Franchise Fun: Symposium Cafe

Bill Argo’s positivity and motivation help Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge become a dining destination

Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge is a dining room franchise concept inspired by Raphael’s “School of Athens” Renaissance fresco, which shows a gathering of historical figures engaged in discussion. Created as a contemporary take on these ancient symposiums where people met to exchange ideas, Bill Argo, VP of Finance, describes Symposium as a “neighbourhood go-to dining destination, where families and friends meet regularly to eat, drink, talk, and celebrate.”

Argo and the rest of the Symposium team certainly know a thing or two about celebrating, after back-to-back Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) Awards of Excellence Grand Prize wins in 2017 and 2018. Read on to learn more about what makes Argo tick, including a passion for business and learning from different perspectives, along with a newfound flair for interior decorating and a growing appreciation for quality tequila.

The most interesting thing I’ve done recently is… I tried my hand at interior decorating after some home renovations. Despite some family critics, I’m not too bad at it. Except for that one artificial plant that I thought looked real. It has to go!

In its best form, work is… Fulfilling and exciting as you watch plans take shape and lead to your goal. If your plan doesn’t work, then change the plan; don’t change your goal.

A good franchisee… Works with the tried and true systems, understands the importance of open communication, and provides regular constructive feedback.

A good franchisor… Understands people, has an objective view, and recognizes the skills necessary for entrepreneurial success.

The most important thing in life is… Paying it forward, whether by mentoring, scholarships, or opportunities. When you light someone else’s candle, it doesn’t diminish yours.

One of the most enjoyable things to do is…. Travel. It broadens your perspective and sometimes changes how you see things. Seeing how different people have shaped the world throughout history because of their circumstances, or in spite of them, is powerful motivation.

The hardest thing for me to do is…  Like most people who love what they do, I’m always looking for balance, taking time to balance family, work, and me time.

My favourite drink is… It depends on my mood, but right now it’s tequila. Some have nightmares of salt and limes, but sipping a quality tequila will make you forget any of that happened.

If I could change one thing… It’s heartbreaking hearing about conflict and social unrest around the world – if I could, I would change those situations.

If I could meet anyone… I enjoy history so I would meet Alexander the Great – any general who overcomes huge obstacles is a case study in leadership.

The person who has had the most positive influence on me as a businessperson is… My late father. Not only for his business acumen, but also for the way he handled himself in any business venture.  Like a gentleman, but strong as well, “like a rock.”

Canadian franchising is… A bright future for those who are ready to design their path.

My franchise system began because… We were thinking about family and friends who worked tirelessly to build a business from the ground up and thought, “if they had only had guidance and help to get them started and avoid mistakes”…

The most positive influence on my life as a person is…  As a proud dad, I would say my daughter. Her glass-half-full attitude is a reminder of what is possible when you choose to be happy.

The key to success for me is… Dedication, hard work, and listening to wisdom along the way. A lot is changing in our world, but the hard work aspect has never changed. It’s important to know the difference between being busy and being productive.

I’d like my friends to describe me as… Someone they can call any time if they need me.

My personal motto is… Everything in moderation – and that includes dessert!