Building a Career as a Multi-Unit Franchisee with Lee Kleiner

Lee Kleiner (square)

Lee Kleiner has been a multi-unit Dairy Queen operator for 17 years. He has extensive knowledge of the QSR business, COGS, labor management, LSM, multi-unit growth and development, creating and implementing systems and routines, following franchisee protocol, and has a track record as being a market leader in the Dairy Queen system. Lee lead the charge in opening three Which Wich franchises (Zionsville, Avon, Greenwood) in a 13-month period. His Zionsville store set a nationwide record for opening week sales and his Greenwood location has the second most on record. All three operating Which Wich locations perform above the system average. His fourth Which Wich store opened in May 2018.

Key Takeaways:

[0:22] Today’s episode of Franchise Euphoria is brought to you by The Franchise 5 package. Head over to to learn more!

[1:01] Josh introduces today’s guest, Lee Kleiner, a multi-unit Dairy Queen and Which Wich operator.

[2:45] Josh welcomes Lee to Franchise Euphoria.

[3:20] Lee does a brief overview is his history in franchising, including how he found the opportunity for his first Dairy Queen location in a newspaper ad.

[8:10] When Lee bought his first Dairy Queen, it was a steady business, but he definitely saw room for growth.

[11:12] Working in a franchise system that typically has high turnover could really benefit in culture creation to assist with maintaining a steady team.

[15:15] Lee takes on the mentality of when he is in one of his store’s, there’s no hierarchy. He doesn’t want to be treated any different, and when there’s work to do, he makes sure it gets done. If that means he’s cleaning bathrooms as an owner/operator, that’s what he does. It creates a caring culture and healthy work environment.

[19:06] Lee briefly goes over how he was introduced to Which Wich and why he decided to add them to his repertoire of franchise systems.

[22:54] Now that Lee has established his “brand” culture, people are attracted to his business and want in.

[23:34] A typical day for Lee as a multi-unit franchisee is having at least have of his day available to freestyle and put out fires as needed.

[25:36] For anyone looking at buying a franchise, it’s important to be able to adapt to a fast-paced environment.

[27:09] Thanks for listening, and please, reach out to Josh anytime through email at If you enjoyed this interview, please leave us a review on iTunes.


Mentioned in This Episode:

About the author, Josh

Josh Brown is a franchise and entrepreneurial attorney that helps buyers, owners, and expansion-minded businesses find success through franchising. When not working on his two businesses, you can find him on the golf course or spending time with his wife and three beautiful daughters.

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