Season 6 Episode 4: Comments on Current Restaurant News, M&A Deal Flow & Recent Transactions, and Sluggish Consumer Spending



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Welcome to the restaurant boiler room season six, episode 4. I'm your host, Rick Ormsby, managing director at Unbridled Capital. Today in the boiler room. I'll be giving some insight on current restaurant news, including M and a deal flow, several high flying brands.


Commentary on our sluggish consumer spending and a few recent transactions, the restaurant Boiler Room is one stop shop for multi $1,000,000 merger and acquisition activity and financial complexities affecting the franchise.


Industry, we talk money deals, valuations and risk delivered to the front door franchisees, private equity firms, family offices, large investors and franchisors on a monthly basis. Feel free to find our content at the bridal Capitals website at Now let's enter.


The boiler room.


Well, hey everybody, I'm talking to you here on I think maybe June the 11th, you'll probably start hearing this of 2024 maybe in a week or so from now and happy summer to everybody. It seems like in the Ormsby family it's been a pretty crazy run to the summer time. But living down here at the Panhandle, Florida.


You know, the summer time ends up being a cool, cool time of year, right? Not not really cool literally speaking, but it's a it's a great time of the year to be out in the water and see everyone coming down for their summer vacations. And you know, I did notice so far this summer that it seems like the crowds down here for the first time in a long time are.


Actually a little less thick than what they have been. We've talked to some local friends of mine and business owners and and they seem to notice the same thing. Maybe it has to do a little bit with sluggish consumer spending. I don't know if you if you saw this article. But as we you know a couple of weeks ago there's an interesting article it it showed up on several.


Different news sources, but it seeing it it says basically all they all say the same thing that almost 80% of Americans now consider fast food, a luxury item due to the high prices caused by inflation.


This is just a new survey of 2000 people through LendingTree, and the survey also found that although three and four Americans typically have fast food once a week, 62% say they're down at dining out less due to recently right raising rising prices.


And increasing costs across the border are causing people not to come as frequently, and I guess I'm noticing it here in the beach and vacations as well. That's just the Rick Ormsby eyeball test and and talking to a couple local business owners too. So that's kind of the economy and environment that we find ourselves in. It's really an interesting one, isn't it, I mean.


The headline is the stock markets doing well. We're having, you know, we just had a job report come out. And though although you know unemployment kind of ticked up a little bit to 4%, a lot fewer unemployed. You know, pardon me a lot more jobs created in the last measurable than what we expected.


Just kind of conflicting information. Stock market has been performing fairly well this year. Our our budgetary woes as a as a country continue to be eye popping. It's an election year, you see, you know kind of what feels to be a pullback of the customer but.


It's just kind of unclear and I think this is going through the Fed as they think about whether to raise interest rates or delay raising interest rates. Obviously that's one of the big three or four levers in the M and a business that help or hinder the speed, pace and amount of deal flow that affirm like embattle capital C.


I mean, I think you have to have like the fundamentals of your industry in place. We always do more work and better work when when our clients are doing well in their businesses so.


You kind of want to.


We have a really strong macroeconomic environment going on. You know it's one key segment or or leg of the stool in the M and a cycle. Do we have that right now kind of sort of man, you know what I mean? Then the brands or the segment of the of the industry that you're working on as an M&A advisor is important too.


Right. So if.


You're in a in a really Gogo time and macroeconomically, but your sector is struggling. That's not going to be good. That's probably why a lot of these large firms in New York and elsewhere have generalist investment banking practices, so they can hop nimbly between segments that either become hot or don't become hot, depending on.


You know how they're doing in the?


Economy and our segment of franchising, I would say largely speaking we are we are kind of sort of in a Gronk it out fight twist and pull and shove for one to 2% sales growth in flat transactions or maybe -1 or -2% transactions on a year over year basis. And there are winners and losers.


Within that spectrum, but then, but I think the overall headline is that sales and transactions are kind of drifting lower this year versus what you would find in a typical non adjusted non COVID non post COVID sort of year in our industry, especially since we're seeing so much.


