Connect with us

Franchisors

Chicken Xpress – The ‘No Frills, No-Fuss, Keeping-It-Simple Franchise’

Devon Scoulelis, Chicken Xpress franchisor, on the franchise’s aim: To deliver tasty chicken quickly and efficiently.

GG van Rooyen

Published

on

Chicken-Xpress-franchisee

Vital Stats

  • Player: Devon Scoulelis
  • Franchise: Chicken Xpress
  • Established: 2011
  • Visit: chickenxpress.co.za

Remember this

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.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: What’s in That Hamburger?

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

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.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: Financial Facts you Need to Know About Franchises

What makes a Chicken Xpress franchise a solid investment?

Chicken Xpress

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?

Chicken Xpress chicken

An ideal Chicken Xpress Franchisee displays strong leadership and interpersonal skills, and is able to make positive decisions for his or her business.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: What a Franchisor Wants

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.

For more information, email info@chickenxpress.co.za, visit www.chickenxpress.co.za, or call +27 (0)31 263 0045.

Chicken Xpress Franchise information

GG van Rooyen is the deputy editor for Entrepreneur Magazine South Africa. Follow him on Twitter.

Advertisement
Comments

Franchisors

The Secret Sauce To Great Franchise Leadership

The upside down pyramid puts the franchisee at the center of everyone’s effort. Success follows.

Published

on

great-franchise-leadership

I am often asked to share the secrets of franchise success with my clients and audiences of franchise executives as I travel the country spreading the Franchise Bible strategies.

1507589537_upside_down_pyramid_copy

The most critical of the three core strategies is what I call the upside down pyramid strategy. This is more than a catch phrase or slogan. It must become a true belief in order for this strategy to affect a franchise organization for the better. Lets start with some basic facts to clarify.

What it is                              

The upside down pyramid is a servant leadership model that makes sure that franchise owners always come first. This must be genuine for all members of your team.

Related: 3 Challenges To Establishing A Franchise System And How To Overcome Them

Franchising is different than any other business model in this way. A franchise organisation simply cannot thrive unless the entire corporate team is on board with this commitment. If it’s not, it would be like a medical team where some members simply did not care about healing the patient. It is a non-negotiable.

What it is not

This strategy is not a hand-holding philosophy that rewards lazy or non-compliant franchisees. One of the exciting outcomes from this system is seeing the franchise owners step up and go above and beyond the call of duty when they feel truly appreciated, valued and respected by the franchisor. I have seen amazing things happen from franchise communities that felt connected and part of the bigger picture.

The challenge

Many franchise organisation executives have a lot of experience as traditional employers so they tend to try to “manage” their franchise owners as though they are employees. In most cases this is the beginning of the most common problem that I call the traditional pyramid model with the boss on top.

The key to remember at this point is the reality that the franchise owners are not employees of the company. In fact, the exact opposite is actually the case. The franchisees invested their hard earned money into the franchise company and pay an ongoing royalty as well. This means that they are the customers of the franchisor and the franchisor should value them as such.

How do you implement this strategy?

I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in the franchise world. I can usually sense the company culture pretty quickly when I am among the franchise executive and support team. It is no surprise that the most successful franchise brands have a pretty solid grasp on this strategy. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Train: Introduce this strategy to your executive and support team and give them the opportunity to ask questions and learn. Remember that this may be a bit of a paradigm shift for some, so they may need time to get it down.
  • Reinforce: Use ongoing reminders during your meetings, training sessions and conferences to keep the ball rolling. Your system must be based on things that you and your team will do consistently for a long period of time. A short burst of change followed by a return to the former status quo doesn’t work, so make sure you can commit and stick with it.
  • Insist on buy-in: Everyone on your executive, training and support teams must buy in to this commitment for it to work. You have heard that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. This is very true within a franchise organisation. You may have to replace team members if they refuse to genuinely commit.

Related: Col’ Cacchio: A Passion For Pizza

Leadership tip

You have also heard the saying that the fish starts to rot at the head. The common denominator that I see in failing franchise organisations is almost always due to poor leadership. I often say that a decent business model with great leadership will usually thrive and a great business model with lousy leadership will usually fail.

Don’t feel bad if you are not the best leader for your business. I have seen business founders step aside and hire in leadership experts to run with their creation. Knowing that someone else is a better leader than you for your franchise organisation is a sign of great discernment and wisdom. If you are not sure just ask your franchise owners to give you a grade as the leader. I asked a franchise CEO recently if he would get an A from his franchisees and he said, “Probably not.” I advised him to get back to work and make sure that he can earn that A.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Continue Reading

Franchisors

Get Your Franchise Running Smoothly – Even When You’re Not There

Does the thought of taking time off from your franchise outlet make you nervous? Then you have to learn to run your business instead of letting it run you.

Diana Albertyn

Published

on

franchise-support

“A sign of a successful business is one that can operate without your physical presence 24/7,” says Brad Sugars, start-up expert, author and founder of ActionCOACH. While your franchise systems and operations are designed to run smoothly and consistently, is your staff trained to be productive in your absence?

