Fast Food Franchising – Mikey Dee Tue, 14 Jun 2022 16:04:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fast Food Franchising – Mikey Dee 32 32 Why Chick-fil-A is one of the most loved brands Tue, 14 Jun 2022 16:04:23 +0000

You know you have a good business problem on your hands when the demand for your services is so huge that the cities where you operate try to declare it a public nuisance due to traffic delays. This is the case for several cities where Chick-fil-A operates.

After all these years, Chick-fil-A restaurants just got better and better and it’s become a brand that customers really can’t live without. How do they do that? They’ve certainly had their share of hurdles over the past two decades; from explosive growth, which usually kills customer experience (see 6 reasons why your customer experience plummets when your business skyrockets), to the great recession, the pandemic, and the founder’s controversial views on same-sex marriages . But the one thing that can’t be ignored is the incredible success the brand continues to have and what other organizations can learn from it.

The average Chick-fil-A free restaurant (non-mall units) generates over $8 million in sales per year, a growth of 54% over the past five years. With just 2,700 locations, Chick-fil-A generates more total sales than any chain outside of McDonald’s and Starbucks. However, Chick-fil-A earns more per restaurant than McDonald’s, Subway and Starbucks combined, even being closed on Sundays.

Even though demand for Chick-fil-A is at an all-time high, private enterprise will only grow at a pace that doesn’t jeopardize the brand experience. This is one of the keys to their success. They could grow 10 times faster, however, their obsession with operational excellence, customer experience and internal culture won’t allow them to compromise any of these for more units and higher sales.

It may sound like a cliché and lip service, but Chick-fil-A is meticulous about who they select to run their restaurants (Operators and Crew Leaders) and work in their restaurants (Team Members ).

As Chick-fil-A’s sales increase, so does their Net Promoter Score. They are always at the top of their industry for customer satisfaction.

One of the company’s keys to building a world-class brand is that it doesn’t look for great talent, great talent finds it. Quality attracts quality. Chick-fil-A’s reputation for being a world-class customer experience is so well known that it screens out potential candidates who are just looking for a job and don’t want to be held to a higher standard.

Chick-fil-A places so much importance on selecting amazing leaders that one of their main filters asks; “Is someone who cares and will provide genuine love and care to their team? And is it someone I would like my child to work for? »

When the core team of leaders (operators and their top managers) are that type of leader, then great talent comes into it. So many companies treat recruiting and talent as just casting the line and trolling the fish, but what if that fish wants to jump in the boat? Magnets attract and when you start with a core of quality leaders, quality follows.

Skill is also an essential part of Chick-fil-A’s recipe, but is not their number one priority in their selection process. Most businesses start with competence. However, the skill can be taught, and in many customer-facing positions, you can find hundreds of employees with similar skills. Chick-fil-A chooses to prioritize character and chemistry over skill.

During the interview process, Chick-fil-A likes to focus on questions like “Why do you want to do this?” The what and the how are elementary, but it is in the “why” of the candidate that the authenticity is revealed. After the initial interview, Chick-fil-A goes one step further, testing whether this person really wants to do this and whether existing employees want the potential candidate to be their co-worker. They use experiential interviews towards the end to put them in a restaurant and shadow them and allow them to follow existing employees, so the candidate can really see what this job is like and whether it’s a good fit for them.

Chick-fil-A says its service is so consistent because it invests more than other companies in training its employees and helping them advance their careers, whether those careers are in fast food.

Franchisees are encouraged to ask their new hires what their career goals are and then try to help them achieve those goals. “Do you know the dreams of your team? franchisees are constantly solicited. For Kevin Moss, a Chick-fil-A manager of 20 years, supporting his team has meant funding one employee’s marketing degree and paying for another worker to take photography classes. Moss says he also tries to support his employees when needed. For example, if an employee’s family member is in the hospital, they will send food to the family and hospital staff. “I’ve found people are more motivated and respond better when you care about them,” Moss told Business Insider.

