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Starting a Restaurant Franchise.... Do-s and Don't-s

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

Extract key points from Business Ray featuring Jenni Chen-Ye, video transcription by Deborah Adebimpe Adeyanju

Jenni Chen-Ye is a certified business woman and a Chinese restaurant owner since 2013, she is a second-generation Chinese immigrant to Finland and a politician. Currently serving as a shop steward on the Vantaa Leisure Board, the Audit Board and the City Council as a city councillor.

Tell us about your business, how far have you gone with it?

It started since I was a child, being born into a family of restaurant business runners was a huge benefit to me. I have been running my own business personally for 7 years professionally now. I started with a small budget by partnering with my boyfriend. We invested more on kitchen utensils. We didn't invest much, we started and worked there ourselves to save and prevent too much cost. We built slowly, later we bought new table clothes and change some utensils. We worked like 12 hours per day when we started, We made profit and had a chance to go bigger later in the business.

How did you get fund to start?

We obtained loan from Nordea bank, we actually made a business plan and issued it to the bank for loan application. We got a startup loan from the bank, though it wasn't big. It helped us to start the business.

Was your business plan presentation fantastic?

I can't say if it was a great business plan or not but what I know is that I graduated from the University of applied sciences, I can say that I have utilized everything that I have studied and practice in my new business. We were able to present a good business plan that was okay and acceptable by the bank.

What's unique about your restaurant that makes people patronize it?

We started with advertisement and also by putting a 20% discount on our products in the restaurant. We did marketing of our products also in the restaurant area and we also hired advertising company that helped us get the world out there. Since then, I have bought five restaurant franchises of wok wok, we later sold two.

What is the most important thing that is unique to your business?

Customers satisfaction, although maybe it is not everybody that likes our food but we always ensure that we served our customers well in such a manner that they will come back again, our customers help us spread the word to their family and friends. So, our customers do come back and bring new customers along. Customer satisfaction is very essential to every businesses.

Jenni Chen-Ye, Vantaa, Finland City Councilor

What is your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?

If you have a good idea, do it. Even though to be a business runner is a risk, so also is working under organisations a risk, considering the high ranking in organisations reveal that it could be a long time before you get to high ranked position at a working organisation. So, if you have a good idea about starting a business, make sure that you explore it, you will never know if it will succeed or not until you try it.

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