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Exclusive interview with Raja Adil, multi-brand franchisee and CEO of Adil Group

Name: Raja Adil
Franchise: The Adil Group

Tell us about yourself and the Adil Group
My background is very varied.  I qualified as a solicitor in 1999 and then in 2004 I joined The Adil Group.  At that point the group only had Burger King franchises and so we embarked upon an ambitious diversification strategy which included me becoming a KFC franchise and adding the brand to our growing portfolio.

We then added Costa Coffee (2007), and I negotiated a deal with KFC in 2008 to buy 14 franchises which at that time was the biggest deal to date. In 2014 we acquired our first franchises in Scotland when we opened two KFC’s in the centre of Glasgow. We continued our Scottish expansion with the opening of Costa sites in 2015 and then in 2017, we obtained the rights to roll out the Taco Bell brand in both London and Scotland.

I could not be prouder of what The Adil Group has achieved, from our beginning in 1969 when our founder Mohammed Adil bought his first Wimpy franchise, to the franchise powerhouse we are today.  And the hunger for further growth still burns strong.

Mohammed’s achievements were recognised in 2018 when he received an OBE for services to business, job creation and charity.

I am very lucky to have a supportive family that includes my wife and three children.

Please tell us about the franchises you have:
We have an extensive franchise portfolio of world class brands throughout the UK that includes:

  • KFC – 70
  • Burger King – 18
  • Costa Coffee – 43
  • Taco Bell – 1
  • Maitrise Hotels – 4
  • Anytime Fitness - 1

Why did you choose the franchises you did?   
I am second generation Franchisee who inherited a Burger King business and further diversified the business into other brands and property holdings.

What’s the best thing about being a multi-unit / multi-brand franchisee?
You get to work with fantastic brands who have a different DNA and are managed by great leaders with different priorities and customer focused according to the Brand.

How would you describe your role as a multi-unit / multi-brand franchisee?  What is your management style/method?
A family business that is based upon growth, focus and accountability where our number 1 priority is hiring, retaining and training tomorrow’s leaders.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing from your franchisor?
All of the brands we partner with are long established and have fantastic training programmes. I am just about to attend a Leadership Peak course with Yum! in Italy. To be successful, you have to continue learning.

What are some of the challenges you have faced being a multi-unit/multi-brand franchisee, and how did you overcome them?
Our number 1 focus and challenge remains attracting and retaining good talent for future growth. Very rarely do we hire externally and only where our growth outstrips our existing pool of in-house talent.

What is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to become a multi-unit / multi-brand franchisee? 
You need to love being around people and have the ability to look at problems as challenges for which there are always solutions.

What are your long-term plans for your business and what are your goals for the future?
We would like to double our size in the next 5 years and are looking at further diversification. In addition, I hope the 3rd generation of The Adil Family will choose to join the business.

What advice can you give someone who dreams of becoming a successful multi-unit/multi-brand franchisee?
It is a tough journey and working hard is essential. I believe that you should never ask someone to do something you either cannot do yourself or do not know how to do so. The Adil way of running businesses is from the shop floor up and not the top down.

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