Dan Todd has always thrived in a team-oriented atmosphere. At a young age, he was introduced to team sports and his passion for the athletic camaraderie continued into college. At home, his father regularly socialized with fellow small business owners and their conversations would always migrate to ideas of how they might collaborate on various projects. The Todd family regularly vacationed at Henry’s Lake, Idaho to spend time at Henry’s Lake Lodge which was owned by Dan’s parents.
Dan’s family moved to Ketchum, Idaho in 1992. Shortly after their arrival, Dan’s brother and father opened the first Smoky Mountain restaurant as they recognized the need for an affordable family friendly restaurant to serve both visitors and the local clientele of Sun Valley and Ketchum. Due to the hard work of the dedicated team that originated the first Smoky Mountain, the restaurant quickly became a popular local eatery.
In 1995, Dan was completing a Human Resources degree at Boise State University. During his final year of school, he had the opportunity to work as a research assistant for the Small Business Development Center at Boise State. There, he was exposed to the many resources available to support aspiring entrepreneurs as well as existing small businesses in need of counsel. Additionally, Dan was able to network with many of Boise’s finest and successful small business owners.
As Dan approached graduation, the Todd family was in the final stages of preparing to open a second restaurant. In fact, the day Dan graduated from college they opened the second Smoky Mountain restaurant in Boise’s bedroom community of Eagle, Idaho.
“I didn’t have much time to relax and celebrate my graduation,” recalled Dan. “Fortunately, I spent time working at the Sun Valley location so I knew what I was getting into.”
With the support of his family and an amazing team, the Eagle location flourished and the Todd’s set their eye on expansion.
“At our Smoky Mountain restaurants, we strive to create memorable experiences people love. Building long lasting relationships with friends and neighbors within the communities we serve has always been a priority for us,” commented Dan.
As Smoky Mountain continued to grow in popularity, it became apparent to the Todd’s that the family business should be restructured in order to “fine tune” their internal and external business processes. To help with that initaitive Dan turned to SCORE in 2001. One result of this new business alignment was Dan being named the president and CEO of Triple T Enterprises dba Smoky Mountain Pizzeria Grill.
“We were confident our business model was working and we wanted to formalize our company structure by assembling a successful, integrated team of vendors, suppliers, bankers, accountants and designers,” said Dan. “Same with our management team, as many of our key people have been with us for over 15 years.”
As the result of their strong team, Triple T has proved to not only be a survivor of the recent recession but is a unique success story in the restaurant industry which is known for high turnover rates. Through the recession, the Smoky Mountain team worked hard to strengthen their foundation. Due to the experience of the team, strategic management and long term planning through this recessionary period, Triple T was able to expand and take advantage of the current real estate trends. The company has increased staff by opening two new restaurants and hired 49 new employees since 2008. The most recent expansion in Eagle was funded by an SBA 504 loan in 2012 and the new location has been a huge success. Today, the company has grown to include nine restaurants throughout Idaho and Utah with 260 employees.
“Smoky Mountain Pizzeria Grill Restaurant is very proud to have celebrated its 20th year anniversary in 2012. Our partnership with SBA has been critical to our successful growth. We strive to develop long lasting relationships by fostering personal connections with our guests, our employee teams, and business partners like the SBA,” said Dan. “At Smoky Mountain, it’s all about the team.”