Croatian Franchise Surf’n’Fries Expanding to Another Major Market

Total Croatia News

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Source: Surf'n'Fries

The company currently operates in 15 countries.

The Croatian fast food franchise Surf’n’Fries has recently expanded to Kuwait. One of the company’s owners Andrija Čolak presented in an interview their main goals in the future and explained whether Croatia is a favourable market to launch similar businesses, reports on June 26, 2018.

Surf’n’Fries opened its first outlet in Rijeka nine years ago. It is now operating in 15 countries around the world, and by the end of the year, it will expand to India, where they plan to open their 64th branch.

How did the launch of your business in Kuwait go? You have demonstrated that 12.5 square metres are quite enough to open a fast food outlet.

Reactions are exactly what we want them to be when we enter a new market. The outlet has been operating without any problems since the day one and customers are standing in line with a smile on their face because they have not seen anything like it before. The restaurant in Kuwait has just 12.5 square metres and is incredibly small, but we have managed to make a very functional outlet.

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Surf’n’Fries has been around for 10 years. Have you met your goals and what are your plans for the future?

Next year we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of our first outlet in Rijeka. Our ultimate goal is to position Surf’n’Fries as a global brand that is number one when it comes to French fries. We literally want to be the best and the best known French fries brand. We are working on the further expansion, and this year we will launch the first outlet in India, three new outlets in South Africa, and the first outlet in Australia on the legendary Bondi Beach. We also work on the Surf’n’Fries-Chips that we plan to sell in retail shops because that would be a logical next step.

What is your main advantage ahead of the competition?

The main advantage is the very clear positioning of the brand and specialization in one segment. After that, the innovation we have demonstrated through the packaging that is the core value of the brand in terms of design. Also, we have always been careful to have the highest possible quality of food we serve, which is extremely important if you want to be the number one. In addition, we have tried to be very flexible towards the franchisees and therefore we have tried to innovate our store formats.

Despite the fierce competition among fast food chains, you have become a recognizable brand, both in Croatia and abroad. What was the most important element for you in this successful Croatian business story?

I think the most important element is the mindset. We have never seen ourselves to be limited to the Croatian market. From the very start, we have built a brand that has a global look and feel. Secondly, we have tried to be unique and offer something which others do not offer, but everybody still loves. We have kept an open perspective and we did not fear to take a risk.

Is Croatia a good environment for starting similar business ventures?

Croatia is good for two things, one is that it is good as a market for concept testing and learning, the other is that tourism can be good for promoting the concept to foreign customers. Except that, Croatia does not bring any benefits, due to poor purchasing power and incredibly high taxes. I would certainly recommend everybody to create concepts for international markets. There is no reason to fear them since they usually function much better than the market in Croatia. It is not difficult if you know what you are doing. We have been pioneers so we often make mistakes and pay them dearly. If anyone wants help or wants to hear first-hand about our experiences, I would be glad to help.

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