We’re very fortunate to have a great staff and kind, regular customers who love our restaurant. I have a strong relationship with many of them. Currently, I’m working there throughout the week, so I get to see what’s happening on a daily basis. It’s good for us to be there ensuring there aren’t any major dramas.
Our team works hard to keep the restaurant clean and the meals consistent. As with any food service provider, there will always be issues here and there, we’re not perfect, but we do our very best to make sure each customer’s experience is a great one.
I love being at the restaurant early in the morning to make sure the day is starting right. I used to have anxiety when I’d go in and see empty tables, but now that we’re coming up on our fourth year, I’m much more relaxed. I know I can slip into any role necessary for the day, whether that means cleaning, serving, bussing, doing dishes or hosting. Sunset Grill franchisees are trained well in every aspect of the business.
When you have 400 to 500 people coming into your restaurant on a Saturday or Sunday, there is a good reason why they’re bypassing other places. We do our best to create an environment that’s welcoming to everyone, with staff treating our customers like they’re family.
I am always telling our employees to look at the food they’re serving. If they would eat it, they can serve it. I will not compromise on the quality of food or service provided. Reminding employees to take an extra few minutes to make sure meals are cooked to the customer’s liking and plated properly is my biggest job. There have been times where I’ve had to jump in and cook, too, and I’m happy to do so.
Since leaving HBC, I work full-time at Sunset Grill. It’s important to me. I especially enjoy doing all of the daily finances.
One of the ways I’ve managed to foster a standard of excellence is through a personal incentive program I’ve worked out with our employees, where I gift them with monetary rewards out of my own pocket. By motivating them to be consistent with their cooking, serving and cleaning, I make the whole operation run smoothly. The program keeps everyone working beyond their minimum expectation of customer tips.
We’ve got a great system going and I love seeing happy customers and staff loving where they work.
When I look at the journey Fasil and I have been on, I think anyone can do anything they set their mind to in this country. If you work hard, you can be successful.
Before we signed on, Stelios told us there was never any guarantee of success in this business, but if we were to work hard, we wouldn’t be disappointed. He was right! I have so many wonderful things in my life and Sunset Grill is one of them.
“There were many nights where we believed we would end up with nothing after destroying our savings and giving everything to a five-year franchisee agreement, but the franchisor always believed in us and its system, and in the end, set us up for success.”
As Sunset Grill franchisees, we learned how to handle inventory, ordering, how to properly clean and organize the restaurant.
Fasil and Ayni Asfaw are Sunset Grill co-franchisees in Kitchener, Ont. For more information, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date of first franchise: 2003
Franchise/corporate units: 150
Investment range: $573,000 (includes franchise fee)
Initial franchise fee: $55,000