1. How did you get into the industry?
I was given an opportunity to open a little food shack on Venice Beach, and I took it. It was less than 150 sq ft, so I knew I had to keep it really simple and do one thing well, and being from Scotland, fish & chips is our national dish. So what I’ve done is take this classic dish and gave it a little California twist, bringing it into the 21st Century. That’s how The Wee Chippy was born. By serving high quality yet affordable food and working with a strong green, zero-waste philosophy, my little hole-in-the-wall took off. We became a destination for locals and tourists from around the world. We even won a few awards. I realized with the advice of others that our model could work anywhere, in any size location, in every demographic. I would love to see The Wee Chippy in every community.
2. What’s new in your business/franchise model?
Even before the pandemic, white tablecloth dining was very much in decline, being replaced with high-quality, quick-service food establishments. Those that have been successful, like Shake Shack and Chipotle, have focused on a simple menu, while still catering to all, even those with dietary restrictions. The Wee Chippy offers all that and something new — no one is doing just fish & chips. And no one does it like we do. Our fish & chips can be seasoned in unlimited ways with our line of specialty gourmet salts, giving customers a different flavor experience every time.
3. Where do you see opportunities and/or challenges for the business/franchise model?
I hate to bring up the pandemic again, but it’s a great example of how well The Wee Chippy adapted to a radically changing environment. Our focus on achieving zero-waste and using recyclable products (even our cooking oil is recycled by selling it to biofuel companies) are just some of the ingredients that have helped us thrive during this extraordinary, changing time.
4. What is the goal of the business moving forward?
The goal is to keep building and perfecting our brand and making The Wee Chippy™ fish & chips franchise the best in the world!
5. What was your most difficult moment at the business?
Again, the COVID-19 pandemic, which is probably the same for everybody. In the beginning it was a very trying time, wondering if you’ll get back to where you were and how are you going to keep your employees who depend on you. Lucky for us, we got to come back sooner than most because of our take-away business, with many lessons learned.
6.Define your franchise model:
What is the Fee Structure?
$45,000 Franchise Fee
1% Marketing Fund
50,000-100,000-population center or a 5-mile radius from the location.
What does the franchisees do in the business every day?
They will be responsible for the day-to-day operations at their location. We will give them the tools to achieve this.
Who is your ideal franchise candidate?
As diverse as our customers! You don’t need to have a lot of experience — just those who know what they want, never let excuses get in their way of achieving their goals, and thrive in an environment working with people and food.
For more information on the franchise, visit: www.theweechippyfranchise.com