The company also offers management positions in all of its restaurants that come with higher pay as well as greater responsibilities. Crew members can work their way into “manager” positions in marketing, housekeeping, kitchen operations, and drive-thru operations. “The better we train, the longer people stay with us,” Moss said.

John R. Di Julius III, author of The Customer Service Revolution, is president of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm that works with companies including Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Ritz-Carlton, Nestlé, PwC, Lexus and more. others. Contact him at 216-839-1430 or

Malta’s first Boost Juice Bars open Sun, 12 Jun 2022 01:02:03 +0000

Australian multinational smoothie chain Boost Juice Bars has opened its first two stores in Sliema – at Tigné Seafront and Gżira – with a third to follow within a month.

Operated by Food Chain Ltd, the brand’s dedication to innovation aims to tap into the growing health consciousness of the Maltese population and offer customers a winning combination of healthy and fresh alternatives on the go.

The subsidiary of the Farsons Group promises a positive and energetic environment, product innovation, partnerships and a strong customer relationship strategy using natural fruits and vegetables.

Gordon Naudi, Managing Director of Food Chain Ltd, said he was very proud that such an international juice bar had agreed to open outlets on our shores.

Ivan Cardona, commercial director of Food Chain Ltd, also expressed his enthusiasm for this new venture: “We are ready to offer our customers healthy fast food alternatives, served by our positive and energetic employees. We’re already overwhelmed with the response we’re getting, and honestly, we can’t wait for more.

Boost Juice Bars Malta offers benefits to customers through a VIBE membership card. Customers receive a free Boost Juice with every 11th purchase and, on their birthday, VIBE points awarded when purchasing full price smoothies or juices (more info at vibes/).

Founder Janine Allis started Boost with the first store in Adelaide, Australia in 2000 when she saw a gap in the healthy fast food market.

Boost then began its international expansion through master franchising in 2004 and today has over 600 stores serving Boost beverages in 13 countries around the world.

Boost juice bars are also present in Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Estonia, Indonesia, Latvia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom and Vietnam.

The Australian brand won the Global Franchise Awards at the 2022 International Franchise Convention, winning Best Food and Beverage Franchise and the Ultimate Global Franchise Champion Award. The Global Franchise Award celebrates and promotes the best franchise brands by reinforcing their distinguished brand characteristics within a global playing field.

For more information on Boost Juice, visit www.boostjuice.

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Popeyes will offer 59¢ chicken in the HV, but there’s a catch Fri, 10 Jun 2022 23:14:55 +0000

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is celebrating its 50th anniversary, which means we’ll soon have chicken for the same price the year the restaurant opened. During times of inflation and rising costs, this could be a cheaper dinner option for many in the Hudson Valley. But with all the good news, there’s a little catch.

When is the offer?

USA Today states that to get the two-piece chicken deal, you must make a minimum purchase of $5 through a mobile order on their app or through their website.

Special 1972 pricing goes into effect Sunday, June 12 through June 19 at Popeyes stores. The chain opened in 1972 in Chicken on the Run in New Orleans. Initial sales struggled to take off, so owner Alvin C. Copeland Sr. renamed the restaurant after Popeye Doyle, Gene Hackman’s character from The French connection. Since then, the franchise has grown to nearly 3,500 locations.

Popeyes in the Hudson Valley

Popeyes has locations in the Hudson Valley in Poughkeepsie, New Windsor, Middletown, West Nyack, Spring Valley, Yorktown Heights and Kingston.

Popeyes is one of the fastest growing fast food franchises in the country and is considered by many to be one of the best chicken sandwiches. The Spicy Chicken Sandwich, introduced in 2019, sparked a whole new fast food craze that many other establishments tried to cash in on. Popeyes had also announced in late 2020 that they were planning a new location on Route 9 in the town of Wappingers. As of now, the new location has not opened.

One more thing about Popeyes, while this event here isn’t necessarily a reflection of all Popeyes locations, this lucky man even found a joint in his order of Popeyes at their West 14th Street location in 2019 Weed and munchies, all in one order.

50 Most Popular Restaurant Chains in America

YouGov surveyed the country’s most popular restaurant brands, and Stacker compiled the list to give readers context for the findings. Read on to browse the wide and varied variety of American restaurants. You might even find a favorite or two.

