James Poore (3)

James Vance, McDonald’s, and Mize

Mize Houser has been with us from the very beginning. When we first became owner operators, Mize Houser was our first accountant hired, so they’ve been with us all the way along the way. And what I’ve loved about Mize Houser is they’ve continued to evolve their business. So, as we’ve grown our business, they have also grown and evolved. And they not only started with the financial compilation monthly that they submit to McDonald’s in a timely fashion, they picked up our payroll, and then they did bill pay. Then they did cashless reconciliation and there was a time we didn’t have cashless. And cashless now is like 60-65% of our business. Mize Houser does a great job of reconciling that for us on a monthly basis.

They do a number of other things. And probably the most significant, key things for me that are not as monthly or periodic are when we moved in 2003 from Denver to Las Vegas, they were right there with us in helping us get our restaurants valued, looking at the restaurants that we were purchasing, just being there in supportive of us all the way along the way.

I just remember the day that a restaurant deal was supposed to go down in Colorado, I got a call from the owner we were buying from that said the wire didn’t go through. I was like, “what are you talking about?” Everything had been lined up and ready to go, so who did I call? I called Carol. I said to Carol,  “Carol, oh my gosh. The wire. They’re saying the wire didn’t go through.” She made some calls, worked her magic.  Done. And he was like, “Good to go.” Carol has been like that for us in our organization, all the way along the way.

The other significant time for us was during an impact case where McDonald’s corporate opened a restaurant close to us and severely impacted our business. We lost over $2 million in sales in a very short period of time, and a lot of cash flow as well. McDonald’s offer was short of what I believed it should be. We went to them to discuss how to improve on the offer they had made, and Carol was right by our side. And whenever Mize Houser is involved, whenever Carol is on the phone, you hear an err of caution from the corporation.  They respect Mize Houser very well and their entire team. And they know that they’re dealing with somebody who has a lot of experience, somebody that’s been very battle-tested. And so that gives me a lot of confidence in dealing with the corporation, the confidence that you need to make sure that your business is cared for and our family is cared for.

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