Sam’s started in operation in 1990 with its first restaurant in Wealdstone,Harrow,Middlesex. It has expanded since then to more than 34 outlets nationwide though its main presence is in London.
Sam has developed his own secret mix of spices that goes into the flour preparation and the process of cooking that gives the crispy golden brown chicken product lines, which holds the key to its business success.
Sam’s has expanded so far through franchising its successful product. To ensure that the quality and service that has come to be associated with Sam’s are maintained by the new franchisees, the expansion is being carefully planned and managed.
THE PERSONALITY BEHIND SAM’S
SAM has had other business interests but his ambition and dream has been to establish Sam’s as a Brand. Sam’s business idea began when he was working with Kentucky Fried Chicken (UK) as their Deputy Operations Director. He felt that with significant freedom of his own business he could achieve much more by putting in place his own ideas. As such, he left them and started the hard work back in 1990. Today his Sam’s stores have shown to succeed even where established brands have outlets in close proximity.
The necessary infrastructure to expand the Brand has been established. The special seasoning (secret-
Sam’s chicken product line is prepared following a special method of food preparation, which involves the breading of the fresh chicken pieces with a secret blend of seasoning or breading-
This is an essential ingredient for success. Sam’s takes this so seriously. It ensures that all store supplies are from vendors that have satisfied the quality standards stipulated by Sam’s. This also helps keep costs down by ensuring higher volumes from a selected few suppliers. Sam’s ensures that the stores receive the benefits of its suppliers by incorporating a requirement that it supplies all store supplies.
To ensure that the customers have an enjoyable experience whether when they visit our takeaway or restaurants, the team serving the customers are put through a rigorous training regime and are regularly checked to ensure they maintain the required level of service and conduct at all times. All stores would be visited without advance warning at any time to ensure the standards are maintained at all times by any of Sam’s appointed personnel as a “Mystery Customer”.
To ensure that all stores have the right ambience and meet the highest standard and health and safety requirements, whilst keeping costs under control, Sam’s has enlisted a specialised store conversion team (approved architects and construction firms) to handle all its store refurbishments. This keeps conversion times to a minimum, reduces conflicts and ensures all stores meet the same high Sam’s standards, in addition to all Health and Safety and Building regulations.To ensure that there is continued compliance to product quality standards there will be operational audits to ensure compliance.
THE FRANCHISEE SELECTION AND APPROVAL PROCEDURE
As at present, there is already sufficient interest without any advertising from potential franchisees but this may change in time.
When contacted for the first time, the Franchisee is expected to furnish an return the Franchise applicaion form. Armed with these preliminary facts, the Franchise Relation Manager will brief the applicant on all aspects of the business, finances, health and safety, franchise terms and conditions. Next, the Franchisee is vetted and whilst that is being carried out, there is an ongoing dialogue between both parties to identify possible store sites and address any queries from the applicants from their evaluation of the franchise agreement with their own legal advisers and accountants. If the vetting phase is successful, Sam’s will interview the applicant. During which process, any concerns can be clarified by both sides. Subsequent to the above assessment, a decision will be made by Sam’s on whether to accept or reject the application.
If successful, the applicant will be informed of the decision and appointments made to evaluate possible store sites. Though Sam’s will furnish inputs on the sites of the store, the final decision on the store site will be that of the franchisee. However, if Sam’s has strong objections to any site then the Company reserves the right not to enter into a franchise contract. One particular case would be if the store site is too close to another of Sam’s franchisees. Then since the whole process from shop fitting and equipment to training is standardised and already organised, the shop opening should not be as stressful as it would be otherwise. With the exception of any peculiarities to any particular site, different Council or planning regulations no other problems are normally expected.
Thereafter, the Franchise Relation Manager will ensure that the needs of the franchisee’s are met and that all product quality and quality service issues highlighted to the franchisee for corrective action. It is made very clear to the franchisee from the very beginning that it is imperative that the Sam’s operational and service standards are maintained.
In this regard, Sam’s has a comprehensive standards manual a copy of which will be available to all stores. Franchisee receives assistance from purchasing of supplies right up to sales and marketing the business. This model has been refined over the last few years and is working very successfully. However, from the lessons learned in some instances over the years, Sam’s has added more services in-
Sam’s can boast that to date there has not been a single franchise store closed due to inability to make a decent bottom line. On the other hand, there has been expansion by existing franchisees where single store franchisees have grown into five and six franchise store operators.