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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

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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.

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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

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?

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.

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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.

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.

Company Posts

Muscle And Grill Is Your Daily Chef. We Provide Fresh, Nutritional Food At Affordable Prices

It isn’t always easy to stay in tune with both body and mind. We do all the prepping for you so that you can keep up your pursuit of greatness.

Muscle and Grill

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Vital stats

Muscle and Grill is a healthy fast food establishment based in South Africa. In the face of modern South Africa, lives spent on the go require a fuel to match their aspirations while maintaining a delicious, fast and fresh service.

As our lives swirl into life’s vast depths of opportunity, our bodies are often the product of poor health habits, while trying to keep on the move to achieve our goals. Muscle and Grill challenges this. We want to be able to support the South Africa of tomorrow by offering the food your body needs to keep reaching new heights – to keep pushing the boundaries of accomplishment with health food convenience.

At Muscle and Grill we’ve got you covered. We provide nutritional fast food that is fresh and affordable. We have your health at heart. You could start your day off with some free-range scrambled eggs or fresh oats – for lunch a mixed bowl of rice, protein and fresh vegetables – or to round off your day, replenish your mind and body with a hearty health-infused burger and all its wholesome goodness. We have not forgotten that home constitutes a hungry family who have all been active, so grab a lean beef pasta salad with some greens on the side to go.

Related: SA Fast Food Franchising On The Rise

It isn’t always easy to stay in tune with both body and mind. We do all the prepping for you so that you can keep up your pursuit of greatness.

About us

It was once said that great ideas are born from ones’ frustrations. That is exactly how Muscle and Grill came about. Having no real on-the-go option to stay healthy, or having the time to prepare to be healthy, became a huge frustration for us. We struggled to find enough hours in the day to keep up with a busy lifestyle and still eat healthy while on the move. Our work came first and our lifestyles suffered.

The vision for Muscle and Grill is to make it possible to stay healthy on the go. We want healthy food to be easily accessible for all walks of life.

Our mission is to provide quality, healthy fast-food. The food we provide is delicious and will keep you coming back for more.

Concept

muscle-and-grill

Muscle and Grill works on an almost self-service basis. The point of sale system is customer operated where you can select what meal you would like to have. Once payment has been processed electronically the kitchen staff will receive the order and prepare it to spec. Muscle and Grill will be a completely cashless business, making it super-efficient for consumers and business owners.

Related: 3 Crucial Considerations For New Multi-unit Franchisees

The concept of Muscle and Grill is partnered with Puré Frooty. Puré Frooty is a self-service smoothie bar which prepares smoothies for you at the touch of a button. You can have a store with or without a machine – the choice is yours. Both concepts look to promote the idea of healthy living on the go.

We’ve looked to compliment our values by looking after that which grounds us. Our packaging and utensils are all eco-friendly, as we believe ‘going-green’ is not just a choice of eating but of the environment too.

So, when you are ready to join the next revolution in the fast food industry contact Muscle and Grill at info@muscleandgrill.co.za or visit the website at www.muscleandgrill.co.za to inquire on our franchise options today. Achieve your goals, stay on the move and look after yourself through Muscle and Grill.

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Company Posts

Nando’s Is Firing Up The East

Carlos Duarte has been part of the Nando’s brand since inception. When his brother Fernando co-founded the flamed grilled chicken brand in 1987, Carlos soon participated in its success and today owns four highly successful franchises in Johannesburg — three in the east and one in the south. Here’s how it all began.

Nedbank

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nandos

Vital Stats

  • Player: Carlos Duarte
  • Franchise: Nando’s
  • Position: Franchisee
  • Visit: www.nandos.co.za

What were you doing before becoming a franchisee?

I was in the audio visual technology field, as an employee. Then I joined Nando’s as an assistant manager in the Savoy and Rosettenville corporate stores. Franchising was my first experience of entrepreneurship.

Why did you decide to become a franchisee?

When my brother, Fernando Duarte, launched Nando’s in 1987, I noticed its quick growth and wanted in on the action. Being assistant store manager prepared me for when the opportunity to run my own store came along soon after.

What prompted you to partner with Nando’s?

I joined Nando’s in 1991 as a joint venture partner. At the time, Nando’s hadn’t yet franchised its operations, and the JV partnership meant the brand owned 51% of the business, while I owned 49%. My first franchise store was in Edenglen in 2001.

