Our Dubai franchise

Posted on Analysis May 2010 - by Tandoori Magazine
Our Dubai franchise

With V8 Gourmet’s first Tiffinbites brand launch in Dubai, Andy Varma Director, Food & Business Development for the group reflects on the new opening and franchising.

Taking a bite of my bhel puri a couple of weeks ago and looking around I could have been at any of our Tiffinbites restaurants in the UK. But I wasn’t. This was at the launch of the first Tiffinbites International Franchise in the Mirdiff City Centre in Dubai.

Watching the local Emirati population enjoying our Indian food was the culmination of over 14 months of hard work and the fruits of the labour put in by me, chef Vishal Khanna and our franchise manager Taimur Khan, are there to be seen.

The restaurant has maintained all the elements of a Tiffinbites and was the crown jewel in the array of restaurants dotting the Mirdiff mall.

Franchising simply put is the art of duplicating every aspect of your restaurant anywhere, right from the signage, interiors, equipment, food, whilst maintaining the look, feel and taste of the original. It’s a good way to make money out of your restaurant and typically a franchised restaurant will receive 7 - 12% of the gross sales from a franchisee per month and a one- off fee ranging from £10,000 - £50,000 as an initial franchise fee.

There are many elements that come together in creating a franchise and the first step to a good franchise should be ticking all the boxes on the legal side of things. My advice is make sure you use a good law firm that is well versed with franchising in order to ensure that you get the best possible deal for yourself.

Once the legal process is underway the next thing to consider is the proposed site for your franchised store, which ideally should be in a location that is favourable to the nature of your business. Important things to check are that the site has gas, electricity, water supply and no hidden nasties such as asbestos or damp, which-no pun intended - can put a dampner on moving forward with the shop-fitting process.

A team of well-established shop fitters is the best option when deciding on who will fit out your site. Avoid using cowboy builders who may be cheaper but might cut corners and not give you a good finish or even take a long time in completing works. A good team of shop fitters will be able to work off a plan and complete works according to schedule.

Kitchen equipment should be chosen on the merits of being the best kind of equipment to do the job required whilst being reasonably priced, reliable and easy to maintain. Service contracts are essential for kitchen equipment and this will reduce costs in the long run of one-off repairs.

Out of the many elements in franchising, possibly the hardest to achieve is the standardization of the taste of the food. The question often asked to me is how are you able to get a chicken tikka masala in Dubai to taste identical to one cooked in Canary Wharf in London? The secret to being able to achieve this is multi-fold. Firstly the ingredients used must be absolutely identical. The meat must be of the same quality and cut and must maintain the exact same technical specifications. Vegetables should be local and freshly bought.

Spices must be identical to the ones used in the original dish and ideally the same brand of spices must be used if possible. Chefs must follow the recipe of a dish exactly using precisely measured ingredients and must refrain from being creative. Franchising is a great way to expand a restaurant brand, but as anyone in the restaurant trade knows, the devil is in the details, and mastering this is the difference between success and failure.

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