Enjoying more at Mugg & Bean Kenilworth Centre

We catch up with Nawal Ramasar who, along with Marc Wassung, are the proud new owners of the Mugg & Bean in Kenilworth Centre

Born in Durban, Nawal moved to Cape Town 27 years ago. Inspired by his parents who are both professionals, Nawal completed a BSc in genetics and biochemistry as well as an MBA (Marketing & Finance), but instead of following his parents into the corporate world, he decided to make his mark in franchising.

Marc is a professional chef whose association with Mugg & Bean began when he helped Ben Fimalter, founder of the Mugg & Bean concept, open the first Mugg & Bean at the V&A Waterfront.

Is being your own boss something you always aspired to and who/what motivated you to want to own your own business? 
The motivation for wanting to own my own business came from the inefficiencies and lack of entrepreneurial mindset in corporate companies.

How many other businesses did you consider before deciding on Mugg & Bean and what tipped the scales in their favour? 
As an ex-franchisee of two other well-known brands, I liked the simplicity of the original model and the fact that the menu appeals to the growing middle class. This opportunity also afforded us the chance to establish a uniquely Halaal offering.

Tell us how you experienced the funding application process and about your dealings with SA Franchise Warehouse (SAFW)

While the SAFW team was very helpful, the Business Partners portion took quite long and we felt it was rather costly in terms of high interest rate charges.

How much capital did you invest in your new business and how did you accumulate it? 
We invested R700,000 cash, which was more than the specified 20 percent own contribution requirement.

How has the training and support you received from the franchisor and SAFW prepared you to manage the business? 
The preparation training was adequate and it taught us the importance of focussing of the Key Performance Indicators of the business as a means of tracking performance.

What other assistance did you receive from the franchisor? 
The franchisor did assist with project management and development, however, it did not come cheap.

Do you think you could have established a similar business on your own, in other words without the help of a franchisor? 
While we could in all likelihood have established a similar business, as a Mugg & Bean franchisee we have the advantage of an established brand name which takes time to build.

What is your current staff complement and how many people do you think depend on your employees to support them? 

We currently employ 41 staff members who have approximately four dependents each. We expect that our team will eventually settle at around 50 staff members.

What do you hope to achieve in the future? 

The plan is to achieve our targeted sales growth over the next two years and then to possibly open a second store within the next 12 to 18 months.

What would your advice be to other aspiring business owners?
Consider the business model, the feasibility of your proposed venture, the ability to grow sales through LSM, and the cost of finance. Especially the latter.

Project funded by The Jobs Fund and administered by Business Partners