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Becoming Franchisees

After announcing that the Casual Pint of Downtown would become a franchise, and that we would become the new owners, the question we get asked most often is how we came across this opportunity. We have heard everything from the intellectually curious – “When did you develop an interest in entrepreneurship?” – to the humorously astounded – “So were you just walking down the street and thought, ‘Hey, let’s buy this beer store?’” It is a little more complicated than that (but not by much), and it is a story we love to share, so we thought we would make it the subject of our first blog post.

Natalie and Alan sign the franchise agreement on April 29, 2014.

Natalie and Alan sign the franchise agreement on April 29, 2014.

We have had an interest in owning our own franchise for a while, looking into different opportunities here and there, and always searching for the right franchise for us. At the same time we had visited both the Downtown and the Bearden locations of the Casual Pint on many occasions since the opening of the original location, having quickly become big fans and repeat customers.

In February we were celebrating Alan’s birthday with friends at the downtown location when we noticed that the coaster said “franchises available”. We tossed around the idea of how cool it would be to own a Casual Pint, and decided to fill out the franchisee form online right there from Natalie’s iPhone to get more information. We spent the whole weekend brainstorming different locations for our Casual Pint and talking about how awesome it would if this actually worked out. We got a phone call that next Monday asking where we were interested in putting a Casual Pint. We quickly learned that our ideal locations, Hardin Valley and Maryville, were already taken, and that we would need to think outside of Knoxville if we were interested. We were so disappointed after we hung up the phone, and realized we had become much more excited about this opportunity than we initially realized.

We ended up still going in for a Discovery Day at the end of March to learn a little more about the Casual Pint and to see if it was a realistic opportunity for us. We left the Discovery Day more excited about potentially becoming franchisees, but disappointed that there were no opportunities left in the Knoxville area. Fast-forward a week, and we received a call that they had decided to turn the downtown location into a franchise, and it was ours if we wanted. After hearing this news, we had several discussions with our families and prayers, and we decided to take on this new adventure. Our franchise agreement was signed at the end of April, and now here we are! We felt extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to make this choice. It was not a decision that we made lightly, and we realized that if we did not seize it now, we might never have the chance again.