Creative Eateries Corporation (CEAT.OB)
Interview with:
Frank Holdraker, President and CEO
Business News, Financial News, Stocks, Money & Investment Ideas, CEO Interview
and Information on their
strategy to develop and/or acquire restaurant concepts that can be franchised at a later date.


Cover Story

CEOCFO Current Issue

Cover Story Archives

Private Equity Review

CEOCFO Interview Index

Future Features

Analyst Interviews

Corporate Financials

Contact & Ordering

This is a printer friendly page!

Creative Eateries plan for success involves having about four to six different restaurant concepts, but all under one umbrella with an approved supplier and national food distribution

wpe1.jpg (3045 bytes)


Creative Eateries Corporation

7400 McDonald Drive, Suite 121
Scottsdale, Arizona, 85250
Phone: 843-342-5099

Frank Holdraker
President and CEO

Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
August 25, 2005

Frank Holdraker, President and CEO.

From 1989-2004 Mr. Holdraker was President/Owner of Franklin & Associates, a full service concept development company. He helped develop for La Salsa, Fresh Mexican Grill their franchise program, the manufacture of proprietary products and the establishment of purchasing and distribution procedures. From 1986-1989 Mr. Holdraker was President and CEO of Ponderosa, Inc., a 750-unit steakhouse chain. From 1980-1986 he was Senior Vice President of Coulter Enterprise, a major multi-state Pizza Hut franchisee. Prior to that he was Vice President of Pizza Hut from 1974-1980.

CEOCFO: Mr. Holdraker, will you give us a history of the company?
Mr. Holdraker: “Creative Eateries has been designed to acquire, joint venture or develop restaurant concepts that we believe can be developed successfully and franchised at a later date. Currently, we are developing ‘Q’s House of Barbeque’, which is a different type of barbeque and we are hoping to open up by the end of September.”

CEOCFO: What is happening in the restaurant industry and what are you looking for that would stand out?
Mr. Holdraker: “We are looking to do things a little differently. We want to deliver on the promise of total customer value; that is our major strategy on all of our concepts, and that is to develop everything for the customer. All restaurants try to do that; we are going to execute and make sure that it happens. We are also going for more uniqueness in terms of our restaurants, whether it is in design, décor or the concept. We have an executive chef that came to us from cordial Hospitality Host for Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates in Sonoma County, California; his name is Edward J. Walsh. He is a superior chef and he has designed and developed all of our food for all of our concepts but is currently working on Q’s House of Barbeque, and is doing a phenomenal job, we have some great products coming up.”

CEOCFO: Will you tell us more about that?
Mr. Holdraker: “We studied the industry a lot and we look for the trends. Barbeque is a big trend right now; there are many competitors out there, both mom-and-pop and big corporate chains. We are developing this with an Arizona flair, which is a bit different. There is about seven different sauce or spice districts throughout the United States for barbeque. We are trying to develop our own, which is middle of the road, but yet high-quality. We are going to be doing everything from beef brisket, seafood, chicken wings and all of the typical type things. We will deliver in a different format to the customer, so we are kind of excited. We are also including a lot of catering, so that is going to help us.”

CEOCFO: Will catering be available throughout your restaurants?
Mr. Holdraker: “Yes, it is a major trend and whoever is not doing it, is actually losing because it is found sales, so to speak. Many people out there are using catering today and that is growing and growing. As the American consumer sees that coming, and is using it more and more, we are seeing a positive effect from that.”

CEOCFO: In terms of total customer value, you said that most restaurants try and do not succeed.  How does your approach work?
Mr. Holdraker: “I have been in the restaurant business for about 35 years, and over the years I have developed a formula for total customer value and that includes everything from the highest possible quality to price value relationship, entertainment to the highest quality service available as well as the highest standards of cleanliness. We combine all those things into a single formula that all of our management staff buys into. We then sell it to our staffs. It works out good for us.”

CEOCFO: How do you instill the total customer value feeling in employees on the front line?
Mr. Holdraker: “It is a matter of commitment and it has to be coming from the top down. Since I am at the top, taking it down is easy. We incorporate it in our training materials, in everyday life, in the actual operation of the restaurant on a day-to-day basis. We have a checklist, which is a mental reminder. We have a lot of low-paid people, because that is where they start. Out of that, we build our staff and our management staff, because it comes from those folks and they are good hard-working kids that just need a bit of direction. We found that with “total customer value” that it works well for them because they can believe in it. It is not some fantasy somewhere; it is an actual process to develop.”

