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Franchise Owner Spotlight: Brian Blum

Franchise Owner Spotlight: Brian Blum

Recruiting Franchisee

The world of recruiting is ripe for someone who wants to venture into a successful franchise business. And Gecko Hospitality has a proven methodology for gaining entry into the recruiting field. Many Gecko franchisees are proving successful in more than one Gecko Hospitality franchise.

Today we focus on one of our franchisees, Brian Blum, and learn about his journey into running a franchise. Mr. Blum currently has two Gecko Hospitality franchise territories in Northern New England. These include the area of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. He also runs restaurants in Massachusetts.

Running a franchised business can be a rewarding endeavor. For the one running the franchised business, (franchisee), operating a business comes with many benefits.

An established product or service – Someone else has already done the work of developing and establishing a viable business system.

An established brand – This familiarity can help you develop a customer base because of a pre-existing knowledge of what to expect from the brand.

Advertising and marketing assistance – The corporate office typically performs marketing research, leading to better targeting and more effective ads.

Business support – When problems arise, franchising gives the franchisee an avenue to technical support and qualified staff who can give advice.

Getting On Board with Gecko

Blum found out about Gecko Hospitality when he left his position as an Area Director for Applebee’s back in 2004. He became a client of Gecko Hospitality working with Joan Koelbel (another Gecko franchisee). “Joan was an amazing recruiter,” states Blum. “When she was helping me look for my next Area Director role, she told me that Gecko Hospitality was beginning to franchise.”

“After discussing it with my wife, I flew up to Chicago to see Robert Krzak, President of Gecko Hospitality. After learning about the company and Robert’s vision of the future, I was sold. I wrote him a check on the spot for the initial franchise fee.”

Advice from a Gecko Franchisee

Blum says that being a Gecko franchisee is a great opportunity. Especially for anyone who wants to take the risk of putting their future success on themselves. “If you have to make a steady paycheck,” says Blum, “Then this is not for you. If you have grit and want to triple your income and can handle failure and stress, then jump in. This is not a part-time job that you can do on the side. You must commit 100% to your success or you will fail.”

Blum advises that in the first months, you should be patient. He says that the process to becoming successful is much faster than with opening a restaurant. But it takes time and commitment to the process. “I’ll never forget my first three months of working 60 hours a week with no money coming in. If I hadn’t stuck with the process and learned from my failures, I never would have experienced success.” And he has been experiencing that success for the past 18 years!

The Best Part of Being a Gecko Franchisee

The best part of being a Gecko franchisee, according to Blum, is the support he receives from Gecko Hospitality. “Whenever I have questions about a client, technology, or a process, I’ll pick up the phone, make a call and get the answers I need,” Blum states. “With Gecko Hospitality, you are never alone.”

What Brings the Greatest Pride in Partnering with Gecko?

Blum takes great pride in the success of others. He is proud to be part of a company that has grown by 20X since he joined 18 years ago. “I am proud to see the success of the new franchisees who come on board and experience the success that I have,” says Blum. “I am proud to have helped people land jobs during the great recession. I am also proud to have helped others find work during the Covid winters. I love hearing from candidates that I placed with clients 10+ years ago. They are still there, growing their career and experiencing success.”

Brian Blum’s Hobbies When Not Working on His Franchise

Blum doesn’t have to commute to work because he works from home. “For the past ten years, I have been an avid runner and cyclist. I have run in 4 marathons, 6 – 70.3 Ironman races, and many more sprint triathlons. I love to wake up every day at 6:00am and do some type of fitness-related activity to start my day.”

Parting Words

Blum’s franchise success is due in part to his dedication to hard work and commitment. He doesn’t take short cuts but realizes the secret to winning is to keep keeping on. As Blum puts it, “To be successful in this business you have to be able to say NEXT after every call, good and bad. If you have the grit to keep moving forward after making a big placement or losing one, then you will be successful.”


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