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Bartenders

 

Long gone are the days when franchising was strictly fast food related. Today, franchises are offered in over 30 business sectors. Good opportunities about but few are as intriguing as LiquidChefs, a South African-grown concept that has truly taken the market by storm.

Established in 2003 by business partners Shai Evian, Craig Shapiro, Tahl Evian and Clinton Cohen, LiquidChefs has grown from a bar service that catered for one or two weekend events into South AfricaÔÇÖs leading provider of premium cocktail bar services. It is now widely recognised that the presence of LiquidChefs lends that extra veneer of class, style and professionalism to large corporate functions and intimate private gatherings alike.

What is it all about?

LiquidChefs isnÔÇÖt just about dispensing drinks; the service offers its clients an experience they will never forget. The partners define their service thus:


One thing is certain: the concept works! In the short five years since its establishment, LiquidChefs have evolved into a slick and highly professional outfit. They have catered for over 5 000 events to date and service clients, including blue chip companies, in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and the surrounding areas.

Not surprisingly, given the logistics involved, operations are controlled with the help of a sophisticated computer system, and business results are carefully monitored. It is not surprising, then, that demand continues to grow exponentially.

What prompted them to franchise?

The partners know that theirs is a people-business ÔÇô each single operator can make or break the brand. And because they cannot be at different places at the same time, their potential for further expansion was limited ÔÇô or so they thought.

They had been featured in the respected Entrepreneur magazine in July 2007. The article explained that this is a business with a difference: the people who operate it are not a group of bespectacled accountants in grey suits but a bunch of young individuals who work extremely hard but also have fun.

After Entrepreneur named them ÔÇ£the toast of the townÔÇØ, they were inundated with enquiries for their service from all parts of the country. This set them thinking; it was clear to them that they had to expand into other areas but how? Then they hit on the idea of franchising the business. Following this brainstorm, they invested almost a year into the development of a professionally designed franchise package.

The partnersÔÇÖ professionalism, which is evident in their service delivery and in their approach to franchising, is further demonstrated in the way they plan the expansion of the network. No haphazard growth, driven by responses to enquiries for franchises. Rather, the analysed the market carefully and earmarked the following territories for expansion during the balance of 2008 and throughout 2009: Pretoria, Nelspruit, Port Elizabeth, East London, Bloemfontein, Soweto and The Garden Route.

Who is the right candidate?

This is a unique opportunity for the right type of individual to become involved in a potentially highly lucrative business. What the partners are looking for are people who are ambitious, motivated, outgoing, committed to service excellence and able to handle pressure. They must also be good communicators with excellent people skills and willing to work long hours, including weekends. Experience in the food/beverage industry and the ability to motivate their teams are other requirements. One more thing: they must be computer-literate ÔÇô the complex logistics involved in the marketing and delivery of this type of service make this a must.

On the upside, the comprehensive support package offered by this team of young and energetic entrepreneurs, which includes extensive initial and ongoing training as well as the provision of an extensive operations manual, will ease new entrepreneurs into their new role.

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