by Maison de Crêpe
last updated 31/03/2022
Inspired By Passion
by Maison de Crêpe
last updated 31/03/2022
Maison de Crêpe is a low entry, high margin business for food-lovers
When Kiwis hear the word crêpe, it often conjures images of food trucks and paper plates. Sheena Hemens is on a mission to change that with Maison de Crêpe – a boutique Parisian-style café, restaurant and wine lounge.
For Sheena, a love of all things French and a love affair with a young Frenchman passionate about crêpes made her realise there was a real gap in the market in New Zealand. With a marketing and PR background, Sheena was well-placed to start not just a sit-down crêpes restaurant but a brand. Now the Christchurch business has become a successful, profitable and desirable franchise opportunity.
Sheena brought her love of food into developing a menu with flair. In addition to traditional savoury crêpes like salmon, scallop and raclette, there are satay chicken, eggplant curry and even eggs benedict versions. Add omelettes, salads, croissants and a classic boeuf bourguignon (not to mention a range of sweet crêpes and waffles to die for), and you have a wide range of options for any time of day. ‘There’s something for everyone, from students and families to business lunches,’ says Sheena. ‘Our menu isn’t pricey, although it looks and feels expensive.’
Inclusive and profitable
Although it’s inspired by passion, Maison de Crêpe is also a very serious business proposition, designed with low food and fitout costs, high margins and minimal wastage. ‘Because our food costs are lower than the industry average, it can be very profitable without needing to charge customers an arm and a leg.
‘People come back to Maison de Crêpe time and time again because we make to order, so if they want gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan or have allergies, we can always make something safe for them. It gives customers a great feeling. The key is to know your market and communicate with those people in a way they will hear you – and once they find you, give them the ‘wow’ factor that makes them come back with friends.’
Demand and Covid mean that the original Maison de Crêpe has moved through three locations from a small 20-seat site to a 70-80 seater. ‘Each location was totally different, but we created the same atmosphere in each. It’s given us experience and confidence that the model works in different locations, and we can make any site look and feel like a Maison de Crêpe,’ says Sheena. ‘As a turnkey franchise, our team will do all of that for new franchisees and give you the confidence to start with your best foot forward.
‘We will help you to hire people that fit the culture and learn through our proven training modules, and provide a full month of training for franchisees and staff on the practicalities of running the business, the systems and menus, hospitality and service, and how to make the most per order per person. Our system has been honed over the last five years and manuals have been created from real-life experience in the business.’
Backed by experience
The model has been developed by Sheena and business partner Alan Win, who has years of franchise experience in New Zealand. ‘Alan recognised the potential in Maison de Crêpe and asked if I’d thought of franchising,’ laughs Sheena. ‘Little did he know, that had been my plan all along – but I knew I couldn’t do it all myself, so it’s been great to have his input.
‘With a brand that’s popular and making money, Maison de Crêpe is a real opportunity for people who want to own their own business. Investment can start from as little as $250,000 +gst, and we’re looking for franchisees all over the country. We want people who get satisfaction from making others happy. If you have a passion for people and good understanding of business basics or are willing to learn, we can teach you the rest.
‘Maison de Crêpe is the perfect opportunity for people who have a passion for food, want a hands-on business and aim to be part of something special. If that’s you, contact me and fall in love with France.’
See this advertorial on page 29 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 30 Issue 4
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