Recipe for Success: Croatian Franchise, Iraqi Refugee & German Potatoes

Total Croatia News

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December 20, 2019 – Croatia’s most successful franchise announces its most successful franchisee of 2019 – congratulations to Harman Naser Kalad, just 10 years after fleeing Irag to Germany. 

A lovely story of determination and success as 2019 draws to a close. 

Meet Harman Naser Kalad, a young Iraqi who fled the trauma of his homeland ten years ago in search of a better and safer life. Arriving in Germany, he was shy and retiring, with little knowledge of the language or the culture. Despite this, he knew that if he was to survive and prosper, he would have to learn German and the German way of life, becoming more outgoing, and find a job. 

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He found a job with Surf’N’Fries, the Croatian fast food franchise which is the most successful in Croatian history. With 60 outlets in 20 countries over 4 continents – from Iran to Vietnam, Chile to Australia, Harman had found a fast-growing company which offered opportunity. Starting out as a lowly fryer, he applied himself to the task at hand, and he was soon promoted to store manager. After a year, he approached the master franchisor to explore the possibility of him running his own store. Impressed at his ambition and work ethic, he was given first a mobile trailer to run, and then his own fixed store. 

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That was two years ago, and now Harman has the best sales results of any franchisee worldwide. Last year, he set the Surf’N’Fries record by selling an astonishing 4,000 portions of fries at a festival in Germany. This year, just a few days ago, he sold 2,900 portions from a single trailer unit. 

“Harman is the proof you can achieve anything if you let your energy flow in the right direction, you can literally be the Number 1 in the world,” Andrija Colak, Surf’N’Fries CEO told TCN, after announcing that Harman Naser Kalad had been named Franchisee of the Year, for the second year in a row. Quite an achievement for a shy young man who fled the horror of conflict in his homeland just 8 years ago. 

“I had to flee my country because of the way,” Harman told us. “I left in 2009 with my father, but without the rest of the family, as there was not enough money. I wanted to take every opportunity outside of school to support my father and reconnect with my family. During my part-time job at a gas station, I met two people who really motivated me. They saw potential in me and taught me to dream big.

“In 2017, after completing my training as a salesman, Jovi Venovic introduced me to the concept of Surf’N’Fries. I was attracted by the motto ‘Fries with Fun’ as I am a happy person who likes to spread a good mood. After first getting a trailer to run, I got my own fixed store in Stuttgart in Tübingerstrasse 27. I am glad I had the chance to realise my dreams, and my passion remains to work with people and make them happy.”

And something else happened as part of his journey. That shy retiring young man of 2011 has fostered a fabulous party atmosphere within his store, almost as good as the legendary Surf’N’Fries potatoes themselves. Check it out in the video above. 



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