Franchise Players

Becoming a Breakfast Chain's First Ever Franchisee

Becoming a Breakfast Chain's First Ever Franchisee

Famous Toastery

Image credit: Famous Toastery
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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 ktaylor@entrepreneur.com.

When Jason and Michele Serkin moved to South Carolina for Michele’s career as a literacy facilitator, the couple was disappointed to discover the lack of quality breakfast options in the area. So, they decided to be a part of the solution, opening the first ever Famous Toastery franchise. Within six months, the franchisees had made $900,000. Here’s how they did it.

Name: Jason and Michele Serkin

Franchise owned: Famous Toastery (formerly Toast Café) in Tega Cay, S.C.

How long have you owned a franchise?

Seventeen months.

Related: You Can't Be Afraid to Make the Jump to Become a Franchisee

Why franchising?

We wanted the support and guidance of a proven business.

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

I was a stay at home dad and Michele was a literacy facilitator at an elementary school.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

Famous Toastery has a great product and we wanted to bring it to our community.

How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?

Approximately $500,000.

Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?

We visited many restaurants and we asked people in the area what was their favorite breakfast and lunch place. We then asked ourselves which one stands out to us and is really successful. To us, there was not even a close second to Famous Toastery (then Toast Café).

Related: Smooth Operators: How These Franchisees Found Success With Smoothie King

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

Hiring employees that are willing and capable of working hard as well as creating an energy to make our service, atmosphere and food stand out.

What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?

Make sure you have a plan and don’t necessarily take the cheapest or easiest way of doing things. Do your research and make sure you’re making the right decision for yourself. You bought a franchise for a reason, so let them guide you and teach you how to be successful.

What’s next for you and your business?

To make sure we continue to give our customers a great experience on every visit to Famous Toastery.  We never want to just be ‘good.’ We strive to be ‘GREAT!’ We plan on opening more locations as well, to bring Famous Toastery to more families in surrounding communities who will enjoy a comfortable and enjoyable breakfast and lunch restaurant with outstanding food and service.

Related: This 21 Year Old Took Over Her Mother's Franchise to Honor Her Memory

Edition: December 2016

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