Related: (Watch) Why Nando’s Is Clucking Its Way To The Top

Describe some of the challenges of running not one, but four franchise locations

At the Edenglen store, we initially battled with sales and getting feet into the store. To be honest, I think the area was overtraded at the time, so it wasn’t the best location. Since acquiring the store in Lambton, Germiston, another in Greenstone and a third in Comaro, I’ve learnt to be cleverer in how I do things — and how I handle some of the same challenges — and learn every day from the brand itself.

Name some of the benefits you’ve experienced as a Nando’s franchisee

Nando’s is 31 years old this year. We’re in 30-odd countries worldwide with thousands of stores across the globe. As franchisees, we leverage off the dynamism of an operational business that’s known for its marketing — customers talk about our ads and they love our food.

What kind of support do you receive from Nando’s as a multi-unit franchisee?

Besides the popular marketing campaigns that attract customers, Nando’s has an extensive training manual along with a skills development training consultant who comes to the store for two days to help staff understand and implement it. The training is really effective — it has to be as this industry involves a very high turnover of staff and new skills need to be taught often.

Why is it important for a franchisee to have a good banking partner?

As a franchisee, your bank should understand your business — from operating costs, to overdraft needs and revamping expenses — so it has cash available for loans that can be approved quickly, with minimal hassle. On the technical side, a reliable mPOS device is imperative, especially for us, because 30% of our sales volumes are from home and office deliveries. It’s a fundamental method of payment every bank should provide its customers of a similar nature.


What advice do you have for budding franchisees on seeking out a good franchise brand and banking partner for their business?

  • Do your research to ensure you’re partnering with a brand that is established, well-known and expect to pay a fair price for that franchise.
  • Be aware of how the franchise brand is perceived in the market and what location opportunities are available to you as a franchisee.
  • Choose a banking facility that always has the funds available to grow your business.
  • Ensure the bank understands the brand’s business model and where you’re falling short.

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Franchisors

Make Your Business A Good Neighbour

Take your business from invisible and struggling to a thriving neighbourhood landmark.

Richard Mukheibir

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Is your business invisible to your customers? You may have fewer customers than you would like because your business does not seem relevant to those in your neighbourhood. This is an even bigger mistake than not being able to reach beyond your direct trading area.

To appeal to people – customers – you should also present your business as a group of people who help other people. This can be helping supply them with goods they need to buy, helping provide them with loans or simply being a reassuring and consistent presence in your neighbourhood.

As our Local Area Marketing Manager, Juan Botha, tells Cash Converters’ franchisees, this is about blending and fitting in like a neighbour. It is about give and take. And all of that adds up to community engagement.

Related: Effective Ways To Bring Customers To Your Door

Here are six of his top tips:

  1. Introduce the family: Cultivate a friendly, welcoming atmosphere in your shop or office. Introduce new staff to regular customers. Make sure that new customers can get to know staff through your in-store welcome boards and name badges.
  2. Find your partners: Identify the gatekeepers in your community and create partnerships with them. Think about approaching sports clubs, schools, church groups, sewing circles and book clubs.
  3. Snatch some selfies: If you have local celebrities as customers, take a selfie and post it on your social media: “Guess who came to say hello today . . .” Build relationships with local heroes and you will be able to call on them to host your in-house fun day or charity drive.
  4. Give back to business: Be involved in local business chambers and groupings as more than a participant. Show you are a good business neighbour by facilitating speed networking, hosting a speaker or sponsoring a sound system or catering for the next meeting.
  5. Adopt a cause: Identify a local charity and rally support for it.
  6. Help the community: Launch or participate in a community project – anything from an area clean-up or helping repaint school classrooms to planting trees or a community vegetable garden.

Building relationships helps you build your business’s reputation. That is because you can make people start to feel a certain way about your business and influence them positively towards you. Then, when they need something that you supply, you will be top of mind.

That neighbourhood warmth creates a sense of ownership. These prospective customers will already know how you can benefit their lives and so are more likely to become your regular customers.

They will be acting on the fact that people remember you for the experience you give them. As top American writer Maya Angelou said, their memories will be shaped by how you make them feel – not how or what you make them think. Relationships may be intangible but they can bring real value to your business.

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