Franchise Fun: Lawrence Eade, Wok Box Fresh Asian Kitchen

Wok Box Fresh Asian Kitchen CEO Lawrence Eade has helped build the brand into a thriving global franchise system

Lawrence Eade is the Chief Executive Officer of Wok Box Fresh Asian Kitchen, one of the fastest growing, diverse Asian-style cuisine franchises in North America. While also being quick-witted and engaging, Lawrence describes himself as “tall”, which is a good attribute for the CEO of any company to have. His towering stature gives him a good vantage point as he confidently looks over the Wok Box brand, which has grown from a single location on Jasper Avenue in downtown Edmonton to a thriving system of more than 70 franchise units across Canada, the United States, and as far as Qatar. Wox Box is a part of a restaurant franchise incubator – Box Concepts – which invests in small start-up food service businesses and works to grow them through systemizing the brands offering and franchising to entrepreneurial restaurant operators.

The most interesting thing I’ve done recently is…

Examining the generational use of the Firehouse Subs brand, to better understand how our business will evolve over the next five to ten years.

In its best form, work is…

Fun, interesting, fruitful, and enhances personal development.

A good franchisee…

Recognizes the unique nature of the franchise business model, and is as committed to the success of the brand as they are their own personal success. They understand that they cannot be successful if their franchisor is not successful.

My top advice for prospective franchisees and new franchisors is…

To understand what is TRULY required in order to achieve success within a brand. If you are not willing to embrace the culture of the brand, and be committed to the “playbook”, then franchising is not for you.

My top advice for new franchisors is to make sure your business model is actually well suited for franchising; this should be done predominately by operating company units yourself, and thus developing and demonstrating operational expertise while demonstrating a thorough understanding of unit economics.

The most important thing in life is…

Adding value. Even if in the smallest ways, leave a positive imprint on the world and those you come in contact with on your journey.

The most interesting thing I’ve done recently is…

Took a four-day trip to Hong Kong and China to dive deep into Asian street food culture.

In its best form, work is…

Not work.

A good franchisee…

Is a great problem solver.

A good franchisor…

Provides clear systems to franchisees and provides strong and consistent support for the use of those systems.

My top advice for prospective franchisees is…

Understand that YOU are the largest single reason why your franchise succeeds. The hard work and dedication of a franchisee is no different than any other business owner.

My top advice for new franchisors is…

Learn from other franchisors and franchise leaders – you’re not alone nor the first to undertake franchising!

The most important thing in life is…

Understanding time is the most valuable resource we have.

One of the most enjoyable things to do is…

Read a book with a coffee on a nice summer morning.

The hardest thing for me to do is…

‘Shut off’ when I am at home.

My favourite drink is…

Depending on the day and time, coffee or Four Winds Saison.

If I could change one thing…

I wouldn’t change a thing!

If I could meet anyone…

Although fictional it would have to be John Galt of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged.

The person who has had the most positive influence on me as a businessperson is…

Scott Bender, my partner and mentor.

Canadian franchising is…

A huge industry. A major provider of jobs and economic value.

My franchise system began because…

My partners saw an opportunity.

The most positive influence on my life as a person is…

My wife.

The key to success is…

If someone finds this key please trademark it and franchise it!

I’d like my friends to describe me as…

Anything they believe is true.

The accomplishment I look forward to the most is…

Seeing my kids grow up to be well-rounded contributing members of our society.

My personal motto is…

If someone else can do it, I can do it.

One necessary item on my life’s “to do” list is…

Hold a handstand for 30 seconds!