last updated 22/06/2022
Slow Food Served Fast
last updated 22/06/2022
A secret special sauce, a signature serving bowl and fresh, healthy food – Katsubi has all the ingredients for success
How do you combine traditional slow-cooked flavours with the fast service required in a modern food business? Katsubi came up with a solution – and now the brand can be found on the street and in malls around New Zealand. For the first time ever, the company is advertising the opportunity for people to open new franchises all around the country. So what makes Katsubi such a winner?
‘People love the fresh taste of our Red Bowls, which combine freshly-cooked meat and healthy vegetables flavoured with our unique Katsubi Sauce,’ explains Zoe Park of Katsubi HQ. ‘This enables people to select their own mix of salads and sauces, then add freshly-cooked hot meats or plant-based options to create the perfect combination for them. Our original recipe Red Bowl flavours can’t be copied – it is slow food designed to be served fast!’
Zoe runs through the menu. ‘As well as the Red Bowl, we’re famous for our Chicken DAK, crunchy fried 100 percent New Zealand chicken marinated in a special sauce which gives it a delicious tangy, spicy flavour. The recipe is a closely-guarded secret – the chicken is prepared in our own kitchens in Auckland and Christchurch and then cooked on the spot in each store. And we also have Katsubi’s own unique udon and ramen noodle options, as well as a variety of tasty snacks to suit any taste, any time.
‘The result is a very successful, very well-established and very profitable business model,’ Zoe says. ‘We already have several franchisees, without even advertising, and they are all going strong even after two years of Covid – in fact, our Hamilton franchisee actually opened during the pandemic. Another franchisee joined way back in 2015 and is still with us, which shows what a secure, stable business this is.
‘Katsubi is a 100 percent Kiwi-owned family business and we are very proud of our track record. Nationally, the company is a strong performer with significant brand awareness even compared to some of the global franchises operating here.’
Ready to learn?
Katsubi is looking for franchisees for new locations all over the country. ‘The opportunity is open to anyone interested in the hospitality industry with a passion for business and a desire to succeed,’ says Zoe. ‘You don’t need a food background or a specific skill set as long as you have lots of energy and are willing to learn – this is a very hands-on business.’
Most stores are open 9am-9pm or mall hours, depending on location. Franchisees learn to do the cooking themselves then teach others as the business grows. After 20 years, Katsubi has well-tried systems to follow in everything from food preparation and ordering to HR, scheduling and business management. Initial training takes place in Auckland and then there are regular visits and contact with each franchisee.
‘We have increased support levels as we responded to Covid and introduced new systems such as contactless pick-up,’ Zoe explains. ‘It means new franchisees will get the benefit of highly-experienced specialists in operations, marketing and planning as their businesses grow.’
Sustainable and profitable
For new franchisees, total investment levels vary according to location and size. In general, the range is between $350,000 and $500,000.
Katsubi’s track record as one of the most successful local franchised eateries in the country means that banks are supportive when it comes to finding finance for the right people, says Zoe. ‘They have seen how successful the business has been over the last 20 years, and how much focus we put on sustainability and profitability,’ she explains.
Cheng Chen Li, who opened her Katsubi franchise in Dinsdale in December last year, agrees. ‘It was smooth, simple, and effective. The Katsubi team makes sure our investments are at the top of the list when considering many things, from location to operation. The brand management’s attention to providing support, as well as knowing the importance of the venture, was what made us feel confident that this was what we wanted. Everything has a system and it works out well.’
Taste it for yourself
Katsubi is keen to find franchisees for streetside and mall locations in key cities and towns around New Zealand.
‘This is a proven business model which can deliver excellent returns for franchisees,’ says Zoe. ‘Our “slow food served fast” approach offers fresh, healthy food for everyone and has a wide appeal wherever we go.
‘Visit a store and taste Katsubi for yourself, then contact me – we’re keen to hear from people who share our passion.’
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