You could say local business leader Kellie Pruitt has seen it all. After starting her career in law enforcement, she moved into public accounting, eventually earning a CFO role and helping to list a local company on the NYSE. Then, after a month of “retirement,” she jumped into the restaurant business. Today, she owns and operated PNPK Craft Slider +Wine Bar in North Scottsdale, a dog-friendly spot focused on small bites and everything in a flight. We recently sat down with her (and tried her menu) to find out – how is running a REIT different from running a restaurant? According to Pruitt:

• Running a REIT involves managing investors, buildings, tenants and employees whereas the restaurant business is entirely focused on the customer experience – the atmosphere of the restaurant, the quality and value of the food and the excellent customer service provided by the staff.

• With a REIT, you are constantly reporting results to the public and investors whereas with a restaurant, others are constantly reporting to you about their experience, preference, likes and suggested changes.

• Financial markets and investors determine how fast a REIT grows. But for restaurants, our entire existence relies on customers.  They determine how fast we grow, how many people we will employ, how much food and beverage we buy, how much service we render and the profit we make. 

And perhaps most notably, running a REIT is a national business with no requirement for community involvement. Restaurants, however, must and should focus on being an authentic part of the fabric of the community they are in in order to build loyal, returning customers.

Visit Pruitt at PNPK daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. or online here.