Industry Qa With Russ Clark Co Founder Of American Kolache
Provide an overview/ description of your industry.
Breakfast is one of the fastest rising industries of the restaurant business. Breakfast foods are a better food cost item (which is why companies are beginning to sell breakfast all day). American Kolache, like a lot of breakfast places, are open from 6 AM to 2 PM, so you don’t have to deal with a lot of the complications that come with owning a business that’s open late at night.
How has your industry changed in the last 10 years? 20 years?
It’s changed the most with the advancement of technology and social media. It’s a lot easier to get the word out about your restaurant when people are constantly posting their meals on social media. With the click of a button, you can reach so many people, and have access to that wide market. On the flip side though, if you run your restaurant poorly, that’ll wind up all over social media too, which is why I stress the importance of good customer service.
What trends do you see in your industry over the next 5 years? Next 10 years?
In the coming years, I’m expecting to see a larger embrace of technology. With labor prices and minimum wage constantly rising, it’s imperative to embrace technology and modernization.
What is the biggest concern about your industry that a franchisee candidate should be aware of and investigate?
When owning a restaurant, it’s important to take note of the competition. Is your market oversaturated? Is your product unique? That’s why American Kolache is completely unique; nobody is doing what we’re doing.
Why do you think your company stands out in the industry?
Nobody else in the market is putting an American twist on the Czech tradition of kolache. We’re unique in that respect.
What makes your franchise/ business opportunity more attractive than your competitor’s?
We don’t really have any competitors. Above what little competition that we have, we soar above with our cutting edge technology and incredibly product. The great thing about American Kolache is that in addition to our staple of 32 items that are in every store, looking to the communities that our franchises are located in. That means embracing local food types, recipes, and produce. We want to provide both the ease of a franchise, and the room to explore your own city and create a unique experience.
Describe the ideal candidate. Do you think your requirements are any different than your competitor’s?
We seek franchise owners or operating partners who are responsible hardworking individuals who are looking to change their lives and control their future. We also look for franchisees with prior staff management experience, who are enthusiastic, involved in their communities, natural leaders, and who will be passionate about the American Kolache brand.
What’s the strongest skill you require in a candidate?
We stress trust in the process. We’ve set up a fail-safe system to make the franchising process as easy as possible. We have a system for everything: menu items, restaurant design, set selection. Trust the process is incredibly important.
Describe the working environment of your franchisees. Is your environment typical of other companies in your industry?
Our locations are similar to a small sized bakery. Unlike larger franchises, where employees constantly rotate and file in and out, we expect there to be a small core group of people working at each American Kolache. We want the franchisee and employees to grow into a family.
Why has your company been successful?
Great food and great service. It’s as easy as that.
What advice would you give someone interested in buying a franchise in your industry?
Customer service, customer service, customer service. Good service is incredibly important, great food is always ruined by poor service.
How much experience in this industry should a franchisee candidate have should they consider buying a franchise in your industry?
Owning an American Kolache doesn’t really require experience. In some cases, it’s better if a candidate doesn’t have restaurant experience, so that bad experiences and habits don’t leak into their location. We’ve created a process to make franchising and operating as easy as possible.