L&L Hawaiian Barbeque recently opened its newest outpost in Waco. Franchise owners Fred Ballard and Raymond Garrison had been intent on bringing the concept to Central Texas for a while. However, they couldn’t quite seem to find the right spot in Austin or Georgetown. That’s when LiNC Commercial Realty stepped in.
Company founder and president Najdi Rafaty carefully analyzed the duo’s business plan to help determine a good location for the restaurant. It turned out that Waco best fit the bill. The growing city boasts a first-rate university, the bustling Magnolia Market, and scores of creative types flocking to an area filled with possibilities and potential. In a newspaper interview not long after the doors opened, said it was excited to see just how much attention the city was getting.
“It was great to find a place that seems to be such a perfect fit for them,” Rafaty said.
According to Ballard, the process of acquiring commercial real estate is a slow and painful process. He says that LiNC is an awesome company with amazing professionals that care about the client’s bottom line. Ballard and Garrison met Rafaty thought a third party and were impressed from the start.
“She is organized, knowledgeable, and deeply passionate about the service that she provides,” Ballard said. “Najdi made it an experience that both of us were very thankful for. Having her at the helm is now paying dividends due to fair rates, an understanding of the process, and making a friend that we can turn to for future endeavors.”
For Rafaty, this was more than just another deal. It was an opportunity to give back to those who serve.
Ballard and Garrison are Army combat veterans. In 2003, they found themselves together in Baghdad taking enemy fire. The experience made them realize that they wanted their next careers to be a just little less dangerous. After leaving the service the two managed to pool their funds together and develop an exciting new business.
Helping servicemen and women is a cause dear to Rafaty’s heart. She is a member of the Veterans Advocacy & Benefits Association. She also holds seminars teaching veterans about commercial real estate, most specifically about lease analysis. While closing another big deal was important to her, it was even more rewarding to help two men who have given so much to the nation get started on a new path to success.
“I’m excited about the business and thankful that I got to help two wonderful people who have endured so much,” she said.