Building a Restaurant Franchise w/ Gavin Fedorak

Typical Life for Some

As we grow up, we learn lessons. We listen to what we are told, and we dare at times to not think outside the box. For the next guest from these social conditions people place to starting a franchise business, has learned along the way through his restaurant journey.

This is the typical life for a lot of kids and young adults growing up. As they go to school, get a job, maybe go to college, and then work a 9-5 job. People will work 35 years of their life, retire around 65, and then they can’t believe most of their life is gone.

The next guest on the Bee Influenced podcast, he decided he didn’t want to live the life of that kind.

The Birth of the Restaurant Entrepreneur

Gavin Fedorak, decided he didn’t want to live the life of most people.

Attending the University of Alberta, playing basketball for the Golden Bears and receiving a Bachelors of Commerce Degree in accounting, he then transitioned like a lot of students moving into his first job.

He worked with Deloitte, receiving his chartered accountant designation, and decided to leave the corporate finance world, to open a quick service restaurant. The quick service company of the name of Press’d The Sandwich Co was born!

Building a restaurant franchise. Interview with co-founder of Pressd - Gavin Fedorak

Pressd located in Edmonton, Alberta!

Press’d currently has 16 restaurants since first launching, which has been what Gavin describes a “slow and consistent growth”. Having operations in the Edmonton region, Leduc, Grand Prairie, Red Deer, Calgary, and Saskatoon.

Like a lot of franchises Press’d was very smart with their growth strategy.

“We didn’t take the route of just pumping out 30 units a year to anyone and everyone in every location.Were trying to be a little more strategic. Making sure we were picking good sites, and trying to get good people in those stores”

Safe Job to Restaurant Entrepreneur

Transitioning from Deloitte to starting Press’d was a big jump for Gavin. When asked about what made him jump from a safe job to starting up his own sandwich company, he had the following to say:

I think the biggest thing for me was, I wanted a bit more [of an adventure]. I wanted a bit more of unknown, and a challenge where there was some more risk involved. Not that it wouldn’t have been challenging to move up in the corporate world, at Deloitte…. If I wanted to move up in the accounting world, a couple years here, a couple years there, step up the ladder”.

Building a Restaurant Franchise

Over the past couple of years, I have attended many franchise expos.

Franchise expos are great events, that allow you to learn about potential business opportunities. You get the opportunity to chat with the franchisor, and typically a franchisee in the system.

I always recommend to people go out and attend these events and learn if a franchise system would be right for you. Researching online and everything is great, but you have to go out and learn and talk with other people.  

If you are not sure if the franchise system is right for you, Gavin gave advice regarding who it is right for.

“For someone who is looking to get into a business, there’s a ton of benefits to franchising. I still being… that it’s for the right individual. If you’re the type of person that wants to do everything yourself, and not have to take direction and think that you want to be a business owner, so you can one day drop something off the menu and the next day add something else, or run any type of promotion you want, and having complete and utter control, it’s not for you. But if you want to be in business, and own your business, and get some help. Have some guidance and not have to start from scratch. Especially if you’re new into business and you have never done it before, there are some huge advantages. You get to learn from the mistakes that other people learned from and made along the way. You get a template. You get to say to someone, I don’t know what to do here, what should I do here? You get feedback from someone who has been doing it for five, ten, fifteen, twenty years, which is hugely valuable. I don’t think enough people take advantage of the ability to get that support, and  ask those questions… But it’s there… But you get a lot when you join a franchise group. Not to mention the brand name, and the market recognition, and all those types of things. Then you don’t have to start from scratch.”

If you don’t want to build a brand, learn from other people’s mistakes, and not start from scratch, have less control, a franchise might make sense for you.

Joining a Franchise

If you are like me, and a lot of other entrepreneurs, you constantly look for opportunities. You look for ideas and meet new people you might want to work with. You do cost-benefit analysis to determine if that opportunity makes sense.

Essentially, you find if the opportunity makes sense for you.

In fact, when looking to acquire a franchise and get into the system Gavin gave really great advice for anyone first starting out.

“The biggest piece of advice I would be willing to give to any one, regardless of the industry you are getting into for franchising, is to speak with existing franchisees. [Asking] them questions about, what does your typical week look like? What do you do on a day to day basis? What is the hardest part about running this business? What is tough, what is easy, what are your struggles? What would you change if you could? What do you like about being apart with this franchise? What do you dislike?”

One of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make, when looking to get into a franchise system they ask the wrong questions.  

They ask questions like, What are your sales? How much money are you making?

Which is not the right questions to be asking

Ask the right questions and find out if that business opportunity is right for you. Find out, like what Gavin said and determine if you can make that franchise work for you, instead of working for the franchise.  

If you focus on the process and what you can do differently, you can tweak your operations to get different results.  

Location… Location… Location..

I am sure you have heard the saying “ it’s about location, location, location”.  

