Day: March 19, 2017
In 1994, cousins Glenn, Jay and Gary Levins formed The Phoenix Organization to operate their 300,000 SQ of retail space on Long Island. Soon after, the Levins’ sought out a franchise partnership to add to the company’s portfolio in order to diversify and bolster their real estate business. After extensive research and due diligence, they partnered with Burger King Corporation®, and in 1997 the Phoenix Organization opened their first two BK restaurant locations in South Florida and New York. Since then, the company has grown from 2 to 20 Burger King Restaurants, as well as additional commercial properties, in both states. In 2009, Rachel Levins, Jay Levins’ daughter, joined The Phoenix Organization as an operating partner. In 2013 Russ Lo Bello joined The company as an operating partner with an eye toward overall expansion. In one year, The Phoenix Organization doubled in size from 7 to 14 locations, then recently added 6 more location to be a total of 20 Burger Kings by the end of 2016.
In 2015, Phoenix realized they had an opportunity to cultivate their teams differently than any other fast food company on the planet. Rachel Levins had recently attended an improv for business seminar in Minnesota and reached out to Sick Puppies Comedy. In January of 2016, Sick Puppies hosted their first “Key Holder” team building function for Phoenix. This included General Managers in restaurants as well as shift managers and anyone looking to be groomed for promotion. The results were astounding. Almost overnight, the metrics measured for customer service within BK corporate doubled for the Phoenix Organization restaurants. Moving from the company average, to a leader in the market, Phoenix immediately realized the benefits of incorporating Improv Training into their workforce. Sick Puppies and Phoenix realized the opportunity and put a plan in action.
After seeing the many successes of 2016, Phoenix hired Sick Puppies as a consultant for their Learning and Development platform for 2017. In addition to monthly team building sessions and seminars, SPC will also begin to operate inside of restaurants demonstrating the direct application of improv skills such as listening, emotional language and enthusiasm. Unique to any other training platform, the idea of leading by example, person to person, store by store will be installed to not only “tell”, but also to “show”. The Puppies will become trained in all things Burger King in order to begin “side-coaching” and in store improv installation. This concept mimics the sales coaching you might find in large financial institutions that jump start new associates into success by having their coach do the work right next to them.
The Phoenix philosophy is to develop their people above and beyond everything else. Even if that means losing team members because their development takes them on a new path, they take pride in making people the very best they can be. SPC also shares the same philosophy. In order to get the best performance out of a team, you have to empower individuals to become the best version of themselves. Phoenix has given SPC permission to encourage their team members to pursue their passions and goals and offer assistance.
We will be track profit, retention, customer service index as well as other internal indicators that we believe will move when working on empathy and enthusiasm. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first Improv/Fast Food partnership at this level and scale.
More to come. Do you have an improvmergency? Contact us. 954-667-7735 or firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s funny how serious we can get.
I hope you enjoy this 5th installment of our podcast. We interview Peter Story in this episode. Peter is a company member of the B Street Theater in Sacramento and just recently returned from a 2 year tour of the one man show “Men Are From Mars, Women are From Venus”. He’s a film actor as well and been on The Tonight Show as well as every imaginable type of show you could think of. He has a lot of honest insights to the industry and I’m very proud of the content in this episode. Won’t you have a listen?
Millennials have a reputation of being entitled, lazy and unreliable in the workforce. Experts claim that helicopter parenting, participation trophies and technology has kept this generation soft, but I would say that in order for Millennials to have a shot at succeeding in this world, they need to do one extremely important thing: fail.
Parents of Millennials have shielded their kids from the pain and anguish of rejection and failure. We’ve robbed this generation of the education you receive when you fail.
I’ve found over the last couple of years that our beginner’s improv classes are full of young people unable to make choices on stage because they have never failed before. They’ve never felt real failure. If they have, there have always been people to tell them “it’s okay”. Our classes teach you to make big choices, fail, try again, fail and learn. Why wasn’t that funny? Why is that character one dimensional? When can I try again?
After a few weeks our students, especially Millennials, begin to do better scene work and get comfortable on stage. In fact, we’ve had countless stories of students making choices in their professional lives after gaining confidence in our workshops.
If you are a Millennial and you dare to fail, and fail often, you will jump past your peers almost immediately. Do this one thing and learn why failure is the most important part of your success.
Enjoy this show. WE had a whole bunch of fun and we had a great crowd, but if you missed it, here it is in it’s entirety!
This was a busy weekend for the members of Sick Puppies Comedy! We kicked off the weekend on Friday by having Sick Puppies main stage improv show at Center Stage Boca. Great show, fun audience. Video to come shortly. At the same time, Plus Pierre was in “Spring Feaver” up at Bob Carter’s Actor’s Workshop and Repertory Company. Last night, the Puppies opened for Shooting Blanks at the Mos’art Theater in North Palm Beach, while Hannah Petosa worked a private gig doing her stand up comedy show as a 17-year-old! Aniela McGuinness and Tony Rivera were at Just The Funny putting on one of the best shows happening in the country right now, “I Don’t Have Cancer”, telling Aniela’s personal story of her relationship with cancer. They are up again tonight at Just The Funny as well and will be at Center Stage next Sunday.
Pay attention to what’s happening in your backyard folks. Live theater and comedy are happening EVERY SINGLE NIGHT IN EVERY SINGLE SOUTH FLORIDA COUNTY. This is a great time to be a fan of the performing arts. Don’t take it for granted, because without you, it stops existing.