by Bill Koelzer
You hear it all the time, “We need more support for our military veterans!” But as individuals, what can we do?
Richard Brown, owner of Biggie’s Burgers and More in South San Clemente is doing something … in fact … he’s doing a lot.
A former executive at both Taco Bell and Fat Burger chains, Brown has created a program enabling primarily retiring veterans to quite easily own their own quick food restaurant much like Biggie’s.
And Biggie’s has been running like a clock since 1991. Order a burger, shake, or any item on their menu, and watch the staff swiftly engineer your order. It is true precision when everyone knows how to follow steps in succession, perfecting the order and delivering in record time.
Brown says, “Retiring military personnel, both men and women, have learned leadership skills and the ability to follow specific directions every single time. If we teach a veteran owner to place a spatula always in location X, he or she is less likely than most to place it in location Y. In the quick-service business following a predictable routine yields excellent results.
A mile away from Biggie’s, Brown is able to remotely monitor the restaurant via his mobile phone or PC from his desk at his new Sunrise Warriors Headquarters (located on N. El Camino Real, across the street from the Elks Club.) He is able to view all food preparation and customer interactions at the restaurant which gives him a way to identify issues, if any, allowing for faster resolutions to any problems that might arise. This type of technology will be provided to the veteran owners throughout their startup operations, so they too can monitor their location.
Extensive training will be included in the veteran’s package. Classroom lectures will be held at Headquarters, while hands-on training will occur at Biggie’s, located in South San Clemente.
Besides the stints at Taco Bell and Fat Burger, Brown’s extensive knowledge on food service is due to his upbringing in the industry. His father owned a sit down restaurant in Oakland, where he worked as a youth. With a smile, Brown says “All I ever wanted was to be in the restaurant business.”
Besides being in the food service industry, Brown served his country for four years in the Air Force as an Air Refueling Boom Operator. Brown was the one aloft in KC-97 and Stratotanker, both aerial tanker planes that directed the boom in the path of B52s being refueled.
Sunrise Warriors intends to channel the retiring serviceperson’s leadership skills, to create a new career for them in the food service business. This new career can help them achieve the lifestyle they deserve for putting themselves on the line for us and our country. Although Sunrise Warriors’ marketing is mainly focused on retired service personnel, the firm welcomes working with qualified civilians as well.
Brown says, “The goal is to have thirty successful locations operating nationwide within 12 months after opening the first one.”
The key Sunrise Warriors team includes many Veterans. San Clemente resident, Jenna Lee Lombardo, known as “Lady Leatherneck,” the founder and content editor of Lady Leatherneck Magazine, is the Warrior’s Military Liaison. She is a Marine and combat veteran of two tours in Iraq. Furthermore, she is a Marine wife, mother, entrepreneur, business woman, student and philanthropist.
Rich Naumann, Vice President of Administration, served his country as a Vietnam-Era Air Force Captain. His career background includes being a top level financial consultant for major corporations and a realty broker.
Jim Douglas, VP of Operations, has a 30-year background as a Franchise Consultant. He was VP of Operations at Jim Dandy Fried Chicken, a subsidiary of Marriott services. Incidentally, Jim was a star basketball player at the University of Memphis from 1967-1971, scoring 1000 points while attending the university. He also played in the East-West All-American Basketball game in April 1971.
Terry Schlossman is the Marketing Supervisor and Miriam Garcia is the Administrative Assistant.
If you are a veteran and are interested in knowing more about Sunrise Warriors, or perhaps have a veteran friend nearing retirement, please contact Sunrise Warriors at (949)366-5259.