How did you get into the industry?
I first started in the food and service industry due to a passion for cooking for others. As my interest in cooking delicious foods for others grew, I found fulfilling satisfaction in knowing that the food I created would be enjoyed by others.
What’s New in the Business or in the Franchise Model?
Other the past few years, the demand for specialty or alternative food menus has increased drastically. Sohpia’s Kitchen has been keeping up with the changes extremely well. We constantly introduce new food products that our customers are seeking: Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo, low carbohydrate and high protein offers. Our franchisees will be relevant in their market due to the wide span of delicious offerings that we have, perfect for people of all dietary needs. Our team has also recently launched breakfast tacos, cinnamon & lemon breakfast cakes and honey turmeric latte. Through consistent research and development efforts, we can offer new and exciting flavors and menu items while still keeping our customers’ favorites on the menu.
Where do you See Opportunities or Challenges for the Franchise/Business Moving Forward?
As with any business, there are always challenges and opportunities that go hand in hand with the economic climate. For starters, we’ve seen a growing challenge with food item and supply costs which is to be expected with the challenges that we have all faced as a nation. Furthermore, our team has continued to seek great employees, sometimes working hard to obtain new quality staff.
The opportunity for us has been to franchise, despite these challenges, and to grow the Sophia’s Kitchen brand throughout the country with amazing franchise partners.
What is your Goal for the Business Moving Forward?
We are so excited to launch our franchise and take the first steps towards some of our company goals. One of our first goals for this year is to find the right franchise partner to join our network. Ideally, we would love to bring this person on board by 2024 at the latest. We are going to be careful to vet our franchisees and only approve franchise partners who align with our company’s philosophy and culture.
Talk to us About Training and Support, How Do You Deliver?
Our franchise partners are gaining extensive training from the moment that they come on board with us. We start with an extensive training phase that takes place at our company’s headquarters. Following this, we work with our franchisees within their own locations too. Support is just as extensive. Franchise partners will be receiving accessible, ongoing support throughout their agreement with us. We make ourselves available to them so that they can keep their operations running smoothly and can see success happen quickly.
Your most difficult moment at the Franchise Business?
One of our most difficult moments was to franchise the business. We knew this would be a big project, but also knew that Sophia’s Kitchen can bring positive opportunities to those who are looking for business ownership and for those looking for jobs. We are so excited that we chose to franchise!
Define your Franchise Model:
Training and Support Model?
We start with three to four weeks of initial training at our headquarters in Texas. This begins approximately 8 to 12 weeks before the franchisee is scheduled to open for business. At first, we focus on administrative, operational, and sales/marketing matters, on-the-job training, health and safety, inventory control, instilling culture, and points on how to train new staff. This training will be provided for the franchisee and up to one other team member.
Next, we have one of our staff members onsite once our franchisee opens their doors. We will be there for one week to assist as operations kick off.
Support continues with marketing guidance and operational support.
What is the Fee Structure?
Royalty fee: 6% of gross sales
Marketing Fund contribution: 1% of gross sales
Franchise fee: $45,000
A population of 50,000
What does Your Franchisee Do in the Business Every Day?
Each day, our franchisees are hands-on in the business, conducting operational necessities to make sure everything is running smoothly. They will oversee expenses and stock on-hand reports, review revenue from prior time period, approve purchases needed by manager, and hire and train new and seasoned staff.
They need to be ready to connect with the community and driven towards educating themselves. They will be in charge of waste control and quality control for their store as well.
Who is the Ideal Franchise Candidate?
Sophia’s Kitchen is a place where our customers come to relax and enjoy a positive environment. With that, our franchisees need to be the type of person who is committed to quality products. they need an adventurous spirit, a strong work ethic, the ability to teach and lead, and be able to nurture relationships through positive interactions with customers, vendors, employees and the community on a daily basis.
What Goals Do You Have for the Franchise Model in the Future?
I am thrilled to be expanding through franchising! Our goals are to develop an excellent franchise reputation as we grow, to become a valuable community member in every market that Sophia’s Kitchen lands in, and to be a company known for providing quality jobs. Our hope is to continue to experience great cash flow and to grow steadily alongside our quality franchise partners.
Thank you to Sophia Lee for conducting this interview. For more information about the Sophia’s Kitchen franchise opportunity, visit their franchise page at www.sophiaskitchenfranchise.com.