The Habit Burger Grill Signs Development Agreement in San Bernardino County to Expand Presence in Southern California Thu, 09 Jun 2022 14:34:54 +0000

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Restaurant operator experienced in developing twelve new restaurants in San Bernardino County

June 09, 2022 // // SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Known for its iconic Charburgers grilled over an open flame and unparalleled fast-casual dining experience, popular Santa Barbara-born The Habit Burger Grill has announced a development recently signed agreement with Aharon Aminpour to develop twelve (12) new sites in San Bernardino County.

With this transaction, which also includes the purchase of eleven (11) existing Habit Burger Grill locations and the development of twelve (12) new restaurants, Aminpour plans to elevate the made-to-order burger game in San County. Bernardino.

“The Habit Burger Grill’s franchise model has so many advantages that the opportunity to help grow the brand’s footprint in Southern California seemed like a no-brainer,” Aminpour said. “Not only do I believe in the brand, the quality of its food and the importance it places on hospitality, but also in the strength of The Habit’s franchise support system. With our signed development agreement, we will be able to share the brand’s mission to deliver high quality food and great service at reasonable prices to more members of the community than ever before. »

Backed by its established parent company, Yum! Brands, The Habit emphasizes innovation and creativity through its diverse menu offerings, technology-driven operations, and full-access digital guest experience. In addition, the brand’s flexible footprint offers entrepreneurs a wide range of real estate models suitable for all markets.

“The momentum The Habit has generated over the past year is a testament to the work we have done to optimize our business model and franchisee support system,” said Russ Bendel, CEO of The Habit Burger Grill. “We are thrilled to see this all come to life through the development agreement with Aharon. It will expand the brand’s footprint in San Bernardino County to twenty-three (23) restaurants, bringing even more diverse menu offerings and cutting-edge digital experiences to customers across the region.

In addition to this franchise development agreement, the 330-unit brand recently announced the additional markets it is prioritizing for future franchise growth. It is advancing its growth plans in the United States with targets set for several Southeast and East Coast markets.

Habit Burger Grill has earned a respected reputation, praised for its award-winning Charburger and its laid-back, welcoming Californian essence. Along with the Charburger signature, The Habit’s forward-thinking product innovation sets it apart from its competitors in the fast-casual space with fresh salads, hand-made sandwiches and a unique twist on classic sides like as tempura green beans, sweet potato and fries and onion rings. The Habit difference lies in the uniqueness of its wood-fired cooking and cooking from scratch.

Prospective franchise owners who wish to be part of the growing Habit Burger Grill franchise must possess an entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm for the brand, a proven business track record in successful restaurant operations, the resources and the dedicated infrastructure to operate restaurants, as well as the ability to find real estate and construction. Candidates must also have access to sufficient liquid capital for the development of several restaurants in a large territory and ideally live and work in the market they wish to develop.

For more information about franchising with The Habit Burger Grill, visit

About The Habit Restaurants, Inc.

Born in Santa Barbara, California in 1969, The Habit Burger Grill is a fast-casual, burger-focused restaurant concept that specializes in fresh, cooked-to-order burgers and artisan sandwiches including tenderloin steak grilled, grilled chicken and sushi. quality ahi tuna cooked over high heat. Plus, it offers fresh artisan salads and an appealing selection of sides and shakes. Habit Burger Grill was named the “Best Burger in America” ​​in July 2014 in an extensive survey by one of America’s leading consumer magazines, named to Thrillist’s list of “Underrated Burger Chains That Must Be in every state!” and featured in Newsweek’s “America’s Favorite Restaurant Chains 2022″. The Habit Burger Grill has over 330 restaurants in 14 states from Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, from Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Washington, as well as 13 international restaurants. sites, seven in China and six in Cambodia. More information is available at

For more information about The Habit Burger Grill, visit To learn more about franchise opportunities with The Habit Burger Grill, visit

SOURCE The Habit Restaurants, Inc.


