Charisnack Franchisee Case Study FeedLast updated: 19-May-2022
From butcher to snack distribution franchisee -
- Name: Dave Kelly
- Location: Glossop
- Franchise: Charisnack
- Date launched the franchise: February 2018
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying a franchise business? I’m 56 years old and had been working as a butcher for a local family firm for over 35 years.
Can you also tell us about the franchise you have bought? Charisnack is an honesty box franchise selling sweets and treats to offices, factories, hairdressers, pubs etc. I service the boxes on a regular basis usually monthly but some that are busier are done fortnightly or even weekly.
Why did you go down the franchise route? What made you choose the snack distribution industry? And why did you choose Charisnack? I wanted a complete change from what I’d been doing but didn’t really know what. I really wanted to become self-employed to be able to create a much more effective work/life balance. I saw an advert online about franchising and after a little research into the many different ones available, it became clear it was a great option for me. I liked that you were buying into a proven business model with plenty of help and support from people with much industry experience and so would understand the challenges that I would face. I finally settled on my franchise as it seemed to be very good value for money, a relatively small set up fee and would start earning a wage from an early stage of setting up.
How did you raise the finance? We used our savings to set up the business.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing? We spent 2 days at headquarters in Peterborough. With the help of our area / regional manager Mark, we were shown all the different aspects of the job, with plenty of tips and loads of advice.
Ongoing support has been amazing, especially since the company was taken over by Delicious Ideas. Mark is always available to offer advice on any issues or just a chat when things aren’t going as well. Over the last 12 months with all that’s gone on with COVID, the company have done an amazing job to enable us to continue trading.
How would you describe your day-to-day role as a franchisee? We travel around the Oldham / Bury area going from business to business filling up the boxes with tailor made stock, usually doing an average of 20 boxes per day.
What has been your biggest success(es) to date? Definitely the work life balance as this was our top priority but it’s also satisfying to know that we are helping raise money for such a worthy cause.
What challenges have you faced? The biggest challenge has unquestionably been COVID as it closed many of our customers down for long periods and most other places were short staffed through furlough so as a result our customer base fell by well over half and made it very challenging.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how? As I said before the work life balance has been great. Working for ourselves brings different pressures than being employed but as we’re in it together they are the same problems faced and understood by each other and we ultimately reap the benefits together. It also brings a great feeling knowing that everything you achieve is entirely the results of your own hard work and decisions.
What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise? You must make sure your boss (yourself!) is a hard taskmaster or else it’s to easy to let things slide.
In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee? Someone with a good work ethic and not scared of taking calculated risks.
What are your plans for the future? The first priority is definitely to rebuild after COVID and try to build back and increase our customer base.
If you had to do it all again, what would you do differently? I wish I’d been able to do it all much sooner in life.
Not only did we earn back our initial investment in our first year but we did it twice! -
Name: GOHUTRI LTD (Tibor Gorbics)
Location: Perth, Scotland
Date launched the franchise: February 2020
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing prior to buying a franchise business?
We are a group of 4 originally from Poland and Hungary. Sandor is a good friend of all of us, Marcelina is my wife and Janos is my brother.
Before Charisnack, Janos was working in transport, Sandor, Marcelina, and myself were working together at the same retail shop. All of us felt that we were ready to start our own business. Since we were all interested to do something which would have a positive impact and connected with charity, we quickly decided that would be fun to do it together. Since none of us had experience running a business, we decided to go down on the franchise route.
We had done an extensive research among available franchise opportunities and found Charisnack. We knew that straight away that is the franchise we want to be with, and we all know that now it was the best decision ever.
Can you also tell us about the franchise you have bought?
Charisnack is a franchise where the franchisees operate as ambassadors for the charity called Bliss. Bliss supports prematurely born and sick babies. The Cause Related Marketing business model incorporates social benefits which aims to generate mutual reward both the charity and the franchisee.
We found that Charisnack is the best choice in the industry for many reasons.
Just to pick a few, we have got far the most attractive display box design in the industry. The positive responses we are constantly receiving about the display boxes are simply amazing.
The variety and the quality of the products are astonishing. Charisnack has the product range that guarantees that you always satisfy all your customers. Waffles, biscuits, flapjacks, flavoured popcorns, nuts, chips, crackers, short breads, lentils, hummuses, you name it. What you can think of in terms of snacks is on the list in the highest quality, in competitive packaging and prices.
The support we have been receiving from day one from Mark, Jonathan and the Charisnack team was invaluable. On our training day Mark has provided all the information and key insights that we needed to start and run our new business efficiently.
The initial siting system made sure that we were generating revenue from the first day of our operation.
Charisnack truly stands out in the industry in many categories, but there is one category we have found that this franchise outperforms many businesses across many industries: its return-on-investment ratio is truly astonishing.
