim had broad responsibilities including the design of the first successful dual units combining multiple brands on the same site.
As Executive Vice President of Honey Dew Associates for three years, he had day to day responsibility for operating this strong regional chain selling coffee, sandwiches, donuts and pastries. At Honey Dew he created a professional management approach for the thirty-one year old, privately held company including a new strategic plan, corporate reorganization, new brand image design, franchisee advisory council, franchisee purchasing co-op, revamped marketing, advertising, and promotions strategy, new product program, new equipment introductions, sales compliance program, public relations campaigns, market development plan, franchisee recruitment and screening system, and a customer satisfaction program.
Jim started his own consulting business in 1993 and sold the major part of it in 2002. Since then he has focused on restaurant consulting and is also currently serving as the Chief Development Officer for Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine. Sophie’s has built eleven popular downtown lunch restaurants and continues to expand in their New York City base. He is also helping a relatively new restaurant company in Manhattan begin an expansion program with emphasis on upgrading design, operations, and equipment systems.
Jim has been published in several industry periodicals and is often quoted in the major business press. He is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer at industry events and universities around the country. As a member of the Advisory Board of the William Rosenberg International Franchise Center, a specialized center at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business and Economics that advances franchising through relevant research and innovative teaching, Jim stays in tune with the best current academic work on franchising. Last year Jim also taught the four credit senior elective course on Franchising. Jim has created and is an instructor of CFE accredited classes for the International Franchise Association Education Foundation.
He is one of the founding members and a past chairman of the New England Franchise Business Network and is an active speaker and seminar instructor for the International Franchise Association's (IFA) Institute for Certified Franchise Executives. He has completed the requirements and has been awarded the designation of CFE (Certified Franchise Executive) by the International Franchise Association.
Professional Affiliations & Notable Executive Study includes:
• International Franchise Association Supplier Forum
• New England Franchise Business Network (Past Chairman & founding board member)
• International Council of Shopping Centers
• American Bar Association
• Whittemore School of Business & Economics, Rosenberg Center, Board of Advisors
• Cornell University; Restaurant Strategy for Profitability
• Harvard Business School; Strategy: Building and Sustaining Competitive Advantage
Watch for a specific list in the future. We specialize in strategy, tactics for a competitive edge, operations - including manuals, and other services for franchised and non-franchised restaurants, retailers, convenience stores, and others.
Jim McKenna, President
McKenna Associates, Corp.
52 Crestview Road, Milton, MA 02186