Competition with new stores that are opening up in some of these new brands that are in many cases quite exciting. Another item is of that stool is clearly the interest rate environment and it does not appear that we're going to have meaningful, you know, interest rate changes over the next 6 to 12 months. Really. I think I may have said it on another podcast.


If you've heard it, but I'll say it again that what we noticed when the Fed started raising rates was that bankers and lenders and a lot of the risk folks started tightening up their lending portfolios and becoming more conservative like in with a delayed effect of like 6 to 9 months.


That's if that makes sense and it it. And that's kind of the way a banker typically thinks anyway, isn't it? They typically look at at least 1/4 in arrears. So they're not really real time as much as maybe an advisor like me would be, right or our.


Company would be.


So that might explain the lag and it probably will also explain what what I'm guessing.


Will be a lag when interest rates finally do start coming down and start coming down in a meaningful.


OK, I have clients all the time to say, hey, we're hearing some decent interest rate news in Europe and that may mean that they're going to cut one. You know, one round of rates earlier than expected this year. And won't that have a meaningful change on the M&A market? And I say to them, no, no, no, no, it won't. It won't have no effect. As a matter of fact, this is going to be, you know, kind of a longer term play out. And again, remember if I'm right.


Now that that it may take, you know 6 to 9 to 12 months after the interest rate in decreases stop in order to have meaningful change at the banking level and the bank and at the banking level, we continue to.


See, you know, kind of.


Really tepid market, right? I mean, people, you, you, you talked to quite a few lenders. I was just at the kind of the Wendy's franchise for them. So the Wendy's Convention in Minneapolis and saw a bunch of the, the usual suspect lenders and most of them don't have a lot of deal flow and many of them are not doing.


Many deals, they're.


Seeing deals, some of them are doing deals.


But I think.


I think, UM, what? What? What I've seen so far this year is A and and I thought it would happen towards the back half of this year after seeing what I thought it was really an unexpected beginning into 2024 with the lack of deal flow.


And then I thought to myself, aha, in the second-half of the year, what we're likely to see is more deal flow in the market and and I think that's what's coming and what's out there now. But a lot of it is unqualified or overpriced or not realistic sellers or maybe frankly desperate advisors and and and and third parties that are that that haven't been paid on.


On anything in a while, who are?


Looking to do more work and taking things they normally wouldn't take, and so my guess is in the next six months that's largely the type of deal flow that you're going to see. And when you do see that, see that deal flow, my guess is it less than 1/3 of it is actually going to actually close. So that's one comment. I mean, our model number, total capital is not that way.


Right. We we keep it a 90% or try to keep a 90% success rate of closing the assignments that we're in.


Then, and that would necessitate that we're not going to take a flyer on the type of businesses we think are a little overpriced or we're not sure if the market will agree to it or if we think a seller is going to be a little bit unreasonable or it can't get financed properly. All those things would be reasons we would probably back away from an assignment and also if.


We find that a client wants, you know, 10% more than what we think it's worth. We're typically going to say no, but I think in this type of an environment, you're going to find a lot of advisors doing the opposite, which is taking things and just seeing if they stick on the.


Wall when you throw it at the wall.


So be careful of that. Now, I don't want to say there's junk deal flow out there, but but there is a, you know, a lot of speculative deal flow that probably will not close. We are seeing an uptick in difficult assignments, ones that are either pressured by the franchise or or by the lender. I'm starting to get those calls now. We are very selective personally on those types of assignments.


That they're difficult assignments and a lot of parties have to agree and bankruptcy is is a possibility. So you have to be careful about those types of assignments. But I know they're out.


There. So if you're that type of buyer.


Then keep your ear to the grindstone here, and maybe maybe there'll be some activity here for you. Continued activity. So one of the themes so far in 2024 from me is that, you know, kind of the lack of strong businesses that are for sale. And as an aside, when there are star businesses for sale, guess what?


Weapons. It's just like if you're the only guy owning a beautiful property on the water in Florida, and you put your house up for sale, it's going to have a ton of.


Risk, right? Just because the inventory is not there like it used to be so, but but generally the the big, the big message here is that private equity has largely kind of drifted away from looking at these deals right now. And I think I've said it before, it's because a couple of reasons. One is the multiple of invested capital.


