Dan Holland: Serving Up Capital Along with A Side of Advice


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Dan Holland has spent his entire banking career – 20-plus years – keenly focused on restaurant finance and he has a healthy respect for operators.

The restaurant industry is a tough business. There are so many different factors to focus on in terms of purchasing, labor, regulations and marketing – all while driving top line sales growth, notes Holland. “You are truly an entrepreneur, and what I love about this business is the clients that we bank and helping them get to the next level,” he says.

Holland has a typical finance background. He holds a B.B.A. in Economics and an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Memphis, and started his career working as a junior banker in the mid-1990s in the franchise finance group at NationsBank, which later merged with Bank of America. Six years ago, he joined Houston-based Cadence Bank as executive vice president and head of its restaurant banking group. 

Restaurant operators looking for capital have many choices today. “This is probably the most financial institutions that I have seen in the space,” says Holland. One of the ways that Cadence Bank sets itself apart from the crowd is by taking a more advisory approach. “We don’t book loans, just to book loans. We want to make sure we are providing the right solution for a client,” he says.

Cadence Bank primarily serves two areas of the restaurant industry. One half of the business focuses on large franchisees with 15 or more stores, while the other half provides  financing for middle-market restaurant operating companies.

Holland views Cadence Bank more as an investor rather than just a lender that provides a product. “I think sometimes people forget that banks are putting their capital behind you,” he says. Cadence Bank doesn’t do a loan and flip it out to a third party. Those loans stay on its balance sheet, and the restaurant banking group holds regular meetings with clients. “We want to make sure that we understand what is going on with each one of our clients, because we view it as a true partnership,” he adds. 

When going out to obtain financing, Holland recommends operators have a clear understanding of their overall strategy and goals and that they articulate that strategy to the financial institution they are talking to about financing. In addition, if the goal is to grow the company through organic growth, new unit development or acquisitions, make sure the infrastructure is set up, or have a plan to set that infrastructure up, before approaching a bank or request financing, he adds. 

For more information on Cadence Bank, contact Dan at daniel.holland@cadencebank.com or 770-274-6877.

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