🍔 Billy Kramer is owner and founder of NFA Burger, named “Best Burger in Georgia” by Food & Wine Magazine. Located inside a Chevron gas station in Dunwoody Village, Kramer’s idea started as a pop-up restaurant in 2018.
How did a former traveling businessman become an acclaimed restaurant owner in just a few years? Kramer took a break from flipping patties to share his Top 5 Lessons in Business.
① If you’re not enjoying it, don’t do it – The last interaction I had as a sales executive, my boss asked me to lie to a customer. I had to fight that same battle on a consistent basis. It almost destroyed me. Each and every day since I opened NFA Burger, I’ve been asked if I’m going to expand. My response… I’m in no hurry to be miserable again. I’ve finally found something that I’m both great at and enjoy. I’ll expand when I’m ready, and when I stop enjoying what I’m doing, I will move on.
② There’s my way, your way, and the best way – Keep your head on a swivel, have an open mind, and be prepared to act on the fly. I encourage my friends, family, staff, and customers to speak up. The only way NFA can get better is if people are honest with me. There isn’t one thing I do at NFA today that is the same as the day I first opened.
③ Focus on your core – Build from within, and the rest will take care of itself. Every business has its core. At NFA, it’s families within a four-mile radius. While it’s exciting to have people visit from Argentina, Miami, or Villa Rica, my business would never survive without the support of the people who live in Dunwoody and the surrounding areas. Before you can own the world, you have to own where you operate.
④ Protect your time – My first sales job was at 96 Rock, and the general manager asked to meet with me. Little did I know, setting up the meeting was my first test. I asked for a meeting at 9:30 a.m. He quickly responded, “Those are sales hours. We can meet before or after, but you need to protect the time when you make your money.” Lesson learned, and 24 years later, there isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not reminded of that conversation.
⑤ Take nothing for granted – It can all be gone tomorrow. Treat every customer’s order as if it’s their first, and treat your employees like family.