Threewitt Enterprises: Milano's and Rusty Taco


With a foundation of trust and a tireless drive to find solutions that matched their core values, ThreeWitt Enterprises worked side-by-side with Flagel Huber Flagel (FHF) to outrun the COVID-19 storm.

In 1994, fresh out of college, David Fisher, John Slaughenhaupt and Eric Lundgren started ThreeWitt enterprises with the opening of a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise on Brown Street in Dayton. From the beginning, ThreeWitt put people first. Their mantra was ‘Be First Class in All We Do By Making Great People Decisions.’ Driven by that mantra, and still friends 26 years later, today ThreeWitt owns and operates 6 Milano’s and Rusty Taco restaurants in central and southern Ohio.

ThreeWitt partners: John Slaughenhaupt, David Fisher, Eric Lundgren

After a successful 2019, ThreeWitt’s plan for 2020 focused on enhancing third-party delivery and expanding their own carry out and delivery infrastructure. Then COVID-19 hit in March. Immediately, the team responded. Says Fisher, “Brett (FHF Partner, Brett Vandeman) and I started talking right away about capital planning, cash flow planning, and the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program). We were trying to find the ‘ThreeWitt Way’ to use the PPP by making principle- based decisions and putting people first. Brett and FHF helped so much.”

ThreeWitt had 5 priorities:

  1.  Reward team members working the front lines
  2.  Reward managers for their leadership at each restaurant
  3.  Provide early return for any laid off team members unable to get   unemployment
  4.  Ensure everybody could keep their health insurance
  5.  Bring everybody back after re-opening

How We Entered the Picture

Working hand in hand with FHF as they navigated the complex disruption caused by COVID-19, ThreeWitt made balanced, value-based decisions that were good for business and good for their people

Partners with Shared Values

ThreeWitt was able to accomplish all of that and more.Says Fisher, “We were lucky that our core products of pizza, subs, salads, wings and tacos are all items that hold up well in carry-out. We were able to make some quick adjustments and then focus on executing our plans quicker and better than ever.”

ThreeWitt leaned on their talented Operations and Marketing Teams to quickly add curbside delivery to every location, to amp their carry-out infrastructure, to create new family friendly take-out packages, to roll-out margaritas to-go, and to build demand for delivery and curbside pick-up.

All of this was underpinned by critical financial planning and working with key partners. Says Fisher, “We had cash flow projections that we adjusted constantly. We had to plan our payroll to a T. We had to figure out the best way to use the PPP loan that we got. Throughout it all we tried to make balanced decisions that would be good for us and good for our people. Our 1000% goal was to have everybody on our team come back.”

FHF Partner, Vandeman adds, “I’m so impressed by their Leadership Team. They looked at every option, responded quickly, made balanced decisions, and just navigated this brilliantly. We’re proud of our role in helping them think through the best way to use the Payroll Protection Program – one that would work for the business and help them achieve all of their objectives.”

Today, all ThreeWitt restaurants have re-opened and every single employee on the team has returned. They attribute their success to a great team of professionals and a foundation of principled leadership. Says Fisher, “It almost sounds cliché, but when you work with people that have the same core principles – like Brett at FHF – you give yourself a really good chance at being successful.

Let’s talk. We can discuss your goals and challenges then create a plan to help you.