After inaugurating its franchise program in a difficult 12 months, Outer Banks Boil Firm is eyeing future success.
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Outer Banks Boil Firm has been serving seafood boils for almost a decade, however its authentic objective wasn’t to feed anybody. It was simply to get Matt Khouri grade in school. The idea started as a senior venture, which Khouri didn’t assume would work in the true world — however it had extra potential than he imagined. Since opening its first brick-and-mortar in 2016, the corporate has grown to a few company places, and in 2020 the seafood catering-and-takeout enterprise began pursuing franchise-driven progress. The idea turned out to be completely suited to the pandemic, due to its small actual property footprint and carryout and catering-only choices. That helped shops proceed working on a 30 p.c revenue margin. Now that the corporate has offered 5 franchise places, Khouri displays upon the hectic 12 months, and what’s in retailer for the longer term.
Your organization got here from a senior venture. That’s not one thing many individuals can say.
It’s humorous; I didn’t really ever assume [the business] was going to work. It was a flawed venture. However I turned it in once I was in school, acquired a passing grade, and determined to start out it proper out of faculty. I moved to the Outer Banks in 2012 after graduating and began Outer Banks Boil Firm out of my house. At first, I had two full-time jobs, and I used to be doing the boils on the aspect. That first 12 months I perhaps did 10 caterings. The subsequent 12 months was about 30 caterings. The 12 months after that, it was about 60. After which in 2015, we did about 250 caterings. In 2016, I made a decision to truly make it a profession and opened my first location.
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How do you know when to start out franchising?
Early on, I did company places with school buddies and mates I had recognized by means of working collectively. To be sincere with you, I ran out of homies who I wished to do enterprise with. Proper round that 2019 mark is after we began to discover franchising, and we discovered as a lot as we may. Then 2020 is after we began our gross sales push. The primary two franchise shops we offered had been Charlottesville and Virginia Seashore, which occurred on the finish of February. Then actually two weeks later, the lockdown began.
Picture Credit score: Courtesy of Outer Banks Boil Firm
What was the method of beginning and adjusting the franchise program throughout the pandemic?
Making an attempt to regulate final 12 months, stepping into the franchise area and shutting our first take care of these guys — we had been type of studying on the fly. As quickly because the preliminary lockdown let up, we had been in a position to get our franchisees down right here to the Outer Banks for his or her preliminary coaching. Fortunately, our first franchisees had been very aware of our enterprise, so that they had the context previous to the pandemic. As soon as issues opened again up, we had been in a position to get them going.
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How has this expertise along with your franchisees impacted you?
The pandemic opened my eyes to the need of having the ability to talk, and never essentially doing it in individual. We’ve shifted to biweekly calls with all our franchisees. We name that our “boil banter.” By having the ability to use completely different platforms and people completely different channels, everybody type of acquired higher at it.
Because the enterprise grows, how are you determining whom to franchise with?
I believe the most important factor in company or franchise growth is discovering the proper individuals to be these ambassadors for the Outer Banks Boil Firm model. We frequently jokingly say, “Can you’ve gotten a beer with anybody?” There’s far more to the job than simply cooking the meals. It’s connecting with individuals and making them need to come again.