A Unique Combination
Crêpe Delicious, established in 2004, specializes in gelato and crêpes. It started with one store, in one mall in Vaughan, Ontario, but has since grown to include over 50 locations, both across Canada and in several various countries worldwide.
Crêpe Delicious started with a gelato concept. “It’s a nice unique concept that some people hadn’t heard of before,” says Elik Farin, COO of Crêpe Delicious. “Under the specialty food category, we specialize in crêpes and gelato which we make on the premises, right in front of people’s eyes. This creates excitement. It’s beautiful to watch and it’s great food,” he shares.
“Given the customers’ tremendous reactions when we first started, the decision was made to branch out into a franchise,” says Farin. “We established the franchise system in Canada; first we developed the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), then we moved to British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Manitoba. Then, it was time to branch out globally.”
Crêpe Delicious is very proud of its roots. “We’re proud to be Canadian and we mention it everywhere we go,” says Farin.
Crêpe Delicious is unique and versatile. “We are the biggest crêpe and gelato franchise in the world,” says Farin. “We took this unique concept – the combination of crêpes and gelato – and we made it a success. The product is very light and it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. It can be a snack or it can be a meal. And obviously, the gelato is a great component when combined with the correct product. There is nothing else like this,” he says.
“We don’t have any competition in our area with our product,” says Farin. “There are a lot of different types of food business operators; pizza, Chinese food, Middle Eastern food, etc., but there are no crêpe operators at the level that we have achieved.”
Crêpe Delicious is always looking to expand and improve what it has to offer to its franchisees. “We are focused on digital signage, the best real estate available (shopping malls), attractions and tourist areas. We presently also have locations in hospitals, airports, and universities,” says Farin. “We are finding and building relationships with the right real estate people and with the right landlords in order to take this very unique concept to market. We want to provide the franchisees with not only a unique and easy operation concept, but also with the best real estate. This is what sets us apart from our competitors.”
Like most businesses, Crêpe Delicious isn’t without its share of challenges. “The food industry is a challenging one,” says Farin. “And now that the minimum wage has increased, it has become even harder. Profits fluctuate with the food and overhead costs, and the rent is never cheap – and we understand this,” he explains.
“In order to overcome the challenges of increasing prices and costs, we need to give more to the clients in order to get more,” says Farin. “And this is what we’re doing; we are focused on amazing customer service, high quality product and key values. And we are transferring all of that to our franchisees. Also, in order to overcome those everyday challenges, we have improved the menu and we’ve provided extra training for giving better customer service. We want our clients to have more value for their money.”
Certainly, Crêpe Delicious is very proud of all it has accomplished. “The company has grown from one location, in one mall, and has successfully become a global company. That’s a big accomplishment. As a global company, we are trying to do everything we can to support our franchisees, and we choose to create a good relationship with them. We’re like a big family,” says Farin.
“Businesswise, in the food industry, we are a concept which allows franchisees to overcome business challenges,” he explains. “When it comes to overhead, for example, Crêpe Delicious can run in any size location, anywhere from 200 to 300 to 2000 square feet. The size of the building has no effect on the revenue. It’s all about the location and how it is operated.”
Of course, there are multiple benefits to becoming a Crêpe Delicious franchisee. “First of all, franchisees are their own boss, and they are in control of their own future,” says Farin. “Of course, this is true for most businesses, but we give the franchisees the best possible locations – 90 percent of our locations are in very high-end shopping centres, and the other ones are located in airports and heavy traffic areas. Where there is traffic, that is where we are going to be.”
Crêpe Delicious also offers its franchisees help with a number of elements, including training and marketing. “We are trying to provide the franchisees with the most secure business that they can possibly get in this food industry category,” says Farin. “We want to give our franchisees complete ongoing support, and we work with the franchisees to help them achieve their future goals.”
From day one, Crêpe Delicious has set its sights high on achieving a global status. “There are a lot of specialty food players in the world with over 300 to 500 locations worldwide, under the specialty food category,” says Farin. “We are there. We want to be all over the world; we want to showcase our product and what we can do, because we know how great this product is.”
With 13 new locations slated to open in 2018 and 2019 across Canada and the United States, as well as Thailand, Nigeria, UAE, Kuwait and Hong Kong, it’s gearing up to be another fantastic year for Crêpe Delicious. Going forward, “We want to give better options, better product and better customer service to our end users and customers,” says Farin.
With an ample supply of passion for crêpes, Crêpe Delicious aims to continue growing and leaving its mark across the globe, while continuing to help franchisees find success with its unique concept and delicious product.