“Franchises are already by nature systematised operations, so it boils down to how you as a business owner hire and train people to get the necessary jobs done,” says Sugars.

If you know a sick day will cause havoc in your store, an assessment of how you’re running your business is needed. Are you really running a successful franchise if things fall about without your supervision? Take a step back and consider the following steps to manage your franchise without it controlling your life. Pretty soon you could book that vacation.

Determine your role in the franchise

Are you managing the franchise, taking orders, doing admin and handling every other aspect of the business? Then you’re not hiring the right people, because those roles should be filled by people who can be left to carry them out unsupervised.

Related: How To Write An Operations Manual For Your Franchise

“And if you don’t have the right people for the job then it might be time to start hiring, so you can free up your franchise’s most valuable resource – you,” says Pieter Scholtz, co-Master Licensee for ActionCOACH in Southern Africa.

“You need to get an idea of how you can hire people to take repetitive or administrative tasks away from you. Ask yourself: ‘Do I really need to be doing this?’” says Sugars. Your business cannot run optimally if you’re the single most-knowledgeable and capable person there.

Lead with clarity

You have long-term goals for your business, perhaps even acquiring more locations and running multiple units. While growth is good, you need to share the load and ensure everyone employed in your business is working towards the same goals, otherwise, it’ll be difficult to get there. Sugars suggests asking yourself the following:

  • How will you make your vision a reality?
  • What makes you different from other franchisees and business owners?
  • What kind of team do you want to recruit and create?
  • How does all of this deliver value to your customer?

Conveying your vision can help ensure employees know how to get to the end-goal faster and more efficiently.

Related: 3 Steps To Ensure Your Franchisees Flourish Your Support System

Plan for long-term cash flow

Loyal customers ensure a constant flow of cash through the franchise and this requires exceptional service and the building of strong relationships. “Target your top-spending customers and establish a good relationship with them for long-term cash flow,” Sugars suggests.

Although the broader campaigns are covered by the marketing fee you’re paying to your franchisor, it’s wise to focus on your local’s tastes and suggestions when looking to deliver an experience worth returning for.

Continue Reading

Franchisors

Are Your Employees On Board With Your Franchise’s Brand Promise?

You cannot run a successful franchise if your staff isn’t aligned to the brand’s values.

Diana Albertyn

Published

on

franchisee-brand-management

Are the people who work in your franchise outlet familiar with the franchise’s brand promise? As a franchisee, you’re required to deliver a uniform experience, so any customer who walks through your door feels like they’re at the same store the franchisor has across multiple locations. If your employees aren’t able to embody the franchise’s brand promise at every interaction, you have a challenge on hand.

“If your company’s brand promise is a warm and friendly atmosphere, you can’t deliver that if your employees aren’t warm and friendly,” says Robin William, Senior Practice Consultant at Gallup.

“Selecting the right employees is essential to providing the right brand service. Hiring people who can’t behave the way the brand wants them to will doom a service initiative.”

Related: How To Write An Operations Manual For Your Franchise

When employees know what’s expected of them, they’re able to keep the promise the franchise makes to customers – leading to higher customer and employee engagement, trust, and revenue.

More than a mission statement

Even if you’ve ensured every one of your staff members know the brand’s mission statement, how can you be sure they’re able to exemplify it in their behaviour every day? William suggests that you do the following:

  • Create structures and mechanisms to consistently instil brand values in the franchise’s culture.
  • Discuss brand behaviours daily.
  • Demonstrate brand behaviours yourself every day.
  • Praise the efforts of individuals who demonstrate brand behaviours.
  • Hold employees accountable for not exhibiting brand behaviours.

Once you’ve clearly defined the right brand behaviours, it’ll be easier to have staff on board who deliver your franchisor’s brand promise.

Internalise the culture

Here’s a conundrum. Do your staff know what to do in a situation where a customer’s request might not be aligned with the brand promise, but the brand promise is always to deliver on customers’ requests? It’s a tricky situation, but if you’ve clearly articulated the promise, your staff will know how to “Behave the brand”, says William.

“Do whatever it takes to deliver on its brand promise. Whether it’s focusing quality, fast service, customer care, or low prices,” he says.

“Employees must execute brand and service behaviours consistently, and frequent reminders can help employees understand and internalise these behaviours.”

Related: 3 Challenges To Establishing A Franchise System And How To Overcome Them

Empower your staff

Investing in your staff is the best way to encourage them to act in line with your brand’s promise. Once they understand why it’s important to act along the lines of your brand, they will feel empowered and motivated to do so.

Starbucks trains employees to memorise customers’ names and preferences in line with their promise of making everyone who visits their stores feel at home. Apple’s strategy of hiring nice, smart people who are passionate about service and the product aligns with the company’s belief that knowledge can be improved, but personality cannot.

Continue Reading

Trending

FREE E-BOOK: How to Build an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Sign up now for Entrepreneur's Daily Newsletters to Download​​