In Conversation with Plan Burrito
Mexican street food brand Plan Burrito have come a long way since their humble beginnings. Currently with 6 locations (and counting), the Plan Burrito franchising story is an interesting one. Find out more with our “In conversation with Plan Burrito”.
Founder: Steve Hopper
Founded: Core business started in 2015, first franchise location opened in 2022.
What they do in a nutshell: Plan Burrito serves delicious Mexican Street food and offers dine in, takeaway and delivery services.
Why they’re great: They have won an impressive number of food industry awards. Founder Steve believed in the brand from the outset and his passion for quality ingredients and 5 star service shines through. Also, they do not charge for extra fillings!
In Conversation with Plan Burrito
Watch the full interview with Steve Hopper here:
Ashtons Franchise managing franchise consultant Phil Mowat chatted with Steve – these are some of the questions asked:
What does Plan Burrito do?
“We do Tex-Mex street food, so we’re a quick service operation, pretty much similar to a Subway style service. A customer will come in and they can customize their burrito or their wrap just as you would a sandwich or sub at Subway. So really from start to finish we could have a customer in and out after 60 seconds, so it’s very very quick service.”
What’s the story behind franchising?
“When I came up with the concept of Plan Burrito I had a vision to franchise it right from the start. The first one was opened in Loughborough in 2015 on May the 4th (Star Wars day!) Since then, it’s been a big learning curve!
After six months trading, I opened up a second location in Loughborough which was big enough to handle delivery services. So I effectively had one location focusing on eat in and the other focusing on delivery. A year after that I went into franchising, because obviously I proved the model in two locations in the same small town.”
How did you build your knowledge on franchising?
“For me I learned the hard way – I made a lot of mistakes. A friend liked what I was doing and so I allowed them to open a ‘franchise’ location in Leicester. I rang my accountant and asked if they had a franchise agreement, so we had something on paper, I think they used a standard law agreement. I thought I was doing everything professionally. Once opened, the new owners were not there very much and the processes I put in place weren’t running in their store. I didn’t have an Operations Manual so I lacked the protection that related back to the franchise agreement. In the end we went our separate ways and we gave the sublease to someone else.
That’s the point I went back to the drawing board. I wrote myself an Operations Manual and started to look for a franchise consultant to help me. I spoke to quite a few and Ashtons stood out to me, the way they broke it down and made it clear and simple. Immediately they believed in the brand and took me seriously.”
How did you find working with Charlie Dickson as your franchise consultant?
“Absolutely wicked! He is an asset to Ashtons. There were a lot of things that I felt a little bit silly about, because maybe I should have known, but Charlie broke it down and it never felt like you were on the clock. He was passionate about working with the brand and growing the business.”
How many franchisees have you got now?
“We’ve got six locations at present and by the end of July we’ll have eight.”
Where do you want to be in 10 years?
“We don’t want to be just national we want to be international as well. I believe strongly in the way we do things, the way we’ve simplified our operations means we can run on minimal staff. With the premises we can pretty much squeeze one of ours into about 500 square foot – which means we can get into prime locations at lower costs. So we’ve got all these things which I took into account when I was designing the business. When the operations are right it means that the franchise stands a much bigger chance of success.”
What’s your biggest business achievement?
“We won the best street food in the country, which was a massive achievement, because when you’re talking street food you’re talking kebabs, burgers and everything – and we won that across the board. We also won a silver award in franchising in our first year.”
Biggest mistake you’ve made?
“Going into business with friends!”
What’s your best tip for a new would-be franchisor?
“Persistence. It took me from 2015 to now to get where I am.
The preparation for franchising takes time – getting all the paperwork right, all the legal documentation etc. So I’d always say persistence and don’t try and cut corners. Use someone like Ashtons – they may not be the cheapest out there but you’ll get exactly what you’re paying for and more with them. If you’re looking at franchising, it’s going to be a life-changing thing, don’t scrimp on it.”
Interested in becoming a Plan Burrito franchisee?
Visit their website and fill out the enquiry form and they will be in touch.
Do you own a successful business and feel inspired to franchise it?
How can we help?
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