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Portlaoise Franchisees Speak Frankly About Their streat Café Experience
Portlaoise franchisees speak frankly about their streat café experience
Roseanna and Paul Slattery joined the streat franchise just over 3 years ago and started their café in Portlaoise. They are now discussing why they decided to start a cafe and their experiences as part of the streat franchise.
Why did you choose franchising? And your franchise?
The professional approach when we visited the streat head offices left a very good impression on us. We felt that no matter what help we needed the streat would be there. It is also important to mention how impressive and genuine the people we met were when we went to the offices. I loved the menu and felt that any future customers would also love it.
What did you do before buying your franchise?
Roseanna worked as a financial controller for a very well known sign making company in Carlow, which shows that you don't need previous experience owning a business to make your franchise successful.
What training and support did you receive initially and on an ongoing basis?
The training was excellent and thorough. At no stage did I think that if I asked a simple question I would end up feeling silly. From the first morning in the hotel in a strange city, Amanda my trainer arrived to walk me to the training centre so I would know the way in the future. This small gesture made such a difference to me.
I never realized there was so much to learn about opening up a café. I still laugh to myself when I recall telling people that I was going up to Belfast to do a four week training course to open a café franchise and their expression said it all. I could only imagine they were thinking; why is it going to take her four weeks to learn to make a sandwich? - But I can verify that there is a lot more to it than that!
Once we launched we had regular visits from our Territory Manager and we know that if we have any queries we only have to phone head office or email and we will get a quick response.
What is an average day like for you? (information on your role as a franchisee - tasks you undertake etc)
Meeting and greeting customers and the general organisation of a café.
What challenges have you faced?
The downturn in the economy has been tough but we have realised it is a challenge and the only way is up. We believe that if you give great service your customer will also go out of their way to come to you.
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Oh yes my life has changed; I eat, sleep and drink the streat. For the moment managing my home has taken second place, but as I have become more confident in my everyday tasks at the café, I've managed to get back some of my quality time at home, confident in the knowledge that my team can also manage without me for a day. When I have a day off now I really enjoy it and make the most of it and always try to have something planned with the family.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
If you are looking to open your own business then be prepared for hard work. However, it is very rewarding and you get an excellent support network which helps to reduce the risk and answers all your queries.
What are your plans for the future? Would you do it again?
To open lots more streat cafes! In the short term we want to make our café in Portlaoise very successful, but our long term aim is to open many others (already looking at locations!) and we already have the streat property negotiator looking at all our options.
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