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May 18, 2022

Welcome to RIMScast. Your host is Justin Smulison, Business Content Manager at RIMS, the Risk and Insurance Management Society.


This week on the podcast, Justin Smulison is joined by first-time podcast interviewee, Karen Agostinho! Karen is an experienced risk management and insurance professional, currently serving as the VP of Risk Management at Five Guy Enterprises. She’s here to discuss all things franchise-related, from the types of risks that franchises are faced with right now to the ERM processes she has implemented with her team. 


Karen gives insight into her team’s role, overseeing enterprise-wide risk management and insurance program for over 500 corporate-owned stores; how Five Guys navigates the risks of potential labor shortages; and how they navigate transparency laws with regards to job postings and salary range.


Key Takeaways:

[:01] About the RIMS Membership.

[:14] About RIMScast.

[:27] About today’s episode with Karen Agostinho.

[:34] Upcoming RIMS webinars and workshops.

[1:23] More about today’s episode.

[1:54] Justin welcomes Karen Agostinho to RIMScast.

[2:34] Karen’s career in risk and what led her to become the VP of Risk Management for Five Guys Enterprises.

[5:50] How many people are on Karen’s team?

[6:28] Karen shares more about her team’s role, overseeing risk management for over 500 corporate-owned stores.

[7:23] How many of their locations are franchisees?

[7:37] What are some of the traditional franchise/franchisor risks that Karen has experienced? And how have they evolved in the last couple of years?

[9:16] One thing that is unique to Five Guys are their barrels of shelled peanuts at every store. How will they continue to navigate the risks associated with this going forward?

[11:40] How is Five Guys navigating the risks of labor shortages, attracting workers, and attracting franchisees.

[14:05] How does Five Guys handle transparency laws with regards to job postings and salary range?

[16:40] RIMS plug time! All about the RIMS Legislative Summit 2022, RIMS Buyers Guide, and the RIMS App with Morgan O’ Rourke.

[17:43] About the ERM program/process that Karen and her team have implemented for Five Guys and whether it draws from ISO or COSO.

[19:25] As the VP of Risk Management, does Karen have the ear of the higher-ups, the CEOs, and the C-Suite?

[20:41] Did Karen always want to go into this sector? And does she find that being in food retail professionally rewarding as a risk professional?

[22:27] Which country surprised Karen the most that Five Guys expanded into?

[23:05] Is Five Guys in Australia?

[24:07] Are they making any special preparations for an influx of business as we approach the summer?

[25:00] Karen shares her appreciation and passion for franchising.

[25:32] Karen’s words of wisdom for those coming up in the risk management world, especially those looking to franchising.

[27:00] Karen shares her thoughts on her first podcast experience.

[27:38] Justin thanks Karen Agostinho for joining the podcast and shares some of the links to check in today’s show notes.


Mentioned in this Episode:

RIMS Events, Education, and Services:


RIMS Advocacy — Legislative Summit Returns on September 20th!

RIMS Buyers Guide

RISKWORLD registrants can still access educational sessions on-demand through the RISKWORLD app and through desktop here.

Sponsor RIMScast: Contact or for more information.

Virtual Workshops:

“Fundamentals of Risk Management” — May 24‒25th


May 19, 2022 | “How Successful Security Teams Manage Risk to Build Trust and Drive Growth” | Sponsored by OneTrust

June 2, 2022 | “Cyber, and Data, and Regulatory Risks (to Avoid)—Oh My!” | Sponsored by Beazley

Sponsored RIMScast Episodes:

Keeping Subcontractors Safe Through Partner Elevation” | Sponsored by Highwire

“ESG: A Responsibility and a Growing Megatrend” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“Focusing on Your Team to Deliver Exceptional Quality and Service to Your Clients”

| Sponsored by Gallagher Bassett

“Bermuda Opportunities in 2022 with BDA Chair Stephen Weinstein” | Sponsored by Bermuda Business Development Agency

“SyncR: A Tool to Enhance Your Risk Quality & Insurance Strategy” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“Navigating the Risk Landscape in 2022” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“Prioritizing People: Expertise and Innovation” | Sponsored by Gallagher Bassett

“Risk Findings for the Industrial & Manufacturing Industry” | Sponsored by Aon

“Establishing the Right Assurance to Request From Business Partners” | Sponsored by HITRUST

“Aon’s 2021 Retail Industry Overview” | Sponsored by Aon

“A Legacy of Resilience” | Sponsored by J.B. Boda Group

“The Golden Era of Insurance” | Sponsored by The Hartford

“Insurance Investigation Trends Happening Now” | Sponsored by Travelers

“What Could a CRO Do for Your Business?” | Sponsored by Riskonnect

“Hard Reality: A Look at Rising Rates in Property & Excess Casualty” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“Property Valuation Deep Dive” | Sponsored by TÜV SÜD

“Property Loss Control Engineering” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers

NEW RIMSCAST VIDEO: “Climate Change and Insurance: A Fireside Chat with Dev Bhutani and Deepak Madan” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

Related RIMScast Episodes: 

“RIMS 2022 President Patrick Sterling: Insight into 2022 Risks and Looking Beyond the Pandemic”

“How One Franchisee Navigated Restaurant & Food Retail Sector Risks in 2020”

RIMS Publications, Content, and Links:

RIMS Membership — Whether you are a new member or need to transition, be a part of the global risk management community!

RIMS Virtual Workshops

Upcoming RIMS Webinars

On-Demand Webinars

RIMS Advisory Services — Ask a Peer

Risk Management Magazine

Risk Management Monitor

RIMS Coronavirus Information Center

RIMS Risk Leaders Series

RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)

RIMS-CRMP Stories — New interview featuring RIMS Treasurer Jennifer Santiago!

Spencer Educational Foundation

RIMS DEI Council

RIMS Path to the Boardroom


Want to Learn More?

Keep up with the podcast on and listen on iTunes.

Have a question or suggestion? Email:


Join the Conversation!

Follow @RIMSorg on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Follow up with Our Guests:

Karen Agostinho’s LinkedIn


Tweetables (For Social Media Use):


“Our [team’s] role is to oversee that enterprise-wide risk management and insurance program for over 500 corporate-owned stores, located across the US and globally. And most importantly, support the health safety of approximately 10,000 employees.” — Karen Agostinho


“A successful franchise or franchisee relationship is like a marriage. It’s an interdependent relationship that requires mutual respect, trust, effort, and most importantly, communication from both parties. ” — Karen Agostinho


 “[Our ERM process draws] from the ISO guidelines which may or may not already exist as part of the organization. We then adapt and/or improve for our efforts to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, and consistency.” — Karen Agostinho


“For me, risk management is all about answering this question: how much stress can an organization sustain and for how long?” — Karen Agostinho