Close family ties are this franchisee’s secret weapon
For Victorian franchisee Reshmi Nair, running a string of successful Oporto stores is a real family affair. Having grown up in the food industry, Reshmi’s daughter and son now also work with her in the business.
Reshmi Nair Oporto Franchise Partner in Melbourne, VIC
Creating a successful legacy for them is now one of Reshmi’s main goals. She tells us what it’s like working with family and how her extended family are her biggest mentors.
Reshmi, do you have a background in food?
In a way yes – my family has always been in the food business, although I used to work part-time at Westpac when I was studying at university. We are originally from Fiji – I moved to Sydney with my family when I was 15 years old and then moved to Victoria nine years ago.
What inspired you to become an Oporto franchisee?
We always had a goal of opening a family business in Australia and we were looking at other QSR opportunities like McDonalds. However, that wasn’t really an option because you need to work there for 10 years before becoming an owner. We went to an exhibition at Darling Harbour featuring Oporto as a franchise option and were impressed. I joined Oporto in 2001 when I started our first store as a family business with my brother in North Ryde. I owned that store for 12 years before selling it in 2012. I now own three stores in Victoria.
Keep improving and reap the rewards
What do your kids do and what are the pros and cons of working so closely with family?
My daughter’s an accountant so she looks after all their paperwork and also fills in on weekends as a manager. Meanwhile, my son is more hands on in the day to day operations working as a manager, running shifts, rostering and so forth. On the plus side we’re all close and know the values of the business inside out as we can chat easily about issues. That’s helped to strengthen the business. The only down side is trying to organise family holidays which is pretty challenging as we all work together and find it hard to take time off as a group!
Would you be happy for your son and daughter to take over the franchise one day?
Yes, that’s actually my plan – to keep building the business up for them so I can retire in a few years and hand it over.
How much of a support have other family members been?
I’ve always found their advice really invaluable. My dad always told me that your main priority should always be your family and that when it comes to business you need to be realistic about your expectations. My brother has also been my mentor and he has helped me a lot with opening our business.
passionate | emotional | hard-working
What’s the franchisee-franchisor experience been like for you over the years?
I have always loved the trust we have with Oporto. I’ve never had a bad experience with the company – they have always looked after me and my stores and supported me every step of the way. I also never thought I’d grow so quickly as a franchisee so that was a great achievement.
You must have eaten a lot of Oporto meals in your time, what’s your favourite item?
The Bondi burger with chilli! I love it.
How would you like to see Oporto growing as a brand?
I’d like to see more stores opening in Victoria because it would make a difference to the brand awareness in this state compared to NSW where it is much stronger. I’d like to see Oporto take on more good franchisees with hard-working mindsets. You need to be prepared to work hard as a franchisee. Every store you open has its challenges, no matter what you know or how many businesses you’ve owned before. However, if you’re open to learning new tricks and can adapt with the environment, you’ll keep improving and reap the rewards.
So what are the main things needed to build a successful business?
First you have to build a great team. Then you have to focus on providing great customer service and taking feedback on board in a constructive way to grow the business. Finally, you need dedication.
OPORTO FRANCHISING OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE IN NSW, VIC, QLD and WA
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* Craveable Brands is the owner operator of Red Rooster, Oporto and Chicken Treat