Calculation that they're interested in, you know, kind of makes them need to borrow money at low interest rates and also build new units at low cost. And those two things are difficult to do right now. I mean, the cost of construction is still abnormally high.


And so and and interest rates as we know have been elevated for a time and so so those two switches are not switched on.


For the private.


Equity community and it means that there are many cases, much more selective, not as interested in looking at our segment. And I think some little known fact is that we've had the 1st wave of private equity groups, some of them have had.


A little bit of struggle selling the assets that they bought 6 and seven years ago and it doesn't take long in this industry for that to blow through. You know, some of the PE offices and some of these big cities and they hear that some of their colleagues and other firms are having trouble selling the assets and making money.


Off of the you know and and and making a decent return off of the investments that they made. And I think once that gets out there a little bit, it tends to to have a multiplying effect. It's amazing I.


I talked to all kinds of these private equity and family office groups and it's interesting even in different cities and different focuses, you know, that they they focus on still they they know each other and almost all of them.


Know each other.


Fairly well. It's a very tight community, tighter than you might realize.


But that's that's out there a couple of items. Just to note in the news, it looks like, you know, California continues to show some negative news with the impact of the increased interest rate. Pardon me the, the, the, the labor rate there that's now in the low to mid 20s in terms of dollars per.


Or I just saw some note that close to 50 Rubio's I believe it was restaurants just closed there and they were citing California wage laws being one of the reasons why. And so unfortunately for the Californians and many of whom are friends of mine, I would say that this is a for for operators, franchisees in that.


In that state, I know you're struggling right now and you're battling those those high wage rates. The good news is that once you figure this out and you can price your way and manage your way into a post minimum wage.


Explosion profitability level, I think you you will take a lot of the uncertainty and there's always uncertainty in California, but you'll take a lot of the uncertainty out of the future operating profit woes of your business. So maybe what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and I hope that a lot of lot of the the operators and franchisees there can figure it out.


I know you will be able to but that but expect several thousand Closings of restaurants in California over the next couple of years, I would think. And and I would think you're you know it's it's just now starting to happen.


There was a recent bankruptcy with Red Lobster. Interesting. I remember Red Lobster growing up, don't you? With those with those cheddar biscuits that are to die for. And I grew up in them in Kentucky in the middle of the, you know, in the middle of the country. That was kind of our only window into seafood, unless I wanted to get a fried fish sandwich, you know, at Long John.


Silvers or, or maybe Captain D's? So so that that bankruptcy was kind of sad to to hear. And I know a lot of the locations are.


Closed down sale lease backs were a factor. All you can eat shrimp gone awry was a factor. Not being able to secure enough supply was a factor. COVID was certainly a factor. Casual dining has been out of favor now for quite a while and that I wouldn't say is exacerbating COVID made it really bad.


And those types of establishments have come back a little bit, but I just think in general the casual dining is a tough space to be in and it's not really changing. If you look at the average casual dining business, I would say you're going to find and this is just one man's eyeball test that the patrons there are typically.


Older and my generation, I'm almost 50.


Gen. X generation and then kind of the millennials don't really eat at sit down, casual dining establishments as much. And so it's a business model change that is going to affect this industry and has for the last several years. I'm frankly quite surprised that some of these big concepts of weather the storm as well as they have.


Kevin Hochman is the president over at.


Chillies and and shout out to Kevin. I think he listens to this podcast. He's a friend of mine and he used to be the KFC president and there was we did a podcast then maybe two years ago and it was a really good one. So listen to it. If you go back and dig backwards, I think and maybe into season three or season four, but I know they're doing OK and and and I hope they do well. We did just see some pretty crazy.


News from the Cracker Barrel brand and I'm these numbers aren't exactly right, but I think in the last quarter they had something like -16, so.


Bills percent sales and then like big transaction declines, I mean that may not be exactly right. I'm just working from memory here, but they came out publicly and said that they have to change and they have to do things better and they have to, you know, change the menu and they have to, you know, upgrade the restaurants and do all these things. And I'm afraid that good money will chase bad too much and too long. And some of these casual diners.