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Fuzzy’s Taco Shop Announces 4-Store Franchise Agreement Tue, 07 Jun 2022 14:40:49 +0000

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop announces a 4-store agreement with John Cassity, which will include brand expansion in Utah and growth in Colorado, an existing market. The Texas-based restaurant group is known for its Baja-style dishes with nearly 150 franchised and company-owned establishments in 18 states (with planned openings in Alabama and Utah bringing the total to 20).

In addition to Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Cassity has five Einstein Bros. stores. Bagel and four Subway sandwich shops.

Photo: John Cassity

“John is a highly skilled and experienced restaurateur who we know will uphold the integrity of the Fuzzy brand and culture,” said Paul Damico, CEO of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.

Cassity adds, “When looking for concepts to complement my existing brand portfolio, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop kept ticking all the boxes for me. What really impressed me was their flexible footprint that can be adapted to each specific space and market.

“Plus, Fuzzy’s has a very unique concept with affordable food and exclusive drinks, so from a competition perspective, it really stands out.”

Cassity’s first two Fuzzy’s Taco Shop locations are scheduled to open in the second half of 2022 in Grand Junction, CO and St. George, UT, with plans to expand into Utah following the openings.

For more information on franchise opportunities with Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, please visit

About Fuzzy’s Taco Shop:

Founded in 2003 near the campus of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop® is a fast-casual restaurant serving Mexican fare with a Baja twist. The laid back atmosphere pairs perfectly with the typical Baja style tacos, the famous chips and queso and the frozen drinks always served at a cold price. For more information on franchising, please visit

Restaurant Brands International – Consensus indicates 21.5% upside potential Sun, 05 Jun 2022 12:11:29 +0000

International restaurant brands found using the ticker (QSR) now have 13 total analysts covering the stock. The consensus rating is “Hold”. The range between the high target price and the low target price is between 75 and 57, with the middle target price at 64.21. Given that the stock’s previous close was at 52.85, this would indicate that there is 21.5% upside potential. The 50-day moving average now stands at 55.42 while the 200-day moving average is at 58.14. The company has a market capitalization of $23,583 million. Company website:

The potential market capitalization would be $28,652 million based on market consensus.

You can now share it on Stocktwits, just click on the logo below and add the ticker in the text to be seen.

Restaurant Brands International Inc. operates as a quick service restaurant company in Canada and internationally. It operates through four segments: Tim Hortons (TH), Burger King (BK), Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (PLK) and Firehouse Subs (FHS). The Company owns and franchises the TH chain of donut/coffee/tea restaurants which offer a blend of coffee, tea and specialty hot and cold espresso drinks; and fresh baked goods, including donuts, Timbits, bagels, muffins, cookies and pastries, toasted paninis, classic sandwiches, wraps, soups and more. It is also involved in the ownership and franchise of BK, a hamburger fast food chain, which offers flame-grilled burgers, chicken and other specialty sandwiches, fries, soft drinks and other foodstuffs ; and PLK quick-service restaurants that offer Louisiana-style fried chicken, chicken tenders, fried shrimp and other seafood, kidney beans and rice, and other regional products. Additionally, the company owns and franchises FHS quick-service restaurants that offer subs, soft drinks and local specialties. As of February 15, 2022, the company had approximately 29,000 restaurants in 100 countries under the Tim Hortons, Burger King, Popeyes and Firehouse Subs brands. Restaurant Brands International Inc. was founded in 1954 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

]]> Chicken wing and ranch milkshake go viral; Buffalo is horrified Fri, 03 Jun 2022 21:57:16 +0000

Buffalo is proud of many things. Our residents, local businesses, our sports (Bills and Sabers), and yes, food.

Chicken wings are the number one food that Buffalo is known for. There are so many amazing bars and restaurants serving authentic wings in Western New York.

Each Buffalo restaurant serves its wings with blue cheese and celery. Carrots could also be included, but blue cheese and celery are still part of the dish.

It’s an unwritten rule in Western New York that you don’t command a ranch with your wings. It’s ALWAYS blue cheese.

There was a viral tweet this week that featured wings but not Buffalo, not with blue cheese and in a horrible mix.

