- Player: Devon Scoulelis
- Franchise: Chicken Xpress
- Established: 2011
- Visit: chickenxpress.co.za
Different franchise models are created with different franchisees in mind.
Started in 2011, Chicken Xpress has a lofty goal: To truly place fast-food franchise ownership within reach of all.
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It is no secret that setting up a fast-food restaurant is an expensive affair – for many entrepreneurs, prohibitively so. In fact, a single restaurant could easily set you back a few million.
This is not the case with Chicken Xpress. Its unique model allows the doors of a franchise to be opened for a fraction of the traditional cost associated with a fast-food store.
Can you give us a brief description of the franchise?
Chicken Xpress is a home-grown brand that was developed with a focus on African flavour and a passion for entrepreneurship at its core.
The franchise was developed in KwaZulu-Natal during 2011, when we noticed a need for a business model that could serve the nation’s most-loved product – fried chicken — in an affordable manner, both for the customer and the franchisee, while never compromising on quality.
We focused on smaller-format stores of roughly 80m2 in size that could be built in high-commuter areas across South Africa.
While we have the greatest respect for the overseas brands operating in South Africa, our goal is to be the ‘people’s champion’ of our industry.
While we have kept the core Chicken Xpress model in place, we have also expanded to offer larger-format stores for areas with a large demand for Chicken Xpress.
We opened our first two drive-thru stores in 2015, and launched our ‘Chicken Xpress Container Concept’ which allows us to send pre-built and fitted stores to remote areas where franchisees can get these turnkey stores up and running in no time.
Chicken Xpress is known as a franchise model that’s accessible to all. What makes this the case?
There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit that runs through our brand and we have the utmost respect for entrepreneurs, both those who are starting out, and the well established.
Our business model is easily accessible, even for those who are new to entrepreneurship. Compared to many similar franchises, a Chicken Xpress franchise is quite affordable and boasts low barriers to entry.
We are looking for new and enthusiastic entrepreneurs who want to grow alongside the brand.
With this in mind, training and support is obviously very important. We always say: “As a franchisee, we want you to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself.”
Our head office team assists with site selection, negotiations with a landlord, store design and layout, training of staff, purchasing of stock, and, of course, organising a grand opening.
Once a store is open, we keep a member of our operations team onsite for five days to ensure that everything keeps running smoothly.
If there are any teething problems, we help sort them out. And even after that, head office staff are always available to provide advice and support. We don’t want our franchisees to feel alone.
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What makes a Chicken Xpress franchise a solid investment?
Well, as mentioned, it is one of the few fast-food franchises that are open and accessible to emerging entrepreneurs. We also have a proven track record, as well as low investment costs, and excellent returns for franchisees.
Chicken Xpress head office has a strong passion to grow franchisees across the country.
Franchising has proven itself an excellent system in assisting the nation to decrease its unemployment rate, and grow its people through a sustainable and proven model.
Can you share a bit about your roll-out plan? How will you be growing in the next few years?
We currently have 16 stores across South Africa, and another 40 planned for opening over the next 12 months. Our goal is to bring our offering to every community across South Africa through a rapid yet sustainable roll-out pattern.
We are also expanding across the rest of Africa, and have opened our first stores in Botswana and Sudan.
Moreover, we are currently exploring the feasibility of expanding into Nigeria, Zambia, Uganda, Ghana and other African countries.
Can you describe your ideal franchisee? What are the skills and traits you ideally look for?
An ideal Chicken Xpress Franchisee displays strong leadership and interpersonal skills, and is able to make positive decisions for his or her business.
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An ideal franchisee remains resilient and has a strong ability to motivate team members.
We want franchisees that are passionate about the brand and the long-term strategy we have at Chicken Xpress.
We also want them to be hands-on, which will allow them to really get to know the business.
We ultimately want as many franchisees as possible to own multiple units through successful stores, and grow with the Chicken Xpress family for many years to come.