GYG franchisee cooks up a storm

By Sarah Stowe | 13 Nov 2019 View comments

As a cook, and now as a franchisee, German Leudo has always shown a passion for food and customer service. He backed up this passion with qualifications in catering, and business, tourism and hotel management.

Today German is fulfilling his dream as the franchisee of Guzman y Gomez, Victoria Point.

Tell us how you got into franchising?

I grew up watching my parents manage their own business and ever since I was little, I knew that I wanted to follow in their footsteps and have my own business. After finishing my studies, I started working in the hospitality industry and I absolutely loved it. 

I have been part of the Guzman y Gomez (GYG) family since 2012, initially starting my journey as a cook. After a year, I was promoted to be an assistant manager of a new franchise restaurant, and another year later, I found myself running one of the busiest restaurants in Queensland as a general manager.

Based on my experience as a restaurant manager, I knew a GYG franchise offered the independence of small business ownership, but with the benefits of a big business network, existing brand awareness, marketing support, and established business systems with ongoing support. I saw it as a great opportunity to begin my journey as a franchisee and I aim to continue growing my business within the company in the coming years.

Why did you choose to buy a GYG?

The franchise has given me great opportunities to grow professionally, and most importantly, do what I love the most. I strongly believe in the brand, and I found that my career and personal beliefs aligned with GYG’s mission and values.

It is a well-known brand, that offers many advantages for franchisees. Perhaps the most significant is the proven system of operation and ongoing training that it offers, not only to the franchisees, but also to the staff. Everyone at GYG works hard to build innovative processes, technology, and culture that illustrate that it is possible to prepare fresh and nutritious fast food without compromising on quality.

GYG is definitely a unique place — not only do the restaurants create delicious food, but the brand also seeks to spread a Latin sense of community and passion across Australia.

How is your family involved?

My family has been essential in my franchisee experience. They have been my biggest supporters since the day I started to consider opening a franchise, and they are all involved in the business in different ways. 

My parents enjoy coming to the restaurant and help out with admin work and banking. My brothers, Sergio and David, my sister Maria, and my wife, Veronica, work alongside me and are part of the daily restaurant operations.

While at times it can be tough to work with your relatives, I consider myself very fortunate to count on such an amazing and supportive family who are united by a common goal and are willing to make great sacrifices for the success of our family business.

What was the biggest challenge in your first six months as a franchisee?

I think my biggest challenge was the transition from employee to employer. Although I acquired great knowledge while working as a restaurant manager, being an employer requires you to spend more time learning about the whole business. To do this, I needed to have a more holistic picture and learn about all aspects of the company, including payroll systems, tax compliances, marketing strategies, cost reduction, and controlling COGS [cost of goods sold].

From there, the next challenge was training staff. It takes time to get your crew up to an ideal speed and standard, especially as GYG prides itself on convenience and the value of speedy service. I have been fortunate, though, to employ such a strong and passionate group of people.

How do fast food franchisees manage operating costs while staying workplace and OHS compliant?

At GYG, we have strict processes in place to guarantee a safe environment for our staff and our customers, which can be very time-consuming and expensive. However, we know this is something that cannot be compromised; taking care of our customers and staff is integral to our business values.

With the help of technology, GYG has introduced new systems to help restaurants make all these processes manageable and easy to follow, guaranteeing a safe workplace while reducing time, spending and costs.

 What tips do you have for potential franchisees?

  1. Strongly believe in the brand you’re investing in, and be passionate about it.
  2. Be prepared to run your own business and work hard. Some people think that it’s less work to run your own place, but the reality is that it’s your business and no one else will run it for you. You have to be there for your team.
  3. Be confident with the location and demographics for your new franchise, prepare your own estimate sales budgets and consider every situation, from the best to the worst.
  4. Talk to other existing franchisees and ask as many questions as you can.
  5. Finally, enjoy the journey, be positive and work smart.