Frequently Asked Questions
In September 2002, I opened my first restaurant. I was a young 23-year-old, armed with enough guile to think I could make it in this tough industry and enough youth to think I knew it all. I had just graduated from the entrepreneurship program at the University of Houston and was ready to conquer the world, or so I thought. With the help of my always supportive mother, we decided to give it a shot and opened a 60 table, 6500 square foot restaurant with a full bar and even a small dance floor. My thinking at the time was that you needed a big restaurant to make big money.
In the second year of operation, I began to get catering requests and lunch orders from local oil companies. My eyes then opened to the possibilities… Although I had chances to expand to other locations with my full restaurant concept, I envisioned a still better opportunity in growing the catering business we had stumbled into. I saw delivery and catering as the perfect opportunity to fill a growing niche. When my 5-year lease was up, with a heavy heart, but full of hope and expectation, I closed my 6500 square foot, profitable restaurant and moved to a 1200 square foot kitchen to focus on our already established catering and delivery.
Fajita Pete’s® was born and we never looked back. Since 2008 I have been perfecting the concept by streamlining operations to create a product we create fresh with our hand-made tortillas and sides, while filling the amazing volume we accommodate at our new locations. Everything, including our “Fajita Pete’s®” brand, was designed to have customers associate us with just that, fajitas, fresh sides, with a premium quality, limited menu offering. We have steadily grown our business while continually looking for ways to maximize our bottom line and minimize the hassles that are characteristic of the restaurant business. Our kitchen set up, our restaurant layout, and our inventory system all lend themselves to efficiently receiving orders and preparing our products in a timely manner.
I firmly believe we are at a point with our current locations to replicate this concept and provide our great tasting food all over Houston, Dallas–and beyond. The invaluable lessons I have learned make me confident we are now ready to expand. We look forward to working together with you to make Fajita Pete’s® a widely recognized, iconic brand.
Fajita Pete’s® is a profitable, streamlined, “fresh off the grill” fajita concept focusing on limited, premium quality, handmade menu items that are available for pick-up, dine-in or delivered right to your home!
Our ideal store ranges from 1200 to 1800 square feet, offers limited seating and focuses on takeout, delivery and catering sales.
Our small footprint allows us to be in the heart of highly desirable areas while keeping operating costs low. This, combined with a limited menu, is the direct outcome of our streamlined business model that has been tried and tested. I believe we have achieved an optimal balance between the effort we put into our cooking line and the profit of our bottom line!
We offer high-quality fajitas, which are marinated in-house and accompanied by freshly made sides. We sell our fajita packages by the pound and half a pound, complemented by all the trimmings. The rest of the menu is comprised of fajita derivatives, keeping our process concise and specialized. This formula allows Fajita Pete’s® to thrive because it leverages the efficiencies of a limited menu on our food costs, our ability to remain fresh at all times, as well as modest equipment and square foot requirements. Even taking a phone order takes less than a minute once you get customers rolling in and into our system. From online and phone order taking, to food production, to packing orders, our menu funnels customers into our specialty items for timely service and a level of customer satisfaction that ensures repeat business.
A franchise is not a product that is sold like a car or a house. The potential franchisee submits an application, and when the application is accepted by the franchisor, the franchise is granted. The franchisee is purchasing the right to participate in an established business concept, thus eliminating the need for costly market research, development, copyright and legal services which are inevitably associated with independent start-up businesses.
Franchising is a business strategy that requires a close alliance between franchisors and franchisees working together toward semi-independent but mutually beneficial goals. In this alliance, roles are non-interchangeable. The franchisor formulates and guides a system-wide marketing plan, while the franchise implements that plan at a local level.
To qualify as a Fajita Pete’s® franchisee, you must meet our standards, go through our process, and agree to follow our system. Typically, a company will spend many years eliminating “bugs” from their system before the business is successful. Then, if all has gone well, franchises are offered.
Bottom line–the franchisor does not want the franchise to encounter any of the mistakes they made in their formative years. Therein lays the underlying formula for franchising, and the reason that franchise operations are so successful: it’s a business model has been proven, when duplicated with care and efficiency, to produce success.
Franchising as a business strategy depends on a symbiotic relationship between a franchisor and franchisee. One cannot survive and prosper without the other. That is why the success of franchisors and their franchisees must be based on a system-wide concept.
Since we are awarding franchises, you will need to know how we expect a franchisee to perform and what our obligations are to you. We spell out the exact terms of the relationship in our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and the Franchise Agreement. These documents will be presented to you once your application is received.
