Franchise Qa With Russ Clark Co Founder Of American Kolache
How was your franchise/opportunity originally conceived and started?
We knew right away, at our first bite, that the little kolache was going to be something big — and we were right. People of all ages, from all walks of life, all throughout the day just can’t seem to get their fill of these sweet and savory tasty pastries. We want people to make their business building dreams come true, with a fantastic concept that’s in high demand and in a fast-growing category.
What was your original vision for your company? How has that changed over time?
Our vision for American Kolache has and continues to be this: to bring American flair to the kolache, a Czech pastry. Nobody else is making kolaches in quite the same way we’re making them. With our culinary background, we bring a new spin to an old favorite.
What do you believe is the single most important factor when choosing a franchise?
The single biggest factor when choosing a franchise is your competition. You have to consider: Is the market saturated? Is it a concept that has room to grow? or is it a concept that has room to grow? With American Kolache, you have that security; the attractive thing about American Kolache is it’s uniqueness.
Why should someone choose your franchise over other similar franchises?
There aren’t any industries like American Kolache, it’s entirely unique.
What makes your industry attractive?
Kolache is an incredibly hot product in an untapped market. Opening an American Kolache is a chance to become part of an on-trend brand, with a QSR franchise that’s in the sweet spot of industry growth and innovative tastes.
What types of qualities do you look for in potential franchisees?
We seek franchise owners or operating partners who are responsible hardworking individuals who are looking to change their lives and control their future. Customer service is incredibly important as well. Good food can be easily sullied by bad service.
What do your franchise fees and royalties cover?
We charge a royalty fee equal to 6% of weekly gross sales, and we may also charge a technology fee of up to $200 per month. These fees allow us to fund our ongoing support services and the continued development of recipes, product and supply channels, marketing tools, training programs, and systems upgrades.
Where do you see your franchise in 5 years and 10 years?
In 5 years, I hope to see 100 stores around the country, and in 10 years I hope that the kolache is a household term. When people think about kolache, I want the first thing to pop into their head to be American Kolache.
What is your favorite advice for new franchisees to help them succeed?
Customer service, customer service, customer service. Good service is incredibly important, great food is always ruined by poor service.
What would you tell potential franchisees that may be nervous about the financial burdens of starting a franchise?
Honestly, just do it. You’ll never hit a home-run if you don’t take a swing. Too many people think about the negative, and they sit on the couch thinking about the “what could have been.”
On average, how long does it take to start a new franchise from the franchisees point of view?
It should be about 9 months from the time a new franchisee shows interest first show interest to the time when the doors open for the first time.
What was your background and experience before founding this franchise?
I have a strong history of business ownership and service. When I was a kid, we owned a seafood restaurant. After that I was a bartender, I opened multiple hotels, I spent 10 years working in Morton’s of Chicago. After that, me and my partner opened three pizza franchises, a catering company, and a wine bar.