Starting up a business from absolute scratch can be daunting, which is why we’re calling it that 2020 is the year of the franchise - an epic way to become a business owner, with backup!
What you might not have realised as you were launching into a juicy BurgerFuel burger, slurping on a Shake Out shake or getting your teeth into a piece of Winner Winner fire-roasted chicken is that you could actually be the #boss running the joint.
To find out more about the extremely rad range of franchise ops with BurgerFuel Group, we checked in with Alex and Brad Smith, happy franchisees of the newest Winner Winner location in Pukekohe.
When did you first realise you wanted to buy a franchise?
Brad: I think the spark moment was about making a lifestyle change. We wanted to get out of that rat-race. While we both worked in the city, we lived locally. There’s not a lot of marketing jobs out this way, let’s put it that way.
Winner Winner created that flexibility for us. We have a young family. It wasn’t meant to be three kids, it was meant to be two [laughs]. The store was meant to open in September and we had Beau in September, so it was all about flexibility and being closer to home.
I don’t think we could have actually done this if we didn’t buy a franchise. If we were doing it ourselves, we would’ve had to create the brand, establish the food, bring in the right chef, worry about the menu, the location, all the pros and cons. We never considered other options besides franchising.
With the BurgerFuel Group, from the time you sign the contract you get a lot of support. Plus being part of a big group helps us keep our prices down. We get marketing support as well.
What attracted you most to Winner Winner?
Alex: It’s a really cool brand. We liked the fact that there was chicken, and that there was also a variety of food that lots of different people could eat together, especially families. There are salads for lunch, vegan, gluten-free options - the whole works.
Did you have any training before you opened?
Alex: I did 12 weeks of training at the founding Hamilton East store. It was very intense, five or six days a week and long hours, but we had a lot of support the whole time. I got to work every position, starting as a dishwasher and had like seven shifts as that and my hands were all wrinkled up. I then moved all around the kitchen. Although I don’t work in the kitchen now, I fully understand everything that my staff are doing, and I can jump in if I need to. I don’t know how you’d do it otherwise, the hands-on skills that I’ve learnt throughout this whole experience have really prepared me for the ins and outs of running a business.
As a young family, how does business ownership work for you?
Brad: It’s working really well, Alex can stay home in the mornings with the kids. We open at 10am and have staff coming in earlier. For us it’s important that we are still involved in the business; that’s our mentality. We can rush off and get the kids, but then come back. Ultimately at the end of it, being the owner of our own business and not working for someone else, gives us security as a family too. It’s definitely been challenging starting a business at the same time as having a newborn but the journey has been really rewarding!
What are your future goals?
Brad: First and foremost, we want to make Winner Winner Pukekohe part of the community. That’s very important to us, with our kids especially, we want to support local. We also know that there are other communities that could come together around a Winner Winner table - so we would love, all going well, to explore this in future. We’ve really enjoyed the whole franchising experience so far. We’re really looking forward to what’s to come!