Once you qualify and become a Fajita Pete’s® franchisee, we put great effort into teaching you the Fajita Pete’s® system. Because the success of your franchise is mainly dependent on how well you follow our system, we are committed to you every step of the way. Our proven system of operation will give you the edge necessary to create a thriving business.
“Streamlined” is the essence of Fajita Pete’s®. It starts with our layout, footprint and overall space requirements. The simple concept and short menu allow us to utilize spaces ranging from 1200 to 1800 square feet. We focus on pick-up and delivery business, so over 90% of your revenue will come from orders that are not eaten on site. The total build-out for a location can differ, depending on layout and whether it’s a completely new build-out or a second-generation space.
Currently, the franchise fee is $35,000 with royalties of 5.5% of gross sales plus 1% and up to 3% for marketing and operating capital. Add this all up and your total initial investment can range from $150,000 to $373,000, inclusive of your franchise fee. Fajita Pete’s has developed ongoing relationships with local lending institutions that can possibly assist you with financing for your franchise, however, approval is situational and not guaranteed.
Net Worth Requirement
Currently, the minimum requirement for a franchisee is a liquidity value of $150,000 and a net worth of $500,000.
Site Selection and Lease Negotiations
We provide professional assistance in helping to locate and identify suitable retail locations for the new franchise location. This process takes considerable effort, and expertise and so is handled by proven professionals who have your best interests at heart. It has been said that the three most important ingredients of a successful business are “location, location, location.” Add to this formula proficiency in operating the Fajita Pete’s® system, and you have a proven winner.
Restaurant Design and Construction
Complete sets of custom floor plans are developed for each location. Proper customer traffic flow and seating are carefully laid out. Efficient work areas and backroom storage areas are created. Other key design elements are also incorporated into your restaurant to give it that unique Fajita Pete’s® look. With these plans in place, we will coordinate with our design-layout contractor. This firm is a nationally recognized contractor that specializes in franchise retail build-outs. They will obtain all permits and licenses and complete the construction of your restaurant. Construction completion varies depending on permitting; however, it typically should take 60-120 days. Every situation is different and unique.
Training and Operations Manual
You may not start out as an expert, but after reading the Fajita Pete’s® training manual and completing our six-week training program, you will be well on your way to becoming one.
Because we don’t require that you have any related experience, we have written the Operations Manual and designed the training program to cover all the basics. You start by reading and learning from the Operations Manual. Soon after a construction schedule has been set for your restaurant, the formal training program begins. During your training, you will get hands-on instruction at our designated training center restaurant, in addition to valuable classroom training.
We will teach you all aspects of management, including customer relations, hiring, training, as well as motivating and evaluating employees. You will learn procedures for opening/closing, product preparation, equipment operation, point-of-sale, and computer usage. In our classes, you will also learn how to use tracking forms and meet scheduling and payroll targets. Lastly, you will learn about marketing programs, with a focus on how to gauge their effectiveness and importance. Through all of this, you will develop comprehensive product and management knowledge.
Quality Control and Ongoing Support
Rigorous quality and consistency define Fajita Pete’s®. Customer satisfaction is achieved with high-quality products and by applying Fajita Pete’s® standards. Franchise Consultants visit all restaurants to ensure these standards are maintained and to help improve operations. We will spend time analyzing the sales and expenses of your franchise for comparison with other restaurants. If necessary, suggestions on how to attain company standards will be made
We provide professionally designed advertising materials to franchisees. Various types of print advertisements and in-store displays enhance the brand image and exposure of your restaurant. An outstanding, easily navigated website for receiving online orders is in place. You will learn the most cost-effective ways of attracting and retaining customers. We will help you implement a comprehensive Grand Opening promotional plan to launch your restaurant with forwarding momentum. Marketing allowances or rebates, which manufacturers pay to Fajita Pete’s® are contributed to the Marketing and Promotional Fund and used to further the promotion of all Fajita Pete’s® restaurants.
In most situations, Fajita Pete’s® restaurants purchase the same products. Group purchasing results in quantity discounts from manufacturers and distributors, with savings, passed directly to the franchisees. Franchisees are required to purchase certain Fajita Pete’s® proprietary products. Paper goods with the Fajita Pete’s® logo and specially formulated food products are examples. These items assure the uniqueness, uniformity, and quality of the Fajita Pete’s® system.
Fajita Pete’s® is a forward-looking, flexible company. Because technology and customer trends are ever changing, we are always seeking out new and improved products, machinery and methods of operation. When these items pass our stringent screening and testing methods, they are added to the Fajita Pete’s® Operation Manual and implemented system-wide.