Gavin Fedorak Interview - Press’d The Sandwich Company

Date: JUN 18th, 2014

Topic: Interview with a CEO


Gavin Fedorak is a Co-Founder of Press'd The Sandwich Company franchise, one of the top franchises in Canada. He has served as the Vice President of Finance and Business Development since the sandwich franchise was founded in May 2009. Mr. Fedorak holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta School of Business and is a Chartered Accountant. Prior to joining Press'd franchise, Mr. Fedorak worked in corporate finance for an international accounting firm where he provided client services in the areas of mergers & acquisitions, transaction advisory and strategic financial consulting.

BeTheBoss.ca: What is the Press'd The Sandwich Company franchise opportunity all about?

Gavin Fedorak: Press'd The Sandwich Company franchise is a fast-growing quick-service sandwich concept offering made to order Press'd sandwiches, signature sides, freshly prepared soups and other delicious menu items in an environment that reflects the Press'd franchise brand. Our combination of great product, engaging people and inviting places is how we deliver on our passion to be "The Best Sandwich Shop Around." Through this combination we are creating a devoted base of Press'd fans that return again and again as we continue to expand one sandwich shop franchise at a time.

BeTheBoss.ca: Who is your ideal candidate for a Press'd franchise?

GF: The ideal Press'd franchisee is a hardworking individual with a strong work ethic. They are someone that pays attention to detail, is willing to learn and execute a system, and is customer service focused in everything they do. We don't need Press'd franchisees with extensive restaurant experience, or even any restaurant experience; our training program is designed to teach all aspects of the restaurant operations. What we really look for is franchisees that are committed to running a great business and whose personal values align with the Passion, Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles of the Press'd franchise brand.

BeTheBoss.ca: What type of training and support do you offer through the Press'd Franchise Business Owner (Franchisee)?

GF: We are a very "hands on" brand when it comes to training and support, both during the initial start-up phase and on an ongoing basis once the Press'd franchise is up and running.

Restaurant Training - Press'd Franchisees spend 4 weeks working in a certified Press'd training restaurant where they cover all aspects of daily restaurant operations including kitchen prep, line service, catering fulfillment, cash handling, customer service and facility maintenance.

Management Training - Franchisees spend 3-5 days at head office learning the business side of owning a Press'd franchise. The focus during this part of training is on management tasks such as hiring, training, scheduling, ordering, cash controls, inventory, cost control (food & labor), payroll, period end administration and business analysis.

Turnkey Development - As franchisor, we oversee all aspects of the finding, designing and building each Press'd franchise. We work with our franchisees to locate and secure their location. We design and build their restaurant and hand them a fully outfitted turnkey sandwich franchise ready for opening.

Opening Assistance - We provide a minimum of 2 weeks of full-time onsite assistance around each new Press'd franchise opening. Our corporate operations staff is onsite to assist with staff training and troubleshoot any issues that arise during the opening weeks.

Catering Administration - All Press'd franchise catering orders are administered through a corporately operated catering administration program. This centralized service takes care of all customer interactions revolving around placing catering orders, paying for catering orders and general inquiries. This centralized service allows each franchisee to focus on completing their catering orders and servicing customers instead of worrying about returning voicemails, emails etc.

Operational Reviews and Business Coaching - We really take to heart the idea that we are all in this together and that we will only be successful as franchisor if our franchisees are successful at the unit level. To make sure each Press'd franchise operator is getting the most out of their restaurant our franchise support team conducts regular business reviews to analyze past performance and set goals for the future to make sure each Press'd franchise is staying on track.

Bookkeeping Services - In our experience franchisees can struggle to really understand what is going on in their business because they don't get relevant, reliable financial information about their business from their bookkeeper. To solve this issue we offer our franchisees an optional bookkeeping service that we believe has proved extremely effective in providing accurate financial information to franchisees using the service. This financial information is instrumental in allowing them to make informed business decisions.

BeTheBoss.ca: What are some of the advantages in owning a Press'd The Sandwich Company franchise business?

GF: While there are a lot of great things about being a Press'd business owner (franchisee), the top three in my mind are the great food, the business opportunity offered through our catering services and the lifestyle. Press'd franchisees serve delicious food that is made fresh in their restaurant. Our sandwiches, soups and sides have a wide appeal and our Press'd franchise business owners are proud to serve delicious, fresh food. The catering side of our business gives owners an additional revenue stream separate from their in-store operation. It allows them the opportunity to be grassroots marketers, get involved in their community and have a direct impact on their sales. Finally, a Press'd franchise is not a late night business. Our franchisees typically start early in the morning, and finish in the mid-afternoon allowing them to enjoy whatever they like to do outside of running their business.

BeTheBoss.ca: Are you a member of any Associations?

GF: Press'd is currently a member of the Canadian Franchise Association.

BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us a little about the quick-service Market?

GF: The quick-service market has been the fastest growing segment within Canadian commercial foodservice since 2002. Over this period it has seen a 38% rise in per capita spending. This is a trend that does not appear to be slowing down, as 2013 Canadian QSR sales are estimated at over $24 billion, an increase of 3.8% from 2012. Our Press'd franchises are perfectly positioned to capitalize on both in the QSR market and the continuing consumer trend towards healthier, freshly prepared foods.

BeTheBoss.ca: How successful is your company today and what are your future growth plans?

GF: It has been three and a half years since we opened the first Press'd The Sandwich Company location in Edmonton, AB and we are extremely pleased with where the company currently sits. At this time we have 9 locations open (1 corporate, 8 Press'd franchises) and we are well positioned in all aspects of the business to continue our expansion. Our passion is to be known as "The Best Sandwich Shop Around" in every marketplace in which we operate. At this time we are focusing on expanding the Press'd franchise brand throughout Western Canada.

BeTheBoss.ca: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Press'd Franchise?

GF: The biggest thing I stress when talking with prospective franchisees is that whatever opportunity they decide to pursue they need to be passionate about it. Purchasing a franchise is a big decision, and it requires an ongoing commitment to the brand that you are associated with. To get the most out of your business you have to be passionate about what you are doing. Additionally, as someone with a financial background, I believe it is vitally important that franchisees have a solid understanding of the unit level financial model before they get into any franchise. Ensuring that their earnings expectations are realistic for the brand, and also their investment level goes a long way to mitigating issues down the road.

BeTheBoss.ca: In your opinion, why do you think that Press'd The Sandwich Company would be a great opportunity for someone?

GF:

  1. Great tasting, freshly prepared food
  2. Huge catering opportunity with centralized administration
  3. Enjoyable lifestyle
  4. Fresh, modern brand positioning and design
  5. Growing market with huge opportunity
  6. Extensive franchisor support and assistance
  7. Unlimited growth potential as an emerging sandwich franchise brand

Read more about why Press'd the Sandwich Company is one of top franchises in Canada Press'd Franchise Information.

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