The University of Miami (FL) is selling a vanilla milkshake with chicken wings, ranch and hot sauce at their game this weekend. Yes really…

The tweet was as they say, “ratio”.

This means that more people replied and quoted the tweet than they actually liked it.

Western New York and Buffalo Bills fans responded in droves to show their displeasure with the concoction.

Wings and ranch are bad enough…but in a milkshake? With hot sauce?

At first I thought the ranch dressing was the base of the dish – wings in a ranch mug, basically. But then I realized it was actually a vanilla milkshake with wings and ranch.

I’m quite adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, but yes, there’s a big ‘no’ on my part.

Top 50 Summer Restaurants in Buffalo and Western New York

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50 Most Popular Restaurant Chains in America

YouGov surveyed the country’s most popular restaurant brands, and Stacker compiled the list to give readers context for the findings. Read on to browse the wide and varied variety of American restaurants. You might even find a favorite or two.

America’s Largest Sandwich Chain Is Overhauling Its Franchise System – Eat This Not That Tue, 31 May 2022 13:49:45 +0000

After “refreshing” its entire menu in 2021, Subway is now turning its attention to its franchise system. The sandwich chain is embarking on a “multi-year transformation journey,” which will include updating its roster of franchisees, according to a recent company statement.

Specifically, Subway hopes to swap some of its single-unit franchisees, many of whom are first-time business owners, with larger franchise companies. “The brand is actively inviting franchisees with multiple resources and multiple units to join the company…and discuss potential acquisition of restaurant portfolios with existing operators,” the statement read.

And don’t miss Turmoil at Subway Continues as Company Ignores Franchisees.

The transition to larger-scale contracts is part of Subway’s longer-term goal of becoming an “experience-driven” company. The chain says it wants to improve the customer experience in its restaurants and believes that well-funded multi-unit operators are its best bet to achieve this goal. Planned enhancements include system-wide store remodeling and investment in offsite formats.

“To ensure we remain competitive for years to come, we are expanding with high-calibre, multi-unit franchisees who bring operational expertise, development capabilities and capital,” said Steve Rafferty, senior vice president of development of Subway.

This is great news for Subway. The brand’s 21,000 locations are mostly run by single-unit, mom-and-pop operators, thanks to the fact that they offer some of the lowest start-up costs in the quick-service restaurant industry. Initial franchise fees at Subway are as low as $15,000, about a third of what McDonald’s charges, according to a 2019 estimate. It’s a selling point that has helped the chain become the biggest company in fast food in the United States.

But with its new focus on customer experience, Subway is shedding its famous growth strategy, hoping to transition to a stronger, more consolidated franchise system better positioned to deliver a “consistent, high-quality customer experience.” quality”. Whether the chain will be able to attract this type of high-calibre clientele remains to be seen.

Owen Duff

Owen Duff is a freelance journalist based in Vermont, home of Ben & Jerry’s. Read more

The best stocks to buy now? 4 restaurant stocks for your list Sat, 28 May 2022 20:03:49 +0000

Check out these restaurant stocks on the stock market today

As the stock market attempts to rally, investors may turn to restaurant stocks. As many parts of the world return to normal after the pandemic, many consumers are once again enjoying life’s simple pleasures such as eating out. And after being stuck at home for the past two years, consumers are likely looking forward to dining at their favorite restaurants. As such, it’s no surprise that the restaurant industry is regaining momentum.

Investors could watch the tastes of Wendy’s (NASDAQ: WEN) at this time. Earlier this week, its largest shareholder, Trian Fund Management, said it was considering a potential acquisition or other deal with the fast food restaurant. Trian’s website notes that the company has been working to improve the value of Wendy’s since she first invested in the company in 2005. Elsewhere, we have jack in the box (NASDAQ: JACK) which released its second quarter financial statements yesterday. Although its earnings missed estimates, the company saw its total revenue jump 25.3% to $322.2 million. All things considered, here are four more restaurant stocks to watch on the stock market today.

