International expansion of the Croatian franchise continues.
After a test outlet at one of the many railway stations in Moscow, one of the most successful and fastest growing Croatian franchises Surf’n’Fries, launched eight years ago by Andrija Čolak and Denis Polić from Rijeka, has just opened two new facilities in Russia – both of them at the Sheremetyevo Airport, reports Poslovni.hr on March 15, 2017.
For now, Russia has the greatest potential among the 16 countries in which the franchise is present with a total of 55 outlets – they have just receive approval to open several outlets in local shopping malls in Moscow. “Russians are accustomed to act quickly. Everything there is based on large numbers, so it is rare to discuss the opening of just one outlet”, said Polić.
The total potential of the Russian and Kazakhstan markets implies the opening of 300 to 400 outlets in the next five years. The second fastest growing franchise market for the company is Germany, where they have three new franchise partners. For the first time, they have opened a “shop-in-shop” outlet at a gas station in Stuttgart. “Jovica Vejnović, our master-franchisee for Germany, has presented the concept at a trade fair for gas stations and the reaction was great. If the test outlet turns out to be a success, we will move with the opening of another 15 facilities at local gas stations”, added Polić.
Among new markets they are looking into is South Africa, where they are currently in the final stages of signing a contract which will enable them to open their first outlet by the end of this year. In May, they will open an outlet in Dubai. The company has also spread to the Iranian market after the international sanctions were lifted, and they are also in negotiations to enter the United States and China, while working on new products at the same time.
In Croatia, their emphasis is still on the seasonal type of business operations, mostly through the Surf’n’Fries-Mobile format. This format requires less than 10,000 euros to run your own business, and the investment can be covered in the first season of operations. Given that they have developed a number of other franchise formats, such as Surf’n’Fries StandAlone and Surf’n’Fries Shop-In-Shop, they are ready to respond to any challenge in the business environment.
Last year was very important for the Croatian entrepreneurs because, after seven years of operations, they introduced a new visual identity of the brand, which also included the change of packaging.