In an interaction with Sana Chopra, Executive Director, Cybiz BrightStar Restaurants (Carl's Jr), we tried to know more about the USP of her business. Here are some of the excerpts from the conversation.
Please share your entrepreneurial journey and highlight the challenges you faced and how you overcame them?
I have worked across various industries and cities, and across various sectors including consulting, auditing, law, marketing, PR, art, education, etc. but none have given me the thrill which the food industry has given. Even while growing up, I wanted to dine out and try new cuisines and new dishes. . I also love to travel and explore cuisines of different countries. While completing my under graduation in the US, my penchant for food, in addition to my love for the Carl's Jr. brand ultimately led me to get into the hospitality industry by taking the master franchise of California based burger chain Carl's Jr. for India.
Opening a new QSR brand in India is not easy. A lot of hard work and research goes into it. One needs to know the preferences of one’s target audience, and ongoing trends. For example, there were months and months of R&D and several food tasting sessions that went on before implementing our final menu. Selling value-for-money products by providing superstar service and ensuring that the guests leave thinking that the food experience he or she had was value for money and the service was of superior quality, is very important to achieve. Maintaining high levels of quality and ensuring standardizations within the restaurant and among franchisees are very important. Ensuring customer satisfaction on each transaction is of utmost priority.
Please share the USP of your business? What are the factors that obstruct you while expanding your business?
Our brand is known for its big and juicy burgers. Our main USP is charbroiled or chargrilled burgers. Chargrilling or Charbroiling is a process in which our patties are grilled over an open flame allowing them to cook in their own juices without using any oil. We are known to provide hot, fresh, quality food at a value for money price. We make our milkshakes with real ice cream. We also hand-bread and batter our fried chicken items at the restaurant itself and always make our products made to-order, so our guests can enjoy fresh food. We are known for our beverages wherein we offer unlimited refills- that are attracting a lot of guests. In addition, we serve honey wheat buns, lettuce wrapped burgers, beer, along many other things.
There are too many licenses that need to be sanctioned before opening a new restaurant. Furthermore, in metropolitan cities the rentals are extremely high and not always justified.
Please elaborate on your franchising model? What do you offer to a potential female who wishes to follow your footsteps and become your franchisee?
We wish to work on a FOCO model- franchisee owned and company operated model. We feel that it's essential as we assist our franchisees to operate, so we can bring our knowledge of Carl's Jr. systems and processes and implement it. Food safety and health is a key element that makes us believe that master franchise in charge of running the operations will help in maintaining high quality and standards.
As being a leading female franchisor, what are the challenges that you face working with male franchisees?
We haven't started working with male franchisees yet, however I feel that one issue that this industry faces is that very few female figures at the top. Hence, men aren't used to looking at a woman as their equal or majority business partner. It was a struggle back then when I started, but my work has spoken volumes and has given some men no choice, but to look at me as their equal. I'm hoping to achieve the same if I ever come across a male franchisee partner who may feel awkward working with a female franchisor at first.
Please share a message for all the aspiring mothers who wish to become an entrepreneur and how franchising can help in acting as a growth booster?
Franchising provides a raised platform. It gives a tried and tested, workable and profitable model to one to re-implement. I hope that they are able to see me working as a female entrepreneur and see and understand how to survive and grow in any industry. It's hard to juggle social and professional commitments as an Indian female, however the rewards are equally rewarding.
Existing outlets: 3
Area: 1500- 3000 sq. ft
Target cities: Delhi NCR, Chandigarh and Bombay and parts of the West
Preferred location: Premium and up market locations of Delhi NCR, Bombay and Chandigarh
Year of starting franchise operations: 2016
Year of inception: 2015