taste for success
has the magic touch
owns 55 KFC stores in four states
Special to RoundAbout
(June 2005) The road to success is paved with
tenacity, organization and cleanliness, according to Alice Schleicher.
And this woman knows a thing or two about success.
Attitude is your altitude and Theres no place
to be lazy in this world to be successful are just a couple of
pieces of Schleichers sage advice.
Schleicher, owner of the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise
in Madison, Ind., has been a KFC franchisee for 28 years. Her operation
grew from one store in 1977 to 55 today. The restaurants are all close
to I-65 in four states Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama and Tennessee.
Schleicher says she never intended to own a restaurant. Her son, Rick,
then 16, was working at a local KFC when he came home one day and told
his mother the restaurant was for sale and he wanted to buy it.
Schleicher says she knew nothing about fast food. She did, however,
know two things that helped in the early days: one can never be too
clean, and one must be well-organized.
Life moved quickly for Schleicher, who had another child at home, was
deeply involved in her community and worked as her churchs organist.
Today, Schleichers daughter, Kimra, and her husband, Richard,
are also involved in the business.
She comes from a farming background. They work from sun up to
sun down, says Kimra. She remembers the very long days her mother
put in while Kimra was growing up.
by Debra Maylum
Schleicher has built a KFC franchise
empire, including the recently renovated
location in Madison (above).
Kimra also quotes one of her mothers favorite bits
of advice, People dont care how much you know. They want
to know how much you care.
Kimra says she grew up in the first store and because of encouragement
from her mother, went on to college and law school. After receiving
her law degree, Kimra worked for state government in Indianapolis for
six years but returned to the amazing opportunities she
says she found in her familys business. And as she has matured,
Kimra realizes the risks her mother has taken in life and how humble
she remains after all her success.
The Schleichers have been married 47 years and live in Borden, Indiana,
near Sellersburg, also home to the first store.
Every day of your life is a book, says the entrepreneur
who attends church every Sunday. I am a missionary. It doesnt
matter where you go, you minister to young people all the time.
She especially ministers to people through her business, which employs
scores of young people. Schleicher sees work as an opportunity to put
her Methodist beliefs into practice. She is always willing to lend an
ear to her young charges and tells them she is a phone call away
The Golden Rule is very important to her. I treat everyone like
I like to be treated, she says. The Colonel (KFC founder
Harland Sanders) said if you take care of customers and treat them right,
theyll come back.
A well-traveled success story, Schleicher was heading to Hong Kong in
late May. She will visit stores there and in Beijing, China. This will
be her third trip to Hong Kong, and Schleicher says it is one of her
favorite cities in the world.
Schleicher, or someone in her family, tries to attend the Madison Regatta
each year. Madison people are wonderful, she says. Schleicher
saw the movie, Madison, and gives it a big thumbs up.
When asked about her advice for young women who aspire to a business
career, Schleicher says she grew up on a farm with a good old-fashioned
German mother who kept her involved in lots of activities.
Set your goals high. There is great opportunity if you work hard.
Be honest, sincere with people. Always be truthful. There is no reason
to lie. When youre honest, people will see that. You must have
integrity, is how Schleicher counsels young people. Mental toughness
is also key to success according to this employer of 1,250.
Rosilda Miksell has worked at the Madison store for 16 years. She plans
the daily buffet. Both women say they are planning to add oven-roasted
chicken without skin, seasoned with just the right special spices, to
the menu. They hope to introduce more sugar-free items.
by Debra Maylum
Madison KFC restaurant
was recently renovated.
Schleicher understands there is little time to cook these
days and notes a healthy diet includes vegetables, offered at KFC. She
calls KFC chicken the best in the world. The new Snacker
sandwiches are a big hit with the public, she says.
A motivational speaker, Schleicher says she schedules things with her
family and calls her family wonderful. As busy as she was,
she only missed one of her daughters high school basketball games
and managed to preside over the band parents association.
Schleicher says she is able to do all all the things any employee in
her restaurants can do. Otherwise, she feels she would not be a good
All of her skills were put to the test last winter when the huge December
snowfall closed down nearby highways.
Schleicher was picked up in a four-wheeler and plowed her way through
more than 30 inches of snow into the store in Sellersburg, where a crowd
of stranded motorists lined out the door.
Schleicher remembers how a five-gallon pot of coffee disappeared in
no time. She felt an obligation to those people and did not want them
to freeze to death on the road. Schleicher and a small crew managed
to feed the hungry on that never-to-be-forgotten winter day just before
Providing 180 meals per month for the homeless in Southern Indiana and
numerous charitable activities keep Schleicher practicing her faith
year-round. She is also active on state and local boards of directors
for Ivy Tech State College, recipient of numerous business awards and
active in KFC Franchisee business associations. Schleicher has received
the KFC State Sales Award and Million Dollar Store Sales Awards several
Madison KFC restaurant General Manager Michelle Boldery of Hanover says,
I really look up to Alice. The reason she retains her store managers
is because she is like a mother. She really cares and wants people to
Boldery says the local store is thriving, too, up around 18 percent
over last years sales. A storewide renovation last winter has
helped bring in new customers, she said.
A store manager in Madison for six years, Boldery started as a cashier
11 years ago and has worked her way up. Boldery says she is proud to
work for Schleicher.
Schleicher takes a page out of her own book and practices what she teaches
caring about others and treating them like she would like
to be treated, Boldery says.
Karen Miner, a KFC Corporate Franchisee Business Coach for southern
Indiana, has worked with Schleicher for 12 to 15 years.
Miner says of her long-time associate, She is a leader in the
KFC system very dedicated toward people. Shes a great coach
and a joy to work with.
Miner cites the national leadership Schleicher has undertaken in the
KFC system and says Schleicher really cares about quality.
According to her family, employees and associates, this woman proves
every day she knows a thing or two about success.
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