Business Profiles

by Bird On A Wire

last updated 09/12/2021

Live Wires

by Bird On A Wire

last updated 09/12/2021

Bird On A Wire’s tasty free-range chicken is a hit with fans and franchisees alike

The Mani family

If you don’t build your own dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs. So says Prakash Mani, who, with his wife Rosie, is realising his own dreams with two Bird On A Wire restaurants.

After 30 years living in Auckland, the couple moved to Hamilton and took up a whole new challenge. Accountants and consultants by profession, Prakash and Rosie also share a passion for people and food. ‘I didn’t get into accounting because I like numbers – for me, it was about taking care of people from a business perspective,’ says Prakash. Having built his own successful accounting business and worked across a range of industries, he learned a lot about what makes a restaurant successful from his clients. Bird On A Wire stood out.

Specialising in good vibes and free-range rotisserie chicken since 2012, the quick service restaurant format offers a wide range of healthy options including awesome salads, mouth-watering burgers and baguettes, an unusual range of sides (parmesan hashsticks, anyone?) and dessert treats. There are dine-in, takeaway, delivery and catering options, ensuring a steady stream of business.

Bird On A Wire is owned by the team behind sister brand The Coffee Club, meaning franchisees benefit from a wealth of knowledge and experience. Prakash says, ‘We look after a few franchisees of The Coffee Club in our accounting business, so we were aware of both brands and had insight into how they perform. That gave us a lot of confidence. Buying something with all the strengths of a brand and proven business model makes a lot of sense, especially when moving into a new industry – there’s the accountant coming out in me, always wary of risk,’ he laughs.

‘Of course, we want to make money, and we do, but that’s not all we think about. We believe in business with meaning and the culture of Bird On A Wire really fits with our values. Not only do we serve healthy and delicious free-range food, but we also care about having a diverse, inclusive culture, sustainability and recycling. Combining these with a supportive leadership team with solid experience makes Bird On A Wire the right brand for us.’

So nice we bought it twice

Prakash and Rosie opened their Hamilton East restaurant in February 2021, and were so confident that by April they were opening their second in Auckland’s new Ormiston Town Centre. ‘We knew a lot about the Auckland market, so I’d expressed an interest in any upcoming opportunities. Ormiston is a location with a big growth market and, since everything about opening a new store was fresh in our minds, it seemed like a good time to jump in feet first.

‘We had total support from the directors, Kelly Bain, Brad Jacobs and Andy Lucas. We opened in Hamilton on the same day as the big Six60 concert here, so of course we got hammered. They were here to support us, and didn’t just stand back and watch the chaos unfold – Kelly was in there marinating and prepping alongside our chefs, Brad jumped in to help with the piles of dishes and Andy was everywhere. They really led by example and showed us the difference between being the boss and being part of the team.

‘That’s true for everyone at Bird HQ. Through Covid, they’ve been there for us every step of the way, helping out with landlords and rent negotiations, looking out for us and keeping everyone informed. Yes, you do pay fees to be part of a franchise rather than going it alone, but what you get is a proven, tested system, established brand and a great support team when you need them.’ Coming from an accountant, that’s praise indeed.

Top locations available now

Bird On A Wire already has seven outlets around New Zealand generating rave reviews from fans of all ages. Kelly says, ‘Our passion is delivering delicious, wholesome food and spreading good vibes, and we want our franchisees to feel the same. We’re particularly interested in teaming up with franchisees who have some business knowledge and experience, and who excel in some or all of the following areas:

• People management
• Sales/customer service
• Marketing                      
• Operations

‘As Prakash and Rosie are proving, these matter more than food experience.’

Investment levels start from $450,000 +gst for a new restaurant. ‘We are actively seeking franchisees now for new Bird On A Wire locations in Auckland, in particular Browns Bay, Howick, Albany, Hibiscus Coast and West Auckland,’ Kelly says. ‘We also have opportunities in regional locations such as Bay of Plenty and Waikato.’

And, for the right people, one store could just be the start. ‘You could open two or three Birds, or go multi-brand with The Coffee Club – we have two franchisees doing that already,’ Kelly points out. ‘Bird On A Wire is a brand that’s going places, so join us now and be part of the journey.’   

See this advertorial on page 9 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 30 Issue 4 

Contact details for Bird On A Wire

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