Instant MBA: Always Be Genuine, Because That's How You Retain Customers

Craig Culver

TheFoodChannel on YouTube

Today’s advice comes from coverage of Culver’s CEO Craig Culver’s speech in the Lake County News-Sun:“Hospitality comes from your heart. You must mean it when you say thank you.”

That’s the kind of customer-minded lesson Culver credits his father, with whom he co-founded his restaurant chain, with teaching him. And, he says, it’s a big reason why the fast food chain — famous for its butter burgers — expanded from a single Wisconsin location in 1984 to 442 stores spanning 19 states.

“Yes, we have good burgers and good frozen custard, but we are in the people business,” Culver says.

Word of mouth is the most important marketing tool, Culver says, and hiring people who value good customer service keeps people coming back to Culver’s. That brand of service translates to big value for the chain: the average store grosses roughly $1.7 million a year.

The chain is set to expand within the U.S. and possibly to Canada, but Culver tells the Lake Country News-Sun that he has no plans to take his company public and will keep it in the family.

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