Where they may upgrade these expensive assets and spend a lot of money just to recoup maybe half of the lost sales that they.


Bad, and that won't ultimately be a good return on investment. I hope Cracker Barrel can pull it out and figure it out, though, as another casual diner because they're kind of like a stalwart of the American psyche, right of Americana, don't you think? But when was the last time that you ate at a?




Barrel saw.


Recently that Starbucks is losing some market share with some tepid sales and instant transaction. And so the transactions and so they're kind of doubling down on figuring out how to fix that.


You know, they're largely a, you know, a franchisor and licensee model. So they don't really have franchisees in the way that that, that unbridled would work and represent franchisees. We don't do any business with the with the Starbucks brand. But what I have noticed and I think you probably have two in your hometown, is a proliferation of these new coffee concepts. I mean, we have a scooters.


In our neighborhood, I think.


Like uh, uh, you know? And then our daughter down in Texas has the loves Dutch brothers and seven brew is really kicking **** and really growing units. I mean, that brand may have a couple 1000 units before we just wake up one day in a couple of years. So there's just been an entrance entrance of big competitors into the space where.


Starbucks really had this almost monopoly for a long amount of time, so it's interesting to see how they'll react and respond to some of the market share and sales and transactions wells that they've experienced recently. I mean this it may not be a growth stock right now anymore and it was always kind of forever thought that way in our industry for the last.


20 years. I kind of like the Kava brand.


What do you guys think? Do you have you been to Canada? Have you seen we have one in Pensacola now and so I I go occasionally and I'm really impressed with the quality of their food kind of reminds me of a Chipotle in a way I don't know and kind of some sort of crazy way and I know how the young folks like Chipotle and every time I go into cobra it is loaded with young people.


Particularly young ladies, but but all kinds of young people, it must be a really popular brand with Gen. Z and with the millennials, probably with other age groups too. But keep an eye on the Kava brand and watch it grow a little bit. And it's one of a couple of handfuls of these new concepts that seem to be gaining quite.


A big amount of traction over the last several years and somewhat quietly. Chipotle, of course, is another one that just continues to do awesome. And then one of the darlings and maybe more of the traditional fast food space, although I don't know that I'd consider this brand a fast food brand is wing.


Stop. And they're doing some incredible things. They've got sales growth year over year that's like 30 to 35%. Oh, my goodness. Not only that, but the cost of wings has not just.


You know kind.


Of eased, but it's dropped substantially, so these higher prices that the wing stop franchisees.


Are able to command are also being married up with really low food costs, so the profitability in these units right now is incredible. And I don't know in my 20 plus years in this business that I have seen a brand take off.


Anywhere near the way that Wingstop has over the last two years. I mean, it's shocking and you start hearing about, uh, some other wing concepts starting to try to come online in the vein.


Of like hey.


Wing stop is doing so well. Let's give it a go and try to do the same thing. Kind of like the Starbucks is doing so well. Let's give it a go and try to offer.




Similar so. So what is it? Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, but wing stop is just doing great and just keep keep watching them and see if if this if this kind of like winning streak can continue. Right. I I don't. I I just don't know if it will. And I'm glad we've had a couple of recent Closings since the last time I talked with you.


We did sell. Uh, you know, a bunch of Little Caesars restaurants in the Midwest. That was an interesting brand, a great brand and had.


A fair amount of interest in it. We sold a 13 unit European Wax center business in Texas and Florida. That was an interesting deal. You know, we don't we we're starting to branch out a little bit outside of restaurant franchising into some other non restaurant brands. I think this will be for our company.


Better part of what we do going.


Board and the WC European Wax Center SWC brand was one that I, you know, really, really interesting to learn more about them. You know their model doesn't work like a restaurant where you just pop the location open, turn on the lights and then all of a sudden bam, you have a ton of traffic and a ton of sales and then you.


Hope that you can.


Keep you up, maybe 30% of your opening day sales.


At steady state, after about four months or five months. So that's the way it works in kind of a typical fast food kind of environment, not so much like a wing stop, which is heavy digital and dine in and carry out, but in a.


