Pharmacist and bariatric counselor finds our healthy food franchise the perfect opportunity to blend his passion for health with a passion for profits
Nashaat Tawfik and Noura Saleh are what you might call a power couple. He’s had a successful career working in obesity management for a large pharmaceutical company while she’s spent the last decade in diplomatic relations. So why are they chucking it all to open up a Teriyaki Madness franchise (or three)? Nashaat shares their story in this Teriyaki Madness Franchise Review.
Are you opening one franchise or multiple shops?
We just signed an agreement Feb. 1 for one shop but we’re already thinking about opening a second shop in the next two years. We live in East Brunswick, in Central New Jersey. I’m flexible, but the No. 1 location on my wishlist is to have it in East Brunswick.
How did your background influence your investment choice in TMAD?
I am a pharmacist by education and I hold a master’s degree in business administration from Leicester University in the United Kingdom. Also, I am certified as a bariatric counselor or bariatric educator, and I have some interest in bariatric medicine — weight loss — and I have another certification from the World Obesity Federation.
What about your background clicked with the TMAD opportunity?
What clicked is that it’s a delicious food concept that happens to be healthy. But I wanted to sell something that is not just about the food; there’s a good concept behind it. That’s why I selected Teriyaki Madness. But again, I was working as a business unit director in a pharmaceutical company, leading sales and marketing. I worked in business development. So I consider myself to have some experience that will help me in establishing new business.
“My background for the last 20 years was working with sales, marketing and business development. My wife, Noura, is an engineer but she spent the last 10 years working in diplomatic relations. Before coming to the U.S., she was the personal assistant of the ambassador of South Korea. And she has very good experience in managing communications at a higher level and arranging projects and leading teams. Also, she is excellent in administrative work.”
Will both of you be doing this full-time, or are you doing an absentee model?
We’ll be focusing 100% on this. We will be available all the time, at least for the first two years, until we have very good experience, which would enable us to have multiple shops. Then we will distribute our time between the different shops as we go.
How did you learn about Teriyaki Madness?
Actually, it was by searching Google. I was looking for a healthy food franchise. Not just any kind of franchise, but focusing on a new concept that was also growing and had a lot of potential at the same time. What I found was a franchise with really good food that is also a healthy concept.
Have you had any concerns about opening in this business climate with the pandemic?
Of course. But to me, even outside of the pandemic, there is always a risk. There is no investment without risk.
First, I believe that during whatever situation, there are two things that people will not stop buying: medication and food. Secondly, when I look to the data and during my discussion with the TMAD team, 70% of sales are coming from outside the shop. It’s coming from online ordering, from catering and from the app, so I think this is what we should focus on.
What impression did you have of the TMAD leadership?
The CEO, Michael Haith, is very, very humble and very inspiring. All of those people on the front line talked a lot about the culture and it was a very big experience for me, because they’re accepting me in the industry. I stepped back from some franchise concepts because the communication was not professional from the start. Teriyaki Madness was a case where the people are welcoming and their culture is of close community. There is much support offered to the franchisee to make sure that they will be successful.
We’re appreciating the trust, and we’re looking forward to a life-changing journey with Teriyaki Madness.
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