Mary Brown Famous Chicken & Taters franchisee, Yousaf Khan is the 2013 winner of the National Mary Brown's Franchisee Award. Khan, who owns an Airdrie location, was chosen out of 17 other candidates vying for the honor.
In business for over four decades, Mary Brown Famous Chicken & Taters started in St. John's, Newfoundland but has since grown across Canada. Its 'Keep It Honest' policy focuses on customer service and cleanliness, and the menu of fresh chicken and other unprocessed products has proven incredibly successful.
The award selection committee was composed of six members of the franchise's administrative team, including Mary Brown Famous Chicken & Taters' President Nigel Beattie. Awards are decided based on six areas of criteria: cleanliness, food quality, involvement in the community, customer service, consistently keeping high standards and sales.
Khan, whose Airdrie location is situated in the Kingsview Market shopping center, received close to perfect scores in all six areas of judgment. His location uses locally sourced chicken which is cut in the store itself and it also helps the farming community in Alberta. The food is prepared with high-stability canola oil, giving customers a better product.
According to Khan, business was slow when he first opened his doors back in 2011. He worked by himself for the first six months to keep costs down, opening and closing the location on a daily basis. Since then, business has greatly improved, resulting in Khan being the first winner of this award in the Alberta area.
Born in Pakistan, Khan first worked in Dubai as an electrical engineer before settling in Airdrie for a transition to a life with less hustle and bustle surrounding him. A father of two children, Khan has a five-year-old son with developmental disabilities. Despite his schedule at work, Khan still takes his son to Calgary's Alberta Children's Hospital at least three times each month to see a neurologist. His son recently graduated from the preschool Inspiration Station and will head to the RJ Hawkey School in the fall.
The local community is close to Khan's heart, and this has been demonstrated through his contribution. His Mary Brown Famous Chicken & Taters has been involved in several community projects, including the ringette organization, Ring of Fire and the Airdrie Bantam Blackhawks, a local hockey team for area youth. Free food was provided to first responders in the midst of the Alberta flood of 2013 through his restaurant and food donations given to Airdrie Meals on Wheels. This past year, Khan sponsored Canadian athletes for the Special Olympic Winter Games and was part of fundraising activities for Muriel Clayton Middle School and the Airdrie Public Library.
Khan credited his success to his wife, Kishwer's support and also talked about moving his location into the Top 40 for franchisee sales. Currently, Khan's Mary Brown Famous Chicken & Taters is ranked in the Top 50 out of 105 locations.
Yousaf Khan's dream of becoming his own boss is now a reality thanks to the Mary Brown Famous Chicken & Taters franchise.
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