Thai Express Franchise Opens in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Fresh, fun approach to Thai food generates interest and builds a loyal client base within weeks of new franchise opening its doors
Owning a Thai Express™ franchise is a long way from a career in mechanical engineering. Still, when Jordan Rhoads wanted to make a change in his professional life, the big leap made sense.
Rhoads, along with his father, Daniel, owns the new Thai Express franchise in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Since opening in October 2018, he’s been busy building a following among enthusiastic residents who love the diverse menu and authentic cuisine Thai Express offers. The experience so far has been pretty much what he imagined, and he says he is enjoying the process of learning how to continually improve upon franchise operations.
What led to your becoming a Thai Express franchise owner?
I received my degree in mechanical engineering and then got an MBA, but my job wasn’t really giving me the opportunities I wanted. I had always been thinking of different business ideas and owning my own business. I’d talk to my dad about them, and he suggested that a franchise would be more feasible than starting a business from scratch, and also that we own a franchise together so I could run it and really learn about operating a business.
My parents had owned a franchise, and I worked for them some in high school. I saw the whole process, how much they were there in the early days and how hard it could be, and then I saw them building success and not having to work as much but still generate strong revenue. I thought that was a good path, and so I was definitely open to the idea.
How did you come across the Thai Express concept, and what was appealing about it?
My dad texted me a link to the franchising website. I hadn’t been thinking about a food business, because I thought that would be too hard and I wasn’t sure I could learn anything from some of the business models I had seen. But looking at Thai Express, we both thought it would do really well in our community. The next thing I knew we were talking to the corporate team and planning a site visit to see some locations.
How was the process from those early conversations to opening?
We had a really good experience. About a year after we decided to become owners and signed the paperwork, we were open. That was about what we’d been told to expect, because it takes a while to find the site, get the construction done, go through the owner training and all the other steps you have to take. Every stop along the way was a learning curve, but we had a lot of help and it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle.
Now that you’ve been open a few months, is ownership what you expected?
The first two weeks after opening were really exhausting. I was there all the time, we were all learning in real-life situations — and we were super-busy from day one. It was overwhelming, but that was actually OK. I was happy that we were so busy, because it let me and the staff learn quickly and become more skilled in our jobs. Since then the staff has gotten really good at everything, which takes a lot of pressure off me. I am very appreciative of the staff cross training that the Thai Express team offered, because it lets everyone find out what they’re really good at, and we all can get better quicker when it comes to preparing really good food and offering strong customer service.
What’s the community reaction been like?
People really like it! I was always confident in the model and that Thai Express would work here, and so that has been good to see. The food is amazing, and we have built a loyal following. It took us a few weeks to get our feet under us, and people were very generous and forgiving. Now we see both new and returning customers, which is always the goal.
Would you do it over again?
Yes — and I am! We signed up for two franchises, and I’m looking at the Spokane, Washington, market for it. That’s not too far from here, and I believe that once our first location is performing consistently and profitably, we will be able to look into that next location later in 2019.
Bring Thai Express to your community today
Thai Express is a low-cost investment opportunity with high potential for growth as it expands throughout the United States. Start-up costs range from $337,900 to $753,700, depending on the model. Since 2004, Thai Express has spread across the Canadian market with a business model built for entrepreneurs who are passionate about bringing an authentic and affordable Thai food experience to their communities. The franchise fee for the first Thai Express franchise is $30,000, and the franchise fee for multiple units can be discounted if certain conditions and criteria are met. For more information, download our free franchise information report.
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