That’s true but it’s not necessarily always the case for opening a franchise. Obviously location does play a factor into a restaurant’s success. However there is another way to look at it…

The better way to look at is, whether or not does that location fit the profile for the type of restaurant that will be opened and the people coming through.  

That’s why if you go to the mall and walk through the food court you notice a lot of quick service, fast food restaurants. People come to the mall to go shopping, and during their time they might get hungry. People might not be as likely to sit down for a hour, hour and half to have a bite to eat while shopping. I am not saying, it doesn’t happen… I am just saying, it doesn’t fit the typical shoppers needs. The typical shopper wants to get in and get out, and continue on with their shopping.

You could also have a restaurant or cafe, that is a unique one off and appeals to a specific crowd. This can be based on the design, unique creations etc that appeals to a specific type of individual. Therefore, people that fit that profile are more likely to travel to that location because they are very limited.

That’s why, when looking to buy into a franchise system, the head franchisor helps the franchisee find the right location. It also allows the franchisor, to make sure the restaurant is going to be in the right location for that franchisees restaurant to succeed. Which reduces the risk for the franchisee.

With Press’d Gavin mentioned:

“With any large franchise, you’re going to get franchise assistance. Whether or not it’s coming from the franchisor themselves, or coming from the franchisors preferred real estate team in that market, you’re going to get real estate knowledge and assistance. [Understanding] your market, and receiving recommended sites based on what has been successful [for] the brand in the past.”  

For more details regarding how the real estate deals work in a franchise system, make sure you listen to the podcast 🙂

After being involved with Press’d over the years, Gavin decided to take a step back and remove himself from the day-to-day operations.

He then moved forward with his next restaurant venture, being a fast casual pizza restaurant, called Love Pizza.  

Do you Love Pizza?

Love Pizza is a quick service, pizza restaurant located downtown Edmonton and with a BRAND NEW location opened up in St. Albert located at 935. St. Albert Trail.  

restaurant franchise with Gavin Fedorak

Love Pizza located downtown Edmonton

As a pizza fanatic myself, Love Pizza is one of the best pizza restaurants I have ever been in.

From the great customer service, to the customizable pizza options, store design, and the  AMAZING tasting pizza, it’s definitely a great date night location with a special someone.

Creating Love Pizza, Gavin was trying to create a “place of business that we would want to frequent. Make it a business that we are proud to own. The values and activities we undertake are true to ourselves. There is no faking it with our business… like my wife runs our social media.  She does all of our marketing and advertising…We wanted to be a business that was true to us, and we were sincere to what we were doing.  That our food was honest to what we wanted it to be. We are not bringing in frozen product… We get like 6 deliveries a week from [our suppliers]… But everything is fresh. We feed our kid our food… It’s authentic, it’s true, it’s not stuff we wouldn’t want to serve him… It’s what we would make at home the same way.”

If you ever get the option to visit one of the Love Pizza locations I highly recommend it. You can get a customizable or even build your own individual sized pizza, as well as cooked in 2.5 minutes.

I KNOW EH! PIZZA IN 2.5 MINUTES!!! CRAZY AND TASTY!

The oven inside is a conveyor oven that cooks the pizza in a short period of time, creating a consistent pizza every time you visit.

Different Compared to Competitors

The main difference compared from Love Pizza to the competitors live Blaze Pizza, is Gavin’s restaurant has a finishing bar.

We have a finishing bar. We have another 9-15 ingredients plus 5-6 different sauces or drizzles that you can put onto your pizza, after it’s been cooked, [which is] a little different compared to what they do.

Plus, plus, and plus way more! The reason is because Gavin and his wife want that quality compared to larger chains.

Advice to Entrepreneurs

I wanted to get some advice for entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business, whether it be a restaurant, a gym, or a franchise. I asked Gavin the same question that I always ask a lot of great entrepreneurs and individuals who come onto the podcast.

Being,“If you had to give some one 3 tips  that is starting a business today… what would those three tips be”?

  1. Do some thing you want to do…. Don’t do something you aren’t excited about… You have to enjoy what you are doing. Look at yourself, think, what do I really want to do… Am i going to be happy….? If you’re not, you’re going to burn out. 
  2. Don’t be underfunded. Don’t go into a business that you can’t afford be into. Be honest with yourself, with what you think your going to need.
  3. “Don’t be paralyzed by the details. Just do. Go out and do it… You can sit there planning and talking about it all day… Go out and do it.”

If you ask me, that’s some great advice who has had experience building two different restaurant businesses.

Contact Gavin

If you have any questions or concerns for Gavin, the best way to get ahold of is through email. You can email him at: gavin@pressdsandwiches.ca

If you want to receive $5 off on your next pizza purchase, download the Love Loyalty app, available on your phone’s app store.  Download the app you can redeem for a price discount on your next pizza purchase.

You can also follow Love Pizza on Facebook and Instagram!

Listen to the podcast! Interested in buying a franchise, or looking to start your own restaurant you don’t want to miss!

Thanks guys, make sure you share this post if you Love Pizza

See what I did there? 😉

Matthew