Additional drive through based restaurant model you would have, you know, turn on the lights your first day open. You do huge sales and then sales kind of drift a little bit over time and you hope to achieve 30%, let's just say of your opening day sales but in something like an European wax center which is a model that you know it's kind of it takes up to several years to build your revenue.


Up to where your steady state revenue will be, since you're kind of, it's not a subscription model, but but you have kind of like regular people coming back over time and the bill and the revenue and the transactions build overtime instead of peak and then fall.


And then you might be thinking if you are one of these young family office private equity guys or girls, listen to this message like, Oh well, that would be interesting to marry the two together, right to to marry a franchise restaurant concept investment with one like a European wax center or something like it that actually builds over time and has a low development cost.


And it has a different type of build and isn't a drive through business.


They may kind of, you know, kind of complement one another, lower risk and increased diversification. And there was a thread in our industry of people looking to do that maybe three or four years ago. And I started mentioning that I was like, why don't we see people doing that in their investments more frequently? There's only a handful of people that might own a restaurant.


Company a Wellness company. And then you know, I don't know, maybe a tax, you know, planning franchise and and kind of have them in different areas of the country potentially or in the same area where you could kind of keep a cone of operations but have diversification across different types of segments within franchising.


And you don't see it a lot. And and now I've kind of learned why a little bit, it's it's uh, it's difficult to manage these disparate franchise systems that don't have, you know similar amounts of management and support and they are different franchisees completely, they're in like restaurants.


Versus non restaurants, there's big difference in terms of the way they operate and the way they think. Still think it's an opportunity. One of the things I didn't did kind of you know realize too was.


I tried to apply my experience of seeing tons and tons of liquidity and deal flow and plenty of buyers for these franchise restaurant businesses.


And so, uh, I thought that you would find that just as much. So in the non restaurant space, especially if you got larger size businesses like 203040506070 unit, non restaurant franchise businesses that we're either selling or helping to recapitalize and what you what I have found is that is that the the liquidity the interest in those.


Types of investments is slightly less than restaurants, which would.


Be decidedly normal, right? Because a restaurant concept like whatever KFC talk about, whatever it is, Burger King has been around a long time. In many cases, 60 or 70 years. Whether some of these non where, where some of these non restaurant brand concepts have only been around 10 to 15 to 20, the last kind of deal.


We've closed recently was a Wendy's transaction. I'll read you a little bit of the press release for it. It was 65 Wendy's in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.


And we provided sell side advisory to primary aim led by brothers Ben, Tim and Steve Thompson on the sale of 65 Wendy's. The restaurants were acquired by Delight Restaurant Group led by brothers and existing franchisees Rich and Andrew Krumholtz, who also Taco Bell franchisees and now they will have collectively the Krumholtz family with the light restaurant.


Will have somewhere around, I think 226, Wendy's and Taco.


Bells in the Thompson family, which are really just awesome guys and their story is really awesome. They started with one restaurant in 2001, the Middle Age, the middle brother Tim was a one restaurant franchisee and they then built a couple, you know, bought a couple of more and then they bought a big acquisition and went from like two or three stores up to 30 stores banging.


And they became like big franchisees, they continued to grow from there both through acquisitions and building, been doing it for over 20 years. They now have sold, sold at a great price. There was a lot of interest in it. Wendy's is a great brand, it's a steady brand.


And it's a hit. A double hit, a single up the middle type of a brand, a stable good franchisees, great mid Midwestern kind of grit behind Dave Thomas who founded it and you can feel it in that franchise system if you get to.


Know the franchisees.


But the Thompsons will stay in. They're going to continue to be smaller. Franchisees in the Columbus area, close to where the.


Brand was started.


And the cruisers are now building a big awesome monster business in this franchise, a space, and we wish both parties just this big old congratulations and and wish them the best and we're thankful to be a part of it and to be a part of such a successful business and a successful sale and and and honestly a really tough.


Time for for strong M&A in 2024. One of the things I'll note is we gave $15,000 donation to the Dave Thomas Foundation. Now Dave Thomas at the at the condition of closing this. And I maybe I've said it before, but our company tries because I feel like we've we we are to be a blessing because we have been blessed.


