BannaStrow’s Five Keys to Success

Bannastrow’s Luis Irragori explains the five key elements needed to create a successful food franchise.

When Luis Irragori developed the concept for BannaStrow’s, he wanted to create a company that could easily become a franchisor. For one thing, it was a business model he understood well. For another, franchising had the potential to boost growth. “You can open more units through franchising in more places than you can by using your own funds,” he says.

That said, Irragori was looking to do more than form a me-too business. He wanted to develop a new concept from scratch—a fast-food restaurant that would be easy and inexpensive for franchisees to start up. To that end, he determined his concept had to meet several key requirements. Here’s a look at what they were:

1. Food could be eaten at any time of day.

To encourage high foot traffic, Irragori decided his product needed to be something that would appeal to consumers as a regular meal or a snack, encouraging all-day business, not just the lunchtime rush. That’s one reason why the chain introduced different ingredients for its crêpes—eggs or bacon at breakfast, for example, or chicken and vegetables for lunch.

2. Startup costs for franchisees would be low.

To encourage franchisee sales, the operation had to be easy and inexpensive to set up. So, Irragori designed the concept so a regular kitchen wouldn’t be necessary to make the crêpes. Now, total costs to start up range from $115,000 to $186,000, including a $30,000 franchise fee.

In addition, to reduce labor expenses, Irragori also made sure only one person was needed to run the operation during slower times. Plus, prep time was cut down because most ingredients would be pre-made.

3. A minimum of trash would be generated.

Reducing waste enables franchisees to keep 3% to 5% more profit than other restaurants, according to Mauricio Acedeva, CEO. With mostly precooked ingredients, “we throw away only the top of strawberries and banana peels,” he says.

4.  All ingredients would be distributed by a national company.

If you open a franchise in New York or Los Angeles, you can buy the same exact ingredient from the same place,” says Irragori, “and that increases efficiency.”

5. The food can be adapted to any market.

That’s one reason Irragori chose crêpes as his main menu item. “Since crêpes have a neutral taste, you can put any ingredient in them that’s suited to your market,” says Aceveda. “You can serve something in one community you wouldn’t offer anywhere else.”

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