Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keshuv Aggarwal started his career in franchising at the bottom of the pack, as a low-level employee at a Subway restaurant. Today, he and his family own 50 locations of the sandwich chain. Now, Aggarwal is expanding into the chicken wings business as a Wing Zone franchisee. Here's why.
Name: Keshuv Aggarwal
Franchise owned: Wing Zone in Houston and Subway in various locations.
How long have you owned a franchise?
I have been in franchising for six years.
Related: Chicken-Wing Franchises Take Off
Franchising is ideal because it provides a foundation for success. One of the reasons some franchisees fail is due to a lack of commitment to operating the franchise. Operating a successful franchise requires a major effort and dedication to the task at hand.
Over the years I've observed that the most successful franchisees have a passion and dedication to making their franchise the best in the network. The successful franchisees are actively involved in their business. In addition, the successful franchisees tend to have well-trained, competent and motivated staff. An excellent team of people who not only support the franchise, but could staff future expansion is key.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I spent six years in Subway restaurants as a worker at the bottom rank and worked my way up to director of information systems and operations. I trained at the world headquarters formally and at individual stores to gain a hands-on perspective of the business.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
Wing Zone is currently building customer loyalty with consumers nationwide. The brand continuously receives recognition within the food service and franchise industries. In fact, Wing Zone was rated a Top 20 New Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine, included in Bond's Top 100 Franchise Opportunities and ranked in Franchise Times' Fast 55.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
The total investment is between $180,500 to $230,500. A lot depends on how many units you purchase and the site you choose.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
My family is where I get most of my advice. Today we own and operates more than 50 Subway restaurants in Texas and New York.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
With any business venture there are a number of unexpected challenges. Many of the challenges that I didn’t expect were factors that we couldn’t control. Not having control is always frustrating, but overcoming and having a polished, final product makes it worthwhile.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Use the resources that you have available through the franchise. Many franchisors have money available to help you. Support from the franchisor can make a big difference in how successful you will be early on with the brand.
What’s next for you and your business?
My goals include expanding the family business and running an efficient and profitable business that not only will benefit us, but also help the staff, the franchisors, the creditors, and the community as a whole. I feel like we have a great opportunity to do this with Wing Zone.