Talking Shop with Maher about Business Consultancy

Maher Ahmad Alda’da’ is the Managing Director of Impressions Business Consultancy. He has vast experience working in the food & beverages industry. His skills include Marketing Management, Negotiation, Business Planning, Operations. Impressions Business Consultancy specialise in franchising business for local / regional brands as well as acquiring international franchises from abroad. The company includes brands like Steakanji, Boston Fried Chicken, Shaheen Roastery and Crepeaholic. In the below interview we are talking shop with Maher about Business Consultancy service that they offer for franchise clients.

1.How did you enter in the franchise business?

I started working in the franchise business since 1990 working for one of the biggest franchises in the Middle East. I was incharge of brands like KFC/Hardees/Pizza Hut/TGIF/ Costa Coffee/Red Lobster/Olive Garden and Long Horn Steakhouse. In 2017 I started my own company for franchising for the F&B and giving business solutions to local/regional and international brands. I do business for brands like Steakanji/Crepeaholic/Shaheen Roastery/Boston Fried Chicken/Ocean for seafood/The Pit (House of Barbeque) ,Pizza Buds and many more.

2. What are the services that you provide to your clients?

We provide our clients different kinds of services:

  • We prepare local and regional brands to be franchisable in terms of creating an operational/quality/food safety system, franchising manuals, SOPs, and franchising agreements.
  • Assist them to sell their franchises
  • Manage franchises either from the franchisor side or the franchisee side
  • Help running brands to improve their performance through marketing, menu engineering, labor scheduling, food cost control…

3. What is the criteria that you look for in a franchise brand to be part of your clientele?

Inorder for a brand to be franchisable there are certain criterias that should be available:

  1. Has been in the market for at least 2 years
  2. The brand is performing well in terms of sales and profit.
  3. Support can be given to franchisee in terms of sourcing raw materials and equipment/furniture/training.
  4. Franchisor is capable of giving support to franchisee in operations and has the structure to support that.

4. What makes your organization different from your competitors?

  • We have very long experience in the MEA and in the F&B franchise business for over 30 years.
  • We give very good support to our clients
  • Our prices are reasonable.

5. What are the essential qualities that your clients look for in a franchisee?

  • Franchisee has to have experience in the F&B
  • Can work within a system
  • Financially strong
  • Has strong relationships in the market to get prime locations

6. How long does it take, in an average, for your franchisee to realize their investment?

  • Usually in the first 6 months, the franchisee does not make money.
  • Second 6 months franchisee is expected to break even.
  • Franchisees are expected to make money in 12 to 18 months.

7. What was the major challenge you faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

As a business consultant sometimes companies undermine our role and they believe that we are there only to take their money.

Once we started to be known in the markets, companies started to ask about us and to work with us

7.1. What is your best achievement?

Franchising regional brands in different markets putting brands in the right direction for franchising

8. How does your business day start?

  • Replying to emails
  • Contacting my clients
  • Reviewing work for my clients whether it is franchising manuals or work to be done to improve the performance of certain brands

9. What was your best moment throughout your franchise career?

My best moment when the first franchising agreement signed in Saudi Arabia.

10. Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?

I see my company handling big local and regional brands in new markets like Egypt/Iraq/Libya,Europe/Far East…

11. Any tips you want to impart to our readers who want to be in the franchise industry?

If you are a franchisor make sure to support your franchisee as he is your partner.

If you are a franchisee you have to give full support to the brand and follow the system that the franchisor built for the brand to succeed.

Get to know who are the industry key players, visit our Interview of the Week page.

To stay updated, visit our Franchise News section.

To learn more, visit our Franchising Tips section.


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