Actually is a. It's kind of from the Old Testament of the Bible and and in Genesis chapter 12, when God said, I'll make you a blessing to all nations. And so that's kind of what we.


Kind of what we live by it unbridled and when we close deals we typically try to give some money back in the form of a thank you to the brand or to some cause that affects the franchisees or the clients that we represent. In this particular case, Rich Krumholtz and several members of the Thompson family were active in the Dave Thomas Foundation.


Dave was a was a was adopted and the Dave Thomas Foundation. I've just come to learn a little bit of.


About it, and they do some really, really cool work. So their goal is to to take kind of the older age, foster children that have been bouncing from foster home to foster home and institution to institution. Most of them are teenage years, right? That don't have as many people wanting to adopt them and to link them up with case officers.


And with with a support to find permanent homes for them and to try to save the lives of these kids, one child at a time. And I got to tell you, I've seen a lot of brand foundation.


And a lot of great causes. Many of the brands support their the you know, kind of the mental health and the physical needs of some of the employees that that work in the brands, right. And they have tragedies and things that happen to them. These are brands with thousands and thousands of thousands of employees. And you know those employees, if they seek a, if they have a hard time.


A lot of the foundations are exist to support them and their families in times of need.


And those are worthy things to do. But I've rarely seen an effort more worthy than you know, in in this, in the franchise business, with these foundations than the the Dave Thomas Foundation. They seem to do some really good, really thoughtful and really effective work. And I would, you know, obviously encourage you to.


Check them out. Check them out.


OK, what else can we talk about today? A couple of uh quick, just a couple of quick comments to close. I get a fair amount of of young folks who reach out to me these days and I love it, right, like in my hometown, I do a Bible study for for high school boys.


And my wife and I pour a lot into high school. The high school community here. Of course, our son's a high schooler, but we believe in the future of these young men and women in these communities. And we know, as you all do, that without the next generation stepping up and doing big things. We're only generation away from tons of negative change in our world. Right. And so.


That's kind of the ministry for us and and I'm here to tell you too that what you see and what you read about how negative the world is, I am actually quite positive, uplifted and optimistic about the future of these youth. There are some sharp motivated.


And socially conscious young men and women who want to make a difference in this world. And so that's my encouragement to use. You hear this, that it may not be as dark and grim as you think, or have read or have seen on TV. That's number one. You know, #2, we also support, you know, some some we do some mentoring or I do with the University of West Florida, which is just kind of our local.


At university in Pensacola, it's a good little university, but they've got a Business School over there and I try to get involved with some of the young kids who are in the Business School to kind of give them direction and things.


And uh. And so I get a lot of these questions and I get a lot of people asking for internships and things like that that can't respond to everybody. If you're listening to this, I'm sorry if I haven't been able to respond to you, but I get this question a lot. Like, where did I get my interest in public speaking from a lot of people who listen to to the podcast.


Here and and.


It's interesting, isn't it? I I I attribute it a lot.


To maybe in the late 2000s, since you since since you all have asked this question, I'll, I'll respond to it. Right. So I hope I haven't bored you here when I with this answer, but.


In the mid 2000s I started, you know, kind of doing teaching the Bible study at our church, and I would stand up, you know, kind of for 45 minutes and teach via the Socratic method. I would we just kind of, you know, kind of read a scripture verse and then we would go through talking about how, you know, how it applied to your lives and and and. And we would.


I would ask a series of questions on how to get to the right answer.


And that kind of was difficult to do because I was around a couple of 100 really smart, intelligent people, many of whom had been studying God's word for a long time. And guess what ended up happening. I had to feel lots and lots of questions that I couldn't answer and not get flustered by it. And so that discipline of doing that week in and week out for many years is kind of what?


Enabled me, I think to be able to speak in public and speak in front of clients, and maybe there's a lesson as you hear that I don't know what it the lesson would be. Maybe it's civic engagement or community so.


