My journey with Simply Asia began years before we opened our first branch, Benmore Gardens. It goes back to a holiday memory in Cape Town. I remember sitting at the President Hotel in Sea Point waiting for my father to come back with what he described as “the best meal money can buy”. We had heard about this awesome noodle dish for weeks leading up to the holiday. I could see the excitement on my hungry family’s faces to have the famous 514. We couldn’t wait for the best part — the “Red Noodle Box”.
As we live in Johannesburg, we often braved the 30-minute drive to the nearest Simply Asia. Even though it was far from home, it was always worth it.
My father and I always had a true passion for Simply Asia. We would go at least twice a month. One day he fostered the idea when he said to me: “let’s open a branch in Sandton”. I started to think about it and so the idea was born. We felt that there was a real demand for an authentic Thai food restaurant in Johannesburg, especially in Sandton.
Our thoughts were: who wouldn’t want to have a meal of authentic Thai cuisine, enjoy the experience of the red noodle box and eat the delicious food? The food and the concept were the driving motive behind our decision to become a part of the franchise. The process of finding the right location took some time. With the help of Stephan from head office in Johannesburg, we managed to find Benmore.
Three years later, here I sit as a proud Simply Asia franchisee of 2/3 of the Gauteng stores. Although there have been challenges along the way, I feel grateful and humbled to be a franchisee of the Simply Asia brand. I wouldn’t be anywhere without the dedicated team my stores and at Simply Asia head office. It has been a privilege bringing my stores to life and watching people love the food as much as we do. I am very excited to part of the brand and even more excited to see what the future has in store for us.
Being new to a franchise network I was anxious and nervous. I spent 2 months on an intensive training programme in Cape Town. I received training in every area of the business from the raw ingredients to the financial aspects. Head office was thorough throughout the training, providing me with the skills to successfully pull off my awaiting opening at Benmore.
Our opening certainly proved to be challenging as Benmore turned out to be a busy store. The ops team was constantly by my side for the first few weeks of our opening month. We exceeded expectations and in no time Benmore became an excellent, smooth-running Simply Asia store.
Our staff were diligently picked and trained to perfection by our local ops team. Additionally, our Thai chef was incredibly helpful throughout the process — truly bringing the authentic taste of Thailand to all of Sandton.
A truly amazing benefit of being part of the Franchise is the setup of the store. We walked into a restaurant running close to perfect. Yes, we had hiccups along the way. But with the help of head office we had a fully smooth running restaurant on our first day!
Currently, all Simply Asia Franchisees are lucky to have a hard working Ops team. The dedicated team; ensure that the standard of brilliance is maintained. Store checks, sound advice on where we can be more efficient and constant support is what fuels our growing brand. It is proven by the group’s win of Best of Johannesburg 4 years in a row.
Benmore shopping Centre is currently going through a revamp. We have had constant support and ideas from both OPS and our Marketing team to try and get through this rough time.
Marketing support should also not go unnoticed. We receive constant marketing support from our local team at head office. For example, I have recently taken over one of our branches at Parktown Quarter. From phone calls to emails, I have been advised on how to turn this store around.
The advice I have been given from our Marketing team is professional, well thought through and exciting. Since I opened Benmore three years ago, our brand has grown considerably. We have become a trusted, loved and well-known brand, an achievement that can definitely be credited to the Simply Asia team.
Reference: Simply Asia Marketing – www.simplyasia.co.za