Camile Thai Kitchen is a unique and special franchise proposition in an F&B market packed to the brim with similar sounding concepts. With more than 45 locations to its name already, the delivery-focused brand has already created numerous happy business owners across the U.K.
Unlike many F&B franchise models that place too much emphasis on in-store dining, Camile Thai Kitchen focuses on delivery. The brand’s founder, Brody Sweeney, is also the founder of O’Briens Sandwich Bar, which grew to 350 outlets in 16 countries. Coupled with the changing tastes of consumers and the desire for convenience, it made sense for Camile Thai Kitchen to base its operations on a delivery model.
Consumers today will only have an unhealthy meal as an occasional treat, but the rest of the time, they will want healthy meals made from fresh, wholesome ingredients. Camile Thai’s menu is exclusively healthy, and full of restaurant-quality dishes that are easy enough to prepare for all franchisees.
Before support arrives, franchisees already benefit from being associated with quality service and quality products. Franchisees will also receive top-class support from the head office in every field, from marketing to operations.
The delivery-based model
Food delivery was only growing pre-pandemic, but the onset of the pandemic hugely accelerated this trend into becoming the norm for many consumers. Founder Brody Sweeney smelt the coffee well before everyone else did and created a delivery model for his brand when he founded it in 2010. Today, Camile Thai stands to reap the rewards of having been a dependable source of healthy, hot food during two difficult years.
The delivery model is so deeply ingrained into the brand that is responsible for around 70 per cent of all orders, placing significantly lesser strain on franchisees and staff. Typically, dine-in locations required franchisees to open their restaurants in areas with high footfall, which demands a high rent. Franchisees are constantly on edge with every other cost input, as the slightest rise can wipe out the margin and put the store in the red.
The smaller footprint demanded by Camile Thai locations alongside the need for less front-of-house staff, gives franchisees more room to operate in. Locations are typically 1,500 sq. ft and franchisees have the choice of installing seating for around 30 guests, or focus solely on the delivery model. These locations are established in residential areas, and end up becoming a part of the community. With the healthy and flavorful offering, Camile Thai could be the takeaway of choice for multiple generations in an area or town.
The menu has been designed with franchisees, time, flavor, and healthiness in mind. The COVID-19 pandemic increased consumers’ need for convenience and shorter delivery times. The nature of the pandemic also led people to become more health-conscious, which inevitably filtered down to the food they eat. Camile Thai’s menu items are reputed for their health and flavor whilst being easy to learn, and quick to prepare. An assortment of vegan and vegetarian dishes allows the brand to cater to the changing lifestyles of the younger generation.
Underpinned by unparalleled franchise support
Opening a franchise is a big step for most; Camile Thai recognizes and mitigates that apprehension and potential lack of experience with close one-to-one support. The brand’s success is intrinsically tied to the success of each and every franchisee, which is why support is a constant from day one. From full, bespoke restaurant design to the provision of marketing tools, the franchisor is there to help its franchisees become profitable.
Supply chain issues are plaguing the restaurant industry right now, but not Camile Thai. With a combination of a de-skilled cooking process and a central kitchen unit that produces the more complex dishes, franchisees will never be left high and dry. Supplies are competitively priced too as the brand has strong relationships with national suppliers
Support with operations is ongoing, with regular visits and quality assessments so franchisees know where they can improve, and where they are performing well. Regular training sessions and Camile Thai conferences will serve as excellent sources of knowledge for franchisees to share best practice and learn from one another. There is significant training too, with the brand’s all-new online training course for all members of staff. The platform contains 17 specific training courses, with regular on-the-job and webinar training.
Marketing a new location and getting it off the ground is essential to its long-term success, and this is where the head office will help activate its full launch program campaigns. The brand already benefits from a sizeable social media presence that can be leveraged to promote a new location, and franchisees will have access to a complete marketing toolkit for both offline and online. Camile Thai has even been looking into celebrity chef partnerships, which will no doubt boost the brand’s reputation and awareness.
Rakesh Golapakrishnan has found so much success with the brand, that he now owns three Camile Thai locations in London – Battersea, Clapham and Tooting Bec: “I’ve worked in premium Thai restaurants before, so I was familiar with the cuisine, but what attracted me to Camile was the health-focused, community-oriented, dynamic nature of the franchise.
“I could see a huge opportunity with a lot of space to grow and experiment. Camile does bring a lot of life and creativity to the concept of management. I decided to take on the franchise opportunity so I could fully realize what I wanted to do with the business. The support that I have has never been matched by anyone I’ve worked with before, in terms of one-to-one contact and interaction.”
Camile Thai provides a winning formula that requires next to no tinkering around the edges. With a franchisee-friendly concept alongside its timely menu offering, franchise owners will be glad they got into the brand before it blew up!
At a Glance Camile Thai Kitchen
Year established: 2010
Number of franchised outlets: 46
Location of units: U.K., R.O.I. and U.S.
Investment range: £200,000 – £350,000
Minimum required capital: £100,000