HoneyBaked Franchisee Dan Wheelock Talks Catering

Two elderly people standing together.

As a Honey Baked Ham Co. franchise owner, Dan Wheelock knows the value of quality food and friendly service. He also knows what it takes to keep a catering franchise store running through a challenging year. Read about Dan’s experience taking advantage of HoneyBaked’s multiple-revenue-stream franchise business model.

Honey Baked Ham: What first drew you to the HoneyBaked brand?

Dan Wheelock: Not only do the products taste great, but they truly stand out against the competition with quality and value. The service side is all about making people’s lives a little better.

They love our delicious spiral-sliced hams, classic sides, premium lunch sandwiches, soups and salads, and they love it all even more because of the level of service they receive and the way they are treated. Both the customers and the employees make a HoneyBaked store enjoyable.

My wife Torie and I noticed the Green Bay, Wisconsin HoneyBaked location was for up sale and we saw an opportunity to help grow a national brand.

HBH: Did the HoneyBaked team help you feel prepared for ownership?

DW: We bought an existing store, so we continued an on-going operation, which is a different experience than building a new store. Regardless, the corporate team gave us great preparation and training both in Atlanta and at an operations training location.

Part of what made our launch easier is that I inherited a good crew. They’ve been really good to me. They know what needs to get done and how to do it. While our opening may not have been perfect, we had great support from our crew, the Honey Baked Ham Co. corporate team, other HoneyBaked franchisees including the former owner of our store and our Franchise Business Leader, Rick Kolleth.

HBH: How did 2020 affect your approach to business?

DW: We believe HoneyBaked is in a good place as a company. They’ve made the right adjustments to get us through 2020 and will need to keep adapting to changing demographics of our main protein purchasers. Our menu and products give us an edge in lunch and catering. Since people have been and will continue to dine out less, catering will continue to grow and become more important for smaller market growth.

With the current labor shortage in the country, there’s little time away from work for us. We need to be present at the store daily. But it is a labor of love. The catering side of the business can be more labor-intensive but can also be very rewarding if it turns into repeat business. We have grown in store sales and volume since we purchased the store. Some of that is because we’ve been able to rely on catering as an additional revenue stream.

If you’re Interested in learning more about how a catering franchise like The Honey Baked Ham Co. can work for you in your market, chat with our team today!

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