When Arash Bahrami decided to open a Druxy’s Famous Deli franchise at age 25, he says some doubted his ability to succeed. “It was a little more difficult to get my foot through the door and get everyone to respect me,” he recalls. “I wanted to make a name for myself and prove everyone wrong.”
That he did. After taking ownership of the Queen Street West deli in Toronto, he increased store sales by 100 per cent in his first year of business. Five years later, his location is so successful that it’s now used as a training store for new franchisees.
“I saw the potential behind it,” he says of his restaurant, which he completely renovated after taking ownership. “It just needed a little tender loving care and a facelift.” He also made customer service a priority. “We focused on the basics – service, consistency of the product and cleanliness of the store. That’s what set us apart from the competition in the area and got us to the level we’re at.”
His favourite part of franchise ownership is reaping the benefits of his hard work. “You take back from the store what you put into it,” he says. He also appreciates that his role allows him to interact with customers and, with his 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule, he’s able to enjoy a social life. His goal is to open more stores and eventually take over the company one day. “I want to have CEO on my business card,” he says.
Although he’s a first-time business owner, Bahrami is no stranger to the franchise world. Several family members, including his father, own Druxy’s locations and, prior to becoming a franchisee, Bahrami worked as a district sales manager for another franchise system. He therefore has firsthand knowledge of the benefits of franchising.
“I saw how successful my family was and decided to go for it,” he says of his decision to open a franchise, citing brand power as a major benefit of becoming a franchisee. “When you open up a small mom and pop shop, you can’t compete with the marketing of the big franchise systems.”
Another benefit is the training and support provided. “Anytime you call them, they’re always able to help you out one way or another,” he says of Druxy’s head office team.
To young people considering franchise ownership, he says to start saving now. “Make sure you have enough capital to support yourself in case the store doesn’t perform at the level you expected.”
Also be prepared to work hard. “Put in a lot of time and effort and take it seriously because it’s a lot of money and time you’re putting into it and you only get out what you put into it.”