HOW A FAMILY PASSION FOR OPORTO BONDI BURGERS INSPIRED A BUSINESS DREAM.
Oporto franchisee in Brisbane CBD, QLD
Armed with a degree in IT, Sid Reddy was all set for a career in the corporate world. However, it was his son’s passion for Oporto Bondi Burgers which completely set his career on another course. Now Sid and his wife are proud Oporto franchisees. Here Sid tells us about the growing Queensland market and his efforts to introduce the brand to the Indian community.
When was the first time you ever tried Oporto?
I had my first taste of Oporto two days after landing in Australia in 2003, when my cousin took me to a store. I had a Bondi Burger meal with chips and Coke and just loved it, it was so delicious. One day years later, I went to lunch at an Oporto with my wife and son. He also had a Bondi Burger and declared it was the best burger he’d eaten. We kept going back and he stopped eating McDonalds after that! I began thinking, ‘hmm, if I can satisfy my son, who’s a picky eater, with this food, perhaps I can satisfy everyone with this business’. The seed was sown.
What a great story! So where are you from originally?
I’m from India and moved to Sydney 15 years ago to study for a Master’s Degree in IT. I began working at Oporto Double Bay and then moved to Brisbane with Oporto before opening my own store in 2017.
What happened to your IT aspirations?
After my experiences with Oporto I decided I wanted a job where I was exposed to all sorts of different people and I didn’t think I’d find that in IT. It was always my intention to own a business someday and there are good opportunities in the food industry here. So whilst I’m happy to have my qualifications, this industry’s a better fit for me.
I also loved the Oporto culture, being hands on and the brand in general. Throughout my early Oporto years, I worked with good franchisees and the best people in the business, so they really inspired me to open my own store. My wife now works with me as well – she’s worked for the brand since 2005.
SIMPLE| HONEST | DIGNIFIED
Can you share some of your challenges in the business?
The main challenge was when I moved to Brisbane to work at the Oporto store I now own. I didn’t know the area or local community. Then on my second working day I suddenly had to learn on the spot on how to be a manager and run the whole place, as the manager supervising me resigned! It took me four weeks to understand how the staff worked, and the nature of the business and the community. Whilst the brand is less known in Queensland, the market for it here is growing all the time which is encouraging. We’ve come a long way and I’m very optimistic about the future of the brand in the state. One day I would like to run multiple stores here.
You mention the community, does your store have involvement in anything?
As I’m close to my culture and like to preserve it, I’ve always been involved in Indian community activities. I make an effort to attend Indian festivals and spread the word about us. When I moved to Brisbane, no one in the Indian community knew anything about Oporto! So we organised a sponsorship through the Indian community to raise brand awareness, offered samples and so forth. They have received it well.
Who have you learnt the most from over the years?
My family. Seeing them working on a farm, I learnt a lot of things from scratch. My father was the one who ultimately gave me some really good life advice that governs everything I do. He told me, ‘always be of good character and don’t lose sight of that’.
Work-life balance in Oporto
Have you had to make sacrifices to be a successful business owner?
To me it’s a win-win situation. Everyone has to sacrifice family-time when they own a business but being a franchisee means I can still set my own hours. When the business is quiet, I take on more work so I’m there for longer hours to offset wage payments, but if I have something on, I have the freedom to finish up whenever I want. I actually don’t really count the time invested in the business as a ‘sacrifice’.
What’s your favourite item on the menu?
It’s still the Bondi Burger! I have it most days for lunch although I’ve started having water with it instead of Coke. I already eat a lot of chocolate so I have more than enough sugar for the day!
Would you like to prepare your own Bondi Burgers while owning your Oporto store? Find out more about our current franchising opportunities – Keep reading!