I initiated the implementation of the accessibility features in our restaurant. With two kids with disabilities in wheelchairs, we live it every day. We added power doors, plus wheelchair-friendly washrooms, with Braille wall signs, wide doors and automatic water, soap and paper. We want to make it as easy as possible for all people to eat here.
That said, the restaurant doesn’t need a lot of seats and tables, as 60 per cent of our business is takeout. We also have a patio outdoors, which fills up on nice days.
As I’m still on the road during the day, Chantal handles Pita Pit during the lunchtime rush on weekdays. We alternate evenings and weekends.
She’s the main administrative person for the business, while I’m more involved in marketing, landing advertising deals with radio stations and sponsoring the baseball team. I’m also good at motivating our staff.
You always feel this pit in your stomach for the first six months when you open your own business, but this time around, I felt nothing like that, because I had already seen the success of the franchise system. It’s a really good one and we’ve gotten lots of support from the group at the corporate level.
We’ve focused a lot on marketing. I’ve bought not only local ads, but also our own Pita Pete mascot costume. Now everyone in Moncton knows about Pita Pit!
We’re getting lots of compliments and our restaurant is already one of the top-performing franchises in the system. Before opening, I had looked at industry data and come up with sales predictions. Today, we’re doing 60 per cent better than that proposal suggested! It’s substantially more than I ever could have dreamed.
Our second location will open this fall and our third next summer. I’ve already signed the leases!
Nathan and Chantal Roy operate a Pita Pit franchise in Moncton, N.B. For more information, contact them via e-mail at email@example.com.
Date of first franchise: 1997
Franchise/corporate units in Canada: 178
Investment range: $250,000 – $300,000
Initial franchise fee: $20,000 – $25,000 (depending on market size)