Liron Gilhar launched Mexican Fresh in 2010 because he wanted to create a fresh, authentic Mexican take-away offering that wasn’t rich, oily, stomach-lining food. He partnered with Ronald Raad, the founder of Fratellis, because Raad brought a wealth of franchising experience with him, which would be invaluable once the brand was sufficiently established to franchise.
Gilhar and Raad opened their first store in 2010, and a second within the year. Since the first store opened they have received regular franchising enquiries, but have been careful to ensure they have strong systems in place before starting the franchising process. With a menu tested and refined, a head chef with training systems in place and an operational manual ready for franchisees, it’s time for the brand to expand.
The authentic feel
Gilhar sees the brand differentiating itself in the market through a number of key areas. The ingredients are all fresh, and meals are made there and then from scratch. The systems have been refined so that most meals are ready within five to ten minutes, and patrons get a fresh, wholesome meal. The menu is also designed by a Mexican chef, so all meals are authentic, with spices and recipes passed down through generations.
From the ground up
“We’re looking for franchisees who preferably have franchising experience and understand the rigours of running a take-away restaurant, but who also want to be involved in growing a great new brand. It’s an exciting time for us, and we want to share our passion,” says Gilhar. With three new head office stores set to open by the end of 2014, the brand is already extending its footprint.
Mexican Fresh has also attracted the interest of an equity partner. A fund manager who started frequenting the business as a patron soon sent friends and acquaintances to try out the brand. His goal? To get an unbiased view of the food, service and systems. His fund is looking to build a franchise portfolio from the ground up, and Mexican Fresh has now joined this stable, adding strong financial support to the franchisors.
- Mexican Fresh is looking for franchisees who will be passionate ambassadors for a new brand. “We want franchisees who like the idea of getting in on the ground floor,” says Gilhar. “At this point we are very competitively priced compared to more established brands, but that’s not what we want our draw card to be. We want people who love the idea of growing a brand.”
- Estimated set-up cost is R850 000 (excl Vat), and this includes the joining fee, assistance with site selection and evaluation, operations manual, onsite training and support as well as training with the group’s chef.
- Franchisees pay a franchise fee of 5% of sales (excl Vat) and a marketing levy of 2% of sales (excl Vat).
- Average store size is 85m2 to 125m2;monthly turnover is estimated to exceed R180 000 per month with a gross profit of 60%.
- The ideal franchisee is an owner-operator who has some understanding of franchising and the take-away market.
- Company: Mexican Fresh
- Established: 2010
- Call: +27 (0)11 326 2276
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit: www.mexicanfresh.co.za