Restaurant inventory to buy [Or Sell] Today

FAT brands

FAT brands is a leading multi-brand restaurant franchise company. The company strategically develops, markets and acquires restaurant concepts worldwide. This would include casual, fast-casual, and quick-service dining concepts. Its impressive brand portfolio includes Round Table Pizza, Fatburger, Johnny Rockets and many other renowned brands. And for an idea of ​​scale, FAT franchises over 2,300 units worldwide. The company also has a strong portfolio of brands for future acquisitions and has a scalable management platform. Despite being under pressure for most of the past year, the FAT stock is up around 9% this week.

On Wednesday, the company announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire a chain of franchise stores from Crest Foods. Specifically, FAT will acquire Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip and will also rebrand the stores as Great American Cookies. This strategic decision on the part of FAT should strengthen its leading position in the dessert category in the biscuits and ice cream sectors. According to CEO Andy Wiederhorn, these acquisitions have been a powerful growth driver for the company. FAT also believes that its production and distribution capabilities will be able to increase the profitability of its franchisees. That being said, is stock FAT one to watch?

[Read More] The best stocks to invest in right now? 5 value stocks to watch this week

dutch brothers

BROS Action

dutch brothers is an upcoming name in the American specialty coffee scene. For the most part, he identifies himself as a high-growth operator and franchisor of drive-through cafes. The company caters to the needs of coffee drinkers by offering a selection of high quality craft beverages. For a sense of scale, Dutch Bros operates through a network of over 500 locations across the United States. Over the past week, BROS stock is up about 30%. On May 11, the company released its first quarter 2022 financial results.

For starters, Dutch Bros generated $152.2 million in revenue, up 54% year-over-year. For comparison, revenue for the same period last year was $98.8 million. Revenue from company-operated stores was $130.2 million, up from $77.9 million, marking a 67.1% increase. Along with this, it also opened 34 new stores, its second highest number of openings in a quarter. CEO Joth Ricci shared: “Although Dutch Bros is already a well established and respected brand on the West Coast, we are still in the early stages of our development with the potential for at least 4,000 stores nationwide over the next 10-15 years. In 2022, we now aim to open at least 130 new stores, supported by a strong pipeline and strong consumer acceptance.” Given this sentiment, is BROS stock one to watch?

International restaurant brands

QSR Stock Chart

International restaurant brands (QSR) is a Canadian company whose portfolio is made up of several big names in the fast food industry. Specifically, it includes Burger King, Popeyes, and Tim Hortons to name a few. According to QSR, the company facilitates approximately $31 billion in annual system-wide sales. QSR is able to do this through its impressive network of over 27,000 restaurants operating in over 100 countries. Earlier this month, QSR released its first quarter 2022 results which beat Wall Street expectations.

For starters, revenue hit $1.45 billion in the last quarter, beating estimates of $1.41 billion and growing 15.2% year-over-year. The company owes these strong revenues to Burger King. Notably, the burger chain’s international same-store sales climbed 20.1% in the most recent quarter. Earnings came in at $0.64 per share on an adjusted basis, just a hair above the $0.63 estimate. On top of that, this also marks the first full quarter that QSR has included its recently acquired Firehouse submarines in its revenue. The sandwich chain saw same-store sales growth of 4.2% in the quarter. Given all this, should you invest in QSR stocks?

[Read More] The best stocks to watch right now? 3 tech stocks in a nutshell

Chipotle Mexican Grill

CMG Stock Chart

Last but not least, we have Chipotle. Today, Chipotle is one of the largest restaurant companies in the world. The fast-casual Mexican restaurant primarily offers a menu of burritos, tacos, and salads. For an idea of ​​scale, it operates more than 2,500 restaurants globally, most of which are based in the United States. In addition, the company also has a workforce of more than 60,000 people. Late last month, Chipotle reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that beat analysts’ estimates.

The company reported total revenue of $2.02 billion for the quarter, just above estimates of $2.01 billion. On an annual basis, revenues increased by 16%. Chipotle’s same-store sales also increased 9% in the quarter. Additionally, the company recorded a net profit of $158.3 million, compared to $127.1 million the previous year. As a result, adjusted earnings per share came in at $5.70, beating expectations of $5.64 per share. In the same report, the company says it expects same-store sales to grow 10% to 12% in the second quarter. On that note, is CMG stock a buy?

