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The franchisee turned cafe owner

Interview with...

Metin Esen
Age:
---
CV:
Used to run a Wimpy franchise restaurant, which he sold before buying an independent cafe
Business name:
Chicci
Goods/services:
Italian snack bar and cafe
Location:
Bow, East London
When bought:
Four years ago
Price paid:
Undisclosed

Metin on selling his Wimpy franchise restaurant…

"They were in decline so I decided to move on. 

"When I bought this business I made quite a few changes to the décor. Obviously with the franchise, you cannot make changes like that without the franchisor's authorisation.

"It was pretty much fixed in that aspect. Because of that I decided to sell and I have a good offer, so I decided I couldn't turn it down. 

"I did have quite a lot of money from that sale. I did not invest every single penny in the new one. 

"For tax purposes as well, it is better to borrow the money and repay it gradually. And then if you have some money on the side then, if you decide to make any changes you have money for a contingency, whereas if you were to spend every single penny in your pocket then you can forget about that."

Even in the quiet times you have to think about how you can cover your fixed overheads

On choosing Chicci…

"I did look at quite a lot of businesses - roughly for four or five months I researched different options. I came across this business, came to see the owner, negotiated a price, and since then I've never looked back.

"There were some other businesses, for instance in Goodge St, some near Oxford St. But you have to balance the overheads as well. 

"When you think about fixed overheads such as rents and rates, you can't escape from them. Even in the quiet times you have to think about how you can cover them. 

"If your overheads are very high then it is very hard to concentrate on the actual running of the business. So if for any reason in the future you want to sell the business, it will be hard to find a buyer as everyone will think the way you were thinking when you were looking to buy the business."

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