CEOCFO: Will you tell us why franchising works well and how to you maintain quality consistency in a franchise situation?
Mr. Holdraker: “We have a turnkey operation where we can help the franchisee build their store. The specifications that we want, everything from color to chair size to table size; we control that. We have an approved supplier list and the franchisee can only use the suppliers that we have approved. We also work with national food distribution and with some people who build the food for us. We inspect them and make sure that the specifications are followed. They can only by from approved suppliers and we approve the suppliers and the distribution methods. We are pretty sure that our quality products are going out.”

CEOCFO: What will be the dinning format of your restaurants; will it be fast food or more formal?
Mr. Holdraker: “We are doing something unique with Q’s House of Barbeque; we are going to do that in a fast/casual full-service environment.   We call it fast/casual because customers really like fast service at lunch. We are developing a restaurant that will do fast casual or fast lunch but will be a full-service restaurant at dinner. It is something we are going to try. We have flip/flop menus and everything designed for it.”

CEOCFO: Does the public prefer a chain restaurant where they know what they are getting?
Mr. Holdraker: “It depends on the socio-economic value of the customer. Many people just like full-service and that is what they are going to go to no matter what. With the speed of lunch today, and everybody in a hurry especially when they get thirty minutes for lunch, you want that fast service. As far as chains vs. independents, it really depends on the independents. If an independent is tremendously good, they will always win, but then they soon become a chain. It is the owner who wants to make money and that is what we are in business for.”

CEOCFO: How do you go about looking for your acquisitions?
Mr. Holdraker: “We have a fairly good staff here and some consultants that we work with who are out on the road all of the time who look at restaurants and they say this might be a good one. We go in and look at it and decide whether we can replicate it or do it better, which elements do we take out of this and which elements do we want to work with. We try to joint venture with a partner so that we do not lose the original flair. If it is a conceptual thing, maybe we will buy out the entire restaurant that we like, develop it from there adding new improvements or taking it as it is. If it is one we developed, we get ideas from many restaurants, we have folders of product ideas and conceptual ideas on how to prepare food and what the environment should look like, and we work on those.”

CEOCFO: What prospects are you looking at now?
Mr. Holdraker: “We are looking at an Italian concept; as a matter of fact we have three which we are looking at. We are looking at a pizza concept, which will be a bit off kilter from the normal. We like to call it a pizza concept, but it is going to be a bit different. We are also looking at a fit-and-healthy concept and we are looking at one called Anna’s Kitchen that will be up-scale and include wine and drinks.”

CEOCFO: You have a long history in the industry, why is this the time for you to start creative eateries?
Mr. Holdraker: “Because I got bored being retired. I was a substitute teacher for three years in Scottsdale. While that was fun, my blood has restaurants running through it and I had ideas. I hooked up with some people that I thought were very good and we started the process.”

CEOCFO: Will you tell us about the financial picture of the company?
Mr. Holdraker: “We have gone public and created a huge corporation. We are about 31 million shares outstanding today and about 6 million in float. We think we can raise enough money; we have up to this point to support what we are doing. We are excited about it and it is a way to finance our growth. We have other investors that are coming in with us too.”

CEOCFO: Why should potential investors be interested?
Mr. Holdraker: “There are 150,000 food companies out there and ours is amongst them. We are a bit different, because we take a different approach at creating the concepts and the uniqueness. We also have an exit strategy built up, so when a concept gets to a certain point, we may or may not sell it depending on what we are working on at the time. We are not tied into one concept; our plan is to have about four to six restaurant concepts going at one time. Currently we are under construction for one and I think we will have four total concepts up and running by the middle of next year. We will decide from there how to franchise those. We have a great sales arm that does our selling. We have all the elements put together to do everything from financing to building out, to operations, to sales.”

CEOCFO: Are you concentrating in the southwest?
Mr. Holdraker: “That is where we are in the Phoenix market but we are not necessarily concentrating here. We sold stores in Pennsylvania, California, Portland and Ohio, so we are all over and we don’t think you need to concentrate on one market. What we need to do is make sure we have high-quality franchisees; people who believe in the concept and can execute it to total customer value.”

CEOCFO: In closing, tell us what is the most important thing when running a restaurant?
Mr. Holdraker: “Total customer value and making sure the customer has gotten everything for his dollar that he expects. Obviously in a concept, you are limited, and on the fast casual you have some limitations and on the full-service you have fewer complications but the customer still has to get what he pays for and feel like he got a great deal.”


Any reproduction or further distribution of this article without the express written consent of is prohibited.

“Creative Eateries has been designed to acquire, joint venture or develop restaurant concepts that we believe can be developed successfully and franchised at a later date. Currently, we are developing ‘Q’s House of Barbeque’, which is a different type of barbeque and we are hoping to open up by the end of September.” - Frank Holdraker


To view Releases highlight & left click on the company name! does not purchase or make
recommendation on stocks based on the interviews published.