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Hard work and a head start paid off for the fi… Fri, 27 May 2022 10:51:49 +0000

Olivia Damon is still in shock. Having worked at the Societi Bistro in Gardens for a few years, the owner Peter Weetman had designated her for this project: to be the first franchisee of the Café Societi. We first reported that story in August 2020; Admittedly, it took a relatively long time for this to happen, but when it did, it was within a matter of weeks.

The premises of the Homecoming Center in Caledon Street, District Six/Zonnebloem have been secured, Damon has been informed and the Café Societi has opened its doors three weeks ago. For someone who’s been plunged into the depths and swimming energetically, Damon is in high spirits, laughing and excited, but there’s still an air of wonder about him.

Once upon a time, she couldn’t even get the right milk for coffees, and look at her now. “I’ve always been afraid to make coffee because the milk would never come out for a cappuccino,” she said. “I had to learn on the job.”

With 11 hot coffee drinks available, Café Societi has your caffeine fix covered. (Photo: provided)

Damon has the training, the gift of milk, and with that, the confidence. It was her attitude – hardworking and always enthusiastic – that brought her to Weetman’s attention, and she had been on his radar for coffee for a while. Suddenly being the boss of your own place is overwhelming, she admitted, along with the business side of things like advertising, marketing and administration – for which she is supported by Societi Bistro. Damon is also overwhelmed with gratitude (there were even tears of joy) for the trust placed in him. “I just want to tell Peter again how grateful I am for this opportunity,” she said, dabbing her eyes with a tissue.

We’ve both known Weetman for years and agreed that he’s tough but fair, and has provided many opportunities for hard workers along the way. “To get Peter’s trust is a really big thing,” Damon reiterated.

Location is also important; you will recognize it immediately – this is where the home of the Fugard Theater was located, the building renamed HCC: Homecoming Center, owned by the District Six Museum Foundationwhich administers all matters relating to the District Six Museum and the Homecoming Center, including a large number of community projects.

In November 2021, the foundation issued a call for tenders which was directed to Neighbourgood, an organization that reallocates city properties left vacant due to the pandemic and creates community-focused coworking and cohousing spaces for young professionals and digital nomads.

The partnership sees Neighbourgood spearhead “day-to-day” property management, maintenance, events and later permanent tenants. When Neighborgood was looking for a tenant to take over the theater’s former foyer space for food and drink, a mutual connection (a lawyer) put him in touch with Weetman. That was less than two months ago, if you need more insight into how quickly this all happened.

“The whole story comes together and here I am in the middle, creating something new,” marveled Damon, who gets up at 6am to travel from Westlake into town by taxi to open the cafe at 7am in the morning. It trades seven days a week, until 7 p.m. A bonus is the reintroduction of events in the theater spaces – such as the Shakespeare Schools Festival this month – as well as in the adjoining room (part of a larger work and living space) where an art exhibition s opens next week, including Sunday services. Everyone who passes by is a potential customer, which is a huge boost for a budding pursuit.

The Café Societi concept is not an on-site consumption model. Yes, you can walk down the street and order coffee, pastries, meals like pasta and the famous mushroom risotto or lemon pie from Societi Bistro, and soups for cold days and nights. However, it was designed to be app-based, which is very convenient and is part of what impressed Neighborgood. You download it and create an account from which you can select what you want, pay through the app and collect. Quick and easy. You can mark your favourites, and make “bundles”, for example a nemesis pain (croissant filled with chocolate nemesis, a staple Bistro dessert) and a cappuccino would make a superb breakfast or afternoon treat. It’s just as well that I don’t live around the corner or I’d probably shrug my shoulders and say who cares anyway and I have this every day and never wear anything again with a zipper.

If you stumble through the door, you’ll be greeted, likely by Damon herself, who will also tell you more about the app to streamline future visits into a digital experience.

