Smart Business Model Keeps Franchisees Busy through the Seasons

Smart Business Model Keeps Franchisees Busy through the Seasons

HoneyBaked owners say their stores are a perfect fit

When soldiers Chris May and George Tehan were stationed together in Germany, they knew they wanted to go into business together when they came back to the states. They came home in the late ‘90s and got on with their lives, but still kept the dream.

“We wanted to start a business that we believed in and felt passionate about,” said Chris May, co-owner and operator of the HoneyBaked Ham in Heath, Ohio. “We were really interested in HoneyBaked Ham. We loved to eat it, we knew the quality would always be good, and we really wanted a family-oriented business. We don’t sell any alcohol, we sponsor baseball teams, and being open from 9 to 6, we knew we’d have time to spend with our families.”

But before finding HoneyBaked, they went in another direction and bought a Dairy Queen. A year and a half later, they built another, and six months after that, bought the third.

“It was great, but we really wanted to even out the cash flow,” said May. “My partner and I both have families, and we would have to save money from the busy season at Dairy Queen to get us through the winter. “

Then one Sunday, May saw an ad in the paper that HoneyBaked was expanding and looking for franchisees in Ohio. On Monday, he called and set up an appointment with the (Franchise Development) team. Shortly after that, they owned the first HoneyBaked Ham franchise in the state of Ohio.

“It seemed like a great business to keep us busy, and keep making money through the winter.”

And it’s good for employee morale and retention. The Dairy Queen stores are busiest in the spring – May says when the temperature gets above 40, but before it gets too hot. That keeps the employees there busy. And once summer is over, it’s time to start thinking about the holidays at HoneyBaked. So while each store has its own dedicated staff, during the holiday rush, May pulls employees from Dairy Queen to help out at HoneyBaked.

“Between the four stores, we have close to 60 dedicated employees year round,” said May. “The HoneyBaked store provides a way to continue to give employees hours around the holidays. And when they work throughout November and December, they understand expectations when it’s time for the Easter rush. I don’t have to hire seasonal labor because I’ve already got it – they get hours and get paid, so I don’t have to worry about good employees looking for something else and not coming back.”

May says for them, capitalizing on busy seasons with two different types of service is a perfect fit. “We can take care of our families, take care of our employees, and we have year-round cash flow.  Those three things are what make it work for us.”

For more information on franchise opportunities with The HoneyBaked Ham Co., please reach out to Roberta Marcantonio at 678-966-3254 or

HoneyBaked ( is renowned for its slow-smoked, spiral-sliced HoneyBaked Hams and Turkey Breasts with signature sweet crunchy glaze, as well as a host of other entrees, side items and desserts. Since its founding in 1957, sharing and enjoying HoneyBaked premium foods has become a tradition for families nationwide who can now shop for them at more than 400 HoneyBaked locations and an online store. Whether its customers are marking holidays and special occasions or serving everyday meals, HoneyBaked helps them celebrate life one meal at a time.