We have not only managed to earn back our initial investment in our first year, but we did it twice!
(Please note that has happened in 2020 during the pandemic). As far as we heard that is not very common in business in any industry.
Why did you go down the franchise route? What made you choose your industry? And why did you choose your franchise?
Besides of the fact that we didn’t have experience running a business we went down the franchise route due to the favourable odds to compare to a traditional business model. The “Inside Start-ups” estimates 1 in 5 businesses fails in the UK within the first 12 months, 1 in 3 fails within three years, and in the following three years, 50% of the remaining businesses fail. In contrast, the BFA & NatWest franchise survey shows that 92% of franchises in the UK are profitable and 49% claimed to be very profitable.
We spent a considerable amount of time looking for a suitable franchise. Our goal was to find a successful business model which creates a positive impact and Charisnack ticked all the boxes. We found that Charisnack represented a cause that we felt we wanted to take part and the outstanding representation of the brand made it easy to vote for it.
How did you raise the finance?
We all chipped in from our savings to fund the franchise.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
On the initial training day, we received invaluable information from Mark that we needed to start our business confidently. The training day was efficient and thorough. We learned all aspects of the business from A to Z; from how to gain new customers, recording sales, running the books to even how to assemble the display boxes. We also got to see and learn the important aspects of the business operation on the field; Mark showed us how to set up our car, service the customers, replenish the boxes in the most efficient way. Shortly after the training day we have received our first order and were ready to launch.
The Charisnack team helped us to get our first 300 customers in the first month of our operation.
After one year in this franchise I can honestly say that Mark, Jonathan and the whole team at Charisnack and our supplier Delicious Ideas Food Group has been a rock solid support throughout and has helped us out numerous times.
How would you describe your day-to-day role as a franchisee?
We load our car the previous evening to be able to be on the road before the morning traffic kicks in. We always plan our routes in advance and approach our host sites consequently. Usually, we are on the road in the early morning before 8am. We meet our first customer before 9am.
We always make sure that we represent the charity and ourselves at the highest standards regarding appearance and manners. When we replenish the boxes, we customise each box according to our customer’s preferences.
We enjoy meeting with our customers as they are always happy to see us. (We are the ones who keep bringing sweets to them ??)
We have a chat here and there and ask questions about our products and services which help us to understand more their needs and preferences.
At the end of the day, we always record the sales figures and get ready for the next day.
It’s worth to mention that we work hard and quickly throughout the day, but it is not a heavy, physical labour. Also, that we seldom work at weekends.
What has been your biggest success(es) to date?
With the invaluable support of Mark, Jonathan, and the team of the Charisnack and Delicious Ideas Food Group not only we survived the pandemic in 2020 but in the first quarter of 2021 we have been able to expand our business. We believe that is a significant achievement. Thank you Charisnack.
What challenges have you faced?
When the national lockdown has been announced at the first time we had lost more than 50% of our customers in 24hours. We had to cut back all the expenses to the minimum very quickly. To reduce overhead cost, we removed our remaining stock from the storage unit we were renting. We moved the stock to our flat to the 3rd floor and operated our business from there.
We downsized to a smaller car for the business to reduce fuel costs.
Even though we did all that it still would not have been enough to safe our business from collapsing.
Thanks for the significant support of the whole team of the Charisnack in multiple fronts we stayed above the waves. Soon after the first shock was over, we went out again to find new business partners. Quickly we came to realize there were still companies who can and willing to join even during the pandemic. We kept working whenever the restrictions let us operate. We have many business partners who joined during 2020 and stayed with us until today. This time was incredibly challenging for us but our business survived and also it made us stronger.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Besides the obvious benefits of running our own business, being a Charisnack franchisee let us enjoy all the benefits to work with the best in the industry and makes us feel good every single day to know that every time spent working in our business makes a real difference.
What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise?
We believe that the most valuable source of information on any franchise system is its existing franchisees. These are the people who are living the life of a franchisee every day, and they can tell you the reality of what that life will be like for you if you decide to join up yourself.
We think it is also vitally important that the franchise you chose to join is suitable for your personality and preferences. Skills can be learned but you can’t force yourself to like something.
In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
We believe to succeed in anything, you usually need to be passionate about it. Whether you’re keen on providing customers with the best fast food they’ve ever had or crave the satisfaction of providing premium care to older people, loving what you do is always a key ingredient in success.
It is essential to have or develop the sufficient discipline to learn and follow persistently the given (proven) business model. You must have the willingness to learn quickly, work hard, and to be able to adapt swiftly to new situations and circumstances.
We believe Investing in a franchise like Charisnack where you obtain a high degree of support can greatly increase your chances of success as well.
What are your plans for the future?
Our objective is to expand and grow together with Charisnack and become one of the most successful franchisees in the network.
If you had to do it all again, what would you do differently?
We would have had started a few years earlier. ??