Service, you know, and certainly I give and I try to give my time and our families time in ways that will bless others. But isn't it true? And it is true that when you aim and and if you're like really trying to bless other people, that really the indirect benefit is that you get blessed in return. And so I think the ability to speak and the love of speaking and communicating.


Came from that someone once also commonly asked me, like, where did they get the gumption to be a business owner and start a business right, and do what I do. So I'll answer that.


Too. Uh, I grew up in a family of carpet bag and entrepreneurs, and so I, you know, most of my family never worked for a big company. If they did, the only worked as a contractor for a short amount of time in the little town in Kentucky that we grew up. I mean I, you know, like I had one side of my family was coal miners. The other side of my family worked in, you know.


And you know auto manufacturing business and my grandfather on that side ended up owning a small parts manufacturing company.


He had a other grandfather who, you know, owned a coal mine and and then brokered coal later in his life. And then my, you know, my, my dad and mom were the first ones in my family, you know, to kind of fully go through education and really but then. But the both of them end up in, in entrepreneurship, too. And when I was a young man, a young boy about the age of 10 or 11, my mom would write cookbooks.


And she would just say.


Tell them and she would go to some of these kind of conventions and I now go to with some of these franchisees and financial backed companies and things where you get to you know, you know these conventions and and I would go as a 10 and 11 year old boy and my mom would like cook some sort of recipe, cut it up into like 20 different parts. She would leave me at the booth and say Ricky.


Because I was Ricky at the time as a young boy, she would say Ricky, hand these out and tell people about our cookbooks and she leaves me and I'm like 10 or 11 years old. Right. So what do you think about that man talk about trial by fire? Right. So I learned how to to approach and communicate with adults.


In a convention style format with no one telling me what to do at an early age, and I think I may have said this on one of the podcasts previously, so pardon me if I'm repeating myself, but kind of quickly found out that could, could, could have even before I was a teenager, figure out who the decision maker was and who was the person.


Who would buy 50 cookbooks for their gift shop instead of someone who would take up all your time just to to talk with you for 20 minutes and buy one cooked?


And it became kind of a skill that I developed at a young age and continued to do, I guess, to this day some. So practice makes perfect. I thought I would just share that with you. You all have asked and I would encourage you to continue at it for any young people who are listening to this podcast. Again, know that the investment banking world right now is is not really in much of A hiring.


Nodes. As a matter of fact, there are quite a few and we aren't unbridled. Isn't losing any of our people or firing or laying people off, but a lot of the larger organizations are.


And I think that if we continue to see somewhat deal slow deal flow for the next 6 to 12 months, it's going to stay that way. So you may have to pivot into another type of area and park yourself there for a couple of years and wait for an M&A turn around. I mean the presidential election may bring some change and.


Pace to the M&A and and really it could do it no matter who wins, you know what I mean. If, if if Trump.


It's in. Then maybe the business climate improves, right? I don't know that Biden has done much for our economy in a positive way. But if Biden is reelected, I know there's going to be a fear that taxes are going to go up, and it's going to probably spur some short term selling of companies to avoid that. Either way, you may see an uptick after the election, when there's more certainty of what the near term future.


They lie, so that's all I got for today. Thank you, guys. And as always, you know lastly I guess before I sign off here, I would say we have you know maybe 9 or 10 active assignments. We've taken a couple of new ones in the last.


You know, 30 days, although we have turned down almost 15 assignments in the last couple of months because of valuations that were out of line or people that just didn't seem to be ready to sell or the market conditions weren't right for this particular business. Even so we've taken a couple of new assignments recently. I'm hopeful that that will lead to a little bit more.


Deal flow this fall, the summer time is typically a time when deal flow.


Kind of. It slows down just for whatever reason people are appreciating their summers or they're collecting summer sales with high seasonality in most locations, but it's not typically a time when folks are jumping into the market to sell something that usually kind of starts happening again in the fall and then really starts cranking up towards the November, December time frame and then it.


It certainly bleeds into the early part of the year, January, February and people get their year end P&L's, but let's just see how it goes. We'll continue to to monitor it and if we can help you at unbridled capital, you know how to reach us on and we're here for you anytime. Thank you so much. Enjoy your summer and get some sun. Take care.


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