Dean bought 7 Fish & Chip Co.’s Here’s why…
Name: Dean Pike
Location: 7 The Fish & Chip Co. stores across Gauteng
Franchise: Fish & Chip Co.
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your franchise?
I chose the franchise route as I was eager to grow my current business portfolio. The concept of ‘plugging in ‘ to a successful existing brand with a proven track record appealed to me as the risks involved when starting a new business were instantly minimised.
I came across The Fish & Chip Co. purely by chance. I was given a contract to complete some IT work at a The Fish & Chip Co. store owned by friends of mine. Whilst doing the installation I realised that it was a popular fast food take away in the area. I began talks with them and they gave me a valuable insight into the brand, this was enough to entice me into making an investment into the franchise.
The Fish & Chip Co. brand appealed to me as it is priced well. In addition to which the fish and chip take away market in South Africa is growing at a rate far exceeding other takeaways over the past 2 years.
What did you do before taking up a franchise?
I extensively researched the fast food market both globally and locally after this initial introduction to the fast food market. I was able to look at the trends and identify which brands would most suit my budget and expectations.
How did you raise the finance?
I approached several banks all of whom have an appetite for franchises. I looked at which structure suited my existing business model in addition to my long term plans for expansion for the group. I went with my current bankers Mercantile as they not only had an appetite for the brand, but I was able to put up collateral which funded my initial 7 shops over 12 months.
What training and support did you receive initially and on-going?
I received a comprehensive insight into all aspects of the business from our franchisor initially and continue to benefit from their extensive in-house support system.
What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?
There is no such thing as a ‘typical day’ in this industry! Having a multiple franchise model the daily challenges vary tremendously. However the majority of my day is centred on logistical procedures to ensure that all aspects of the business are operating at their full potential at all times.
What challenges have you faced?
One of the biggest challenges has been co-ordinating 70 staff members, be it regarding stock levels, purchasing, or logistics. Managing the aforementioned in such a way that we guarantee the same quality and experience to our valued customers at the point of sale in any of our branches.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
All of our branches are open 7 days a week, including all public holidays (with the exception of Christmas Day!) At some branches we are serving customers from 8.00am until 8.00pm daily. Needless to say running a business with operating hours such as these, demands all of my waking hours. The exceptions are the small amount of time I spend with my wife and our children and my weekly game of golf! Leisure time is a rare commodity.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
I can only give advice regarding fast food franchising. One must be prepared to work at a pace that is not considered ‘normal’ in most walks of life, the ability to think on your feet is paramount as the challenges often arise thick and fast. Leisure time is in very short supply due to the long hours involved. However I do strongly believe the rewards are plentiful for anyone prepared to make the commitments necessary.
What are your plans for the future?
Within the next 2 years I would like to grow my group of franchises across Gauteng to 20 branches.
Would you do it again?
Yes, Over and over and ove again.