Continuing with this month’s “big and bold” theme for our #DontBeAChicken campaign, Cape Coral Teriyaki Madness franchisee Frank Giuliano sets a prime example. A former firefighter, Giuliano opted out of traditional retirement to rekindle a flame that always burned inside of him – entrepreneurship.
Giuliano, a 28-year resident of Cape Coral, Florida, fought the area’s fires for 26 years and served as the deputy battalion chief for the Bonita Springs Fire District. But he always felt the entrepreneurial spirit he was born with and had put to work in his mid-20s as the owner of a hot dog joint in Chicago.
When it came time for Giuliano to retire from a long career of firefighting, rather than sit back and put his life in cruise control, he decided to open his own restaurant. In May 2017, Giuliano opened the doors to his own Teriyaki Madness franchise, treating his community to the big, bold bowls of all-natural meats and fresh-cut vegetables that make mouths water all over the United States.
“I’ve always had the passion for business ownership,” he said. “When I found the Teriyaki Madness
opportunity, I knew it was the right fit for me. Aside from having amazing food that’s different from
what’s out there, they offer a proven operating system. When I was a kid owning my hot dog shop, I had
no idea what I was doing. Teriyaki Madness gave me the opportunity to run a quality fast-casual
restaurant with a tremendous amount of training and support.”
But Giuliano didn’t stop there. He wanted to be even more big and bold by giving back to Cape Coral. Giuliano partnered with Guardian Angels of Special Populations for his grand opening and plans to continue the relationship. Giuliano, whose niece and nephew have Down syndrome, donated $1 from the purchase of each Teriyaki Madness bowl to benefit the group. The charity, which operates out of the Freida B. Smith Special Populations Center in Cape Coral, organizes activities and events, as well as raises
funds and awareness for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
A prime example of being bold and courageous, Giuliano shows how everyday can be a new and exciting challenge – even in “retirement.”
Our September #DontBeAChicken campaign celebrates the idea of having courage, taking steps that are as big and bold as the food we offer on our menu. While she might be petite in frame, there’s no better example of big and bold than Qing Hammell, a native of China who made a drastic career change to pursue her love of food and business to open her very own Teriyaki Madness franchise.
Hammell came to the United States 20 years ago to pursue an MBA at Claremont Graduate University in California. From there, she continued as an actuary that led her to Bermuda and then Minneapolis, before realizing her true business passions were ignited by entrepreneurship. Fearless, Hammell took a leap of faith and invested in Teriyaki Madness to open up her first shop just south of Denver in the summer of 2016. Now, she has plans to open additional locations in the area.
“There are skills you can carry over from the financial industry to entrepreneurship, like management, operations and also financial knowledge,” Hammell said. “But nothing will truly ever prepare you for running your own business until you dive into the deep end and start doing it yourself. It’s much more work than you will ever imagine.”
When she worked in an office, Hammell was always on the lookout for a variety of lunch options, especially healthy ones. This drew her to the restaurant industry – she wanted to do something different. “I always had an entrepreneurial drive, but I didn’t quite know where to go with it,” she said. “When I found Teriyaki Madness, it was so attractive because of its food and support. The all-natural meats and vegetables are incredible, and the backing of the Teriyaki Madness corporate team sold me on the concept.”
Hammell says part of her drive to open her own restaurant came from the idea of giving back to those who helped her along her journey. “I came here with nothing and I had so many people helping me,” Hammell said. “Now I feel that it’s my turn to return the favor and pay it forward. I was nervous when I left China, but the move and dramatic change has made grow in so many ways. The experience of surviving and being successful in my job has taught me persistence and the importance of optimism. You are going to encounter difficulties, you will fall, you will cry, but you learn from your mistakes and continue to move forward. I can’t wait to see where my teriyaki shops take me.”
Take it from an amazing franchisee, Qing Hammell: Anything is possible when you put your mind to it. The next great entrepreneurial success story could be you. #DontBeAChicken.