How did you get into the industry?
Ed Franklin and I got into food service quite accidentally back in 2006. We were living in Washington, Georgia operating a small antiques and interiors market. Our friend purchased a building across the street, renovated it and offered us the larger space. At the same time, another downtown building was sold, and the new owner would not continue the lease of an existing coffee shop.
Throwing caution to the wind, Ed and I purchased their coffee equipment and set up a small café with gourmet sandwiches in the back of our new store. The food was a hit, more so than the coffee. We rapidly expanded from seating 10 people to 40 in just a few weeks. When all was said and done, we ended up working out of a renovated Victorian hotel with a full kitchen and seating for 200.
Fast forward to 2016 and we decided to sell our café so that we could move back to Florida to be closer to our elderly family. Ed and I worked miserable corporate jobs and soon found that we missed food service. We attended a Cuban Food Festival in Tampa, Florida and that is where we first encountered “Chimney Cakes” which are the official dessert of Hungary. A gentleman who was marketing his recipe for the sweet bread was using it to make Cuban sandwiches for the event. We were instantly hooked. I went home, did some research and shortly after, Ed and I moved to High Springs, Florida and opened Spins: Sweet & Savory. The Hungarian bread was the perfect vessel for our traditional southern fares such as chicken salad and BBQ pulled pork.
What’s New in the Business or in the Spins Sweet and Savory Franchise Model?
We have an amazing landlord who recently moved his office to another building that he owns. He has offered us the larger space and soon we will be renovating it for expansion. This will open several new avenues for catering and parties.
Where do you See Opportunities or Challenges for the Franchise/Business Moving Forward?
The opportunities lie in that consumers are always looking for good, quality products, and Spins offers that. The food is made from scratch daily and stands well-above prepackaged, heavily processed fast-food items. Customers frequently tell us that they can taste the quality of everything that we offer. They also love the smell of the bread that cooks throughout the day.
Also, since the bread isn’t heavily processed and is a far cry from thick, heavy sub rolls, customers appreciate that they can enjoy the flavor of the Spin bread itself along with the items we fill it with. It is the perfect fusion of old-world and old south flavors.
One potential challenge could be staffing, which is why we are stressing the owner-operator model. However, in our experience, we have never had an issue finding good-quality employees. While in Washington, Georgia our turnover rate was very slim. In fact, the only times we lost someone was if they got married and no longer wanted/needed to work, got pregnant or moved from the area. We always paid above minimum wage, worked as a team and the tips were amazing. We have always made it a win-win.
What is your Goal for the Business Moving Forward?
Certainly, we want to continue to grow, not only locally but also as a major brand throughout the south. Catering and larger party events are on the horizon. We have specially designed rotisserie ovens for baking bread. They are portable enough to set up at food festivals and private venues.
Talk to us About Training and Support, How Do You Deliver?
At Spins we will be offering up to two weeks of onsite training on every aspect of running the business. Since we produce all the food in-house, we will demonstrate the proper techniques for assembling everything. We will provide all necessary recipes and assist with locating sources for purchasing the raw materials, etc.
What is your most difficult moment in the Franchise Business?
Five months after opening Spins, Covid-19 hit. While most businesses were forced to shut down, food service was deemed a necessary business. We were allowed to stay open offering to-go, curbside pickup and deliveries. It was a gut punch but ended up working in our favor. People who normally would be commuting during our operating hours were now working from home. This provided us time to refine our skills and techniques while more and more locals discovered us and called in orders.
Define your Franchise Model:
Training and Support Model?
Spins will provide training onsite at our parent store and will be present with additional support and training when the franchise opens so that production and operation are seamless.
What is the Fee Structure?
The structure is 6% net, plus 4% for advertising
The territory will be protected by the city with some exceptions. For instance, Duval County is one of the largest counties in the US. We would work to set up zones in cities such as Jacksonville, Florida as well as the beach communities there.
Day in the life of a Franchisee?
A franchisee will learn that each day prepares for the next. There is ALWAYS something to do as far as prepping food, checking inventory, purchasing raw materials, cooking, cleaning, bank deposits, accounting, paperwork, promoting on social media etc. It is hard work but extremely gratifying.
What does Your Franchisee Do in the Business Every Day?
The franchisee should be active/hands-on each day. Customers appreciate seeing the owner and speaking with them. At our current location, since we are a small shop, there is only me and Ed working. I act as front of the house, while Ed holds down the kitchen. As we expand into our new, larger space next year, we will be hiring additional staff to assist us. Space limitations prevent us from doing so now. It will be vital for the franchisee to be fluent in all aspects of food production and distribution as related to Spins. This means that they will actively assemble the raw materials that become our chicken salad, shrimp salad, desserts and other menu items.
Who is the Ideal Franchise Candidate?
Ideally, someone who isn’t afraid of hard work and getting their hands dirty. Producing fresh food daily is time-consuming, but very rewarding. Prior food service or management experience would be preferred, but not mandatory. Supervisory skills would be beneficial as well. Communication and organizational skills as well as social networking skills would be a plus.
Success Stories and Failures with Franchisees?
Spins, as a small business, is its own success story. It showed growth during a national pandemic and has become a destination place for travellers and locals alike. It isn’t for someone who just thinks it would be “cool” to own a franchise.
What Goals Do You Have for the Spins Sweet and Savory Franchise Model in the Future?
Naturally, the goal for the Spins is to grow at a controlled rate. Being one of the first companies in the US to do what we are doing demands that we set the bar extremely high. The highest possible quality of ingredients combined with consistent taste and presentation are vital. We will work with franchisees to develop new products that enhance their market share with minimal increase in overhead.
For more information on the Spins Sweet and Savory Franchise, visit the franchise site: https://franchiseconduit.com/franchise/spins-sweet-savory/