How did you get into the industry?
Ricky: In 1992 my father opened the first Indian restaurant in Atlanta. I worked in the restaurant and worked my way up all the way through college. After college, I joined my father in the business. We then opened Cafe Bombay in 2003 together. I worked there as a managing owner. The rest is history. We opened several brands over the years. Masti was opened in 2015 with a very different menu than anyone had ever seen. We wanted to kill the stereotype of typical Indian food. Our mission was to kill the Indian food stereotype…afterall, Masti means “fun”.
What’s New in the Business or in the Franchise Model?
Robby: My background is in the tech and background operation. A successful model is not just great food — it’s hard work, technology, strong operational processes, POS integration, mobile platforms for delivery. Whether you’re running a restaurant or a large corporation, all of this integration with technology and experience is imperative. Of course, you have to have good food and a brand with a story, which we have, but Masti has the tech aspect to scale the business as well. This is a uniform package for people who may lack some of these tech skills. We’ve got a foundational experience from our upbringing that we bring to the table. We were both bi-ligual. We’ve traveled the world. We’ve grown up within both the American and Indian cultures. What we’ve created in our menu is based on our influences and its what makes us better than many other concepts out there.
Where do you See Opportunities or Challenges for the Franchise/Business Moving Forward?
Ricky: For five years we wanted to get this off the ground. We first proved a positive P&L for 3 years. We know this will work in all major cities. QSR in stadiums, airports, food courts— this is an incredible opportunity because our model has been proven and the foundation well-established.
Robby: Indian food 10 years ago had a misconception. Smelly. Curry. Spicy. There is so much more to the cuisine. The culture, the history, the colors, the flavors. The opportunity we have ahead of us is to introduce all of these elements to people, regardless of where they are.
What Are Your Unique Points of Training and Support?
Ricky: We are going to offer 4 week training. Two weeks of training in Atlanta at our main restaurant. A week in the kitchen and the week on the floor. If they are new to the industry we’ll train on all of the basics as needed —how to run a dishwasher, how to run a POS — everything. PLUS 2 weeks in their own restaurant. There’ll be a Masti manager and a chef on site for a minimum of 2 weeks to make sure our franchisees understand everything. This is hands on for a full 4 ½ weeks.
Robby: We’ll support our franchisees from a tech standpoint…running an operation in the world of restaurants isn’t what it used to be. We bring a revenue model that consists of both onsite services and delivery. There’s a way to do this economically and efficiently, which we understand and will train our franchisees on.
Talk to us About Training and Support, How Do You Deliver?
I am a perfectionist. So everything has to be perfect, which means training will be perfect. If a franchisee needs extra time to train, I will be there for them. I want everyone to win. When they win, I win, the brand wins. Training will be top-notch and done right.
Your Most Difficult Moment at the Franchise Business?
If you look at some of the brands out there, they are very stringent on things you can or cannot do. There are certain brand elements that you must do, however, we won’t require every piece of napkins, straws, equipment —things like this — to come from us. Our goal here isn’t to make money. We want to be flexible for our franchisees and consistent to the brand we’ve built.
How is your Franchise Model Structured?
A. Training and Support Model?
Operational Support: We will provide ongoing training and support in many areas, including unit operations, maintenance, customer-service techniques, product ordering, pricing guidelines, and administrative procedures
Marketing Support: We will coordinate the development of advertising materials and strategies, consumer marketing plans and materials.
Ongoing Business Development Support: We will provide our continued research methods and techniques to enhance unit-level profitability
B. What is the Fee Structure?
Estimated Minimum Initial Investment:$277,400 (with franchise fee)
Royalty Fee:5%of Gross Sales
C. Territory Definition?
What does Your Franchisee Do in the Business Every Day?
Ricky: Once they are trained they will work on enhancing the business and creating the ambiance. Making sure the TV works, the music is good, and that everything is cleaned and organized. They need to ensure this business is running smoothly. Restaurants are built around the ampstophere. The quality and consistency of what they are serving to the guests is key.
They will also be watching their costs. Ensuring they have the right staff. Really, it’s being the owner-operator on a day-to-day basis.
Who is the Ideal Franchise Candidate?
Ricky: We want someone to be an aggressive owner-operator — very hands on. Someone who is at least 30 years old and perhaps has a family of their own that they want to provide for. They will give more passion to their work because they have an obligation to their families. They understand logistics, operations, tech.
Robby: They don’t need to be Indian. They need to be global. They have a passport. They’ve seen diversity and have tasted different world cuisines. They bring a global experience to the restaurant. This person is open to different ideas. At our main store, we have a diverse customer base, so we need people who understand how to introduce our unique flavors to anyone.
What Goals Do You Have for the Franchise Model in the Future?
Ricky: Our goal is to take the whole restaurant global. We have a new project rolling out next year for meal plans. This will be a web based program that delivers fresh food straight to our customer’s doorstep, all of which has a seven day shelf life.
The world is our oyster! We aren’t limited. This is an unlimited growth opportunity.
For more information on the Masti franchise opportunity, visit www.mastifranchising.com