The idea for Café Societi germinated before Covid when Weetman and Johan van Heerden (who, among other things, was responsible for telling Damon that his life was about to change almost overnight because he’s the sweetest and manages emotions better) were looking at ways they could scale the business successfully and ethically. “Franchising the bistro was never going to be an option; it has too many moving parts and is very personality driven,” Weetman said.

Breakfast on the go – order and pay through the Café Societi app, and collect at the door. (Photo: provided)

After percolating and distilling the concept, Covid provided the time to work on developing the app and going through the massive amount of documentation that comes with the franchise. “Then things opened up and we had to refocus. We are slightly behind on everything, Olivia has been very patient with us,” Weetman said. “Neighbourgood and I started talking about four or five weeks ago and I said ‘listen, I have a launch and a menu change and a new chef – I want to do this; it’s an incredible opportunity”. I was on the original fireplace design team so the kismet is crazy. Neighborgood asked me if I could consult for the reception area.

“Then everything happened very quickly; two weeks from supply to rental to operation. It was a juggling act; we had talked to private entrepreneurs, we had to find and polish talent – ​​and find investors at the same time – and the big problem was finding the right venue.

Get a prepared dish like fettuccine limone. (Photo: provided)

“Olivia used to open the restaurant, had the keys, ran her own petty cash; all these little skills add up. I’m really proud of her, she did an amazing job, and I’m not saying that in a condescending or paternalistic way. She’s ahead of the curve. We told him ‘these are things that have to start moving in your direction’; yesterday she interviewed and employed two people.

Weetman said there were other employees, women, at the Societi Bistro that he had his eye on for future possibilities. “If you want to do shit, ask a woman,” he said.

Olivia Damon and her team at Café Societi at the Homecoming Centre. From the left, Shameema Siwayo, Shaqeel Abrahams, Olivia Damon, Anesu Mubandu, Faseegah Najjar. (Photo: provided)

Being early days, and such a quick open, there are plans to offer flowers, a range of homewares – linens, crockery, glassware – all supporting local artisans, and an extension of Curated. Africa, another facet of the Societi Bistro business.

“We dream of opening 300 franchises across the country, from cities to vineyards; it could take seven years, it could take three months,” Weetman said, half-joking in reference to how quickly this happened. “Yes, there are high traffic areas to look at but, like Societi, my preference is always for beautiful old buildings with history and character.

“I think what will be left after Covid we can all debate until we are bruised in the face – will people be working from home? Will they return to the offices? It’s very situational. I think the one thing that will definitely remain is convenience, and that’s what Café Societi offers.

Now I wonder… how much a daily nemesis pain be for the figure? DM/TGIFood

Café Societi – Homecoming Center is open Monday to Sunday from 7am to 7pm (later for events). For more information send an e-mail [email protected] or click here.

HCC: return center15A Buitenkant Street, June 2, 6 p.m.

* An exhibition titled Salon Afrique – a Homecoming Reimagined opens to the public on June 2, 2022 (first Thursday), at the District Six Homecoming Center as part of the launch celebrations for the new HCC cultural venue.

Salon Afrique aspires to reflect the voices of South African and Pan-African artists united in their ability to celebrate Africa and our position in the world through a deeper investigation into memory, cultural identity and lived experiences than the works depict. Artists from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, DRC Congo, Ethiopia and Zambia will be represented.

The exhibition, along with the accompanying cultural program, offers a homecoming away from home – a safe welcoming and experiential space for creative expression – an immersive living room of art and traditions, where cultures and people meet and connect.

In response to the history and tradition of the Homecoming Centre, curators Beathur Mgoza Baker of Madlozi Art & Heritage and Sara Bint Moneer Khan of Mashura Arts set out to create a space of affirmation, belonging and pride. Both are independent curators recognized globally for their critical engagement with themes of identity, belonging and memory, as well as the conservation of the body and practice of contemporary decolonial art.

Follow Bianca Coleman on Instagram @biancaleecoleman

The writer supports The Donor Gift Foundationthe largest African-based non-governmental disaster response organization on the African continent.