Kamran Kurani saw his parents build many thriving businesses with several major restaurant brands, to achieve the American Dream. And they did all of it through franchising.
Franchisee of the Month
A Prince of Franchising Comes to Fazoli’s
Kamran Kurani, Fazoli’s, Atlanta, GA
You could say that franchising is in his blood. As the son of immigrants who came to America with practically nothing, Kamran Kurani saw his parents build not just one successful company, but many thriving businesses with several major restaurant brands, to achieve the American Dream. And they did all of it through franchising.
After decades of working with many brands in his family’s business portfolio, Kurani is embarking on his next professional challenge by joining a franchisor outside that realm: Fazoli’s® Italian quick-service restaurant, or QSR. Kurani, who is based in the Atlanta area, has signed a development agreement for five locations in Georgia. Adrian Szakallas, his business partner, joins him in the venture.
The quality of Fazoli’s leadership team clinched Kurani’s confidence in the company. “I have been a part of many franchises in the last 30 years, and the Fazoli’s leadership team is phenomenal. They truly understand the business from the franchisee’s perspective,” says Kurani, who adds that many of the members of Fazoli’s corporate team have been franchisees themselves.
Like them, Kurani recognizes and appreciates the benefits of the franchising industry. “The franchisor has already gone through the mistakes and battles of new business. They take the risk, and we learn from it.”
Because he brings a wealth of management experience within restaurant franchising to the table, Kurani knows what lies ahead. “I think the biggest challenge in any restaurant concept is its employees. Finding the right ones is the key to success. As owners, we need to take care of our guests, take care of our employees, and the money will come.”
Developing talent ranks as one of his favorite tasks. (Szakallas, for example, has worked with Kurani since 2006. She started out as the company’s IT director and worked her way up to chief operating officer.) “The best part of being in the franchise-owner system is to see people and their growth,” Kurani says. “I have 400 employees now, and it’s wonderful to see that some of them who are now my directors were once dishwashers or servers who worked hard, were honest, and are now rewarded.”
Fazoli’s has more than 200 locations across 28 states, including a large presence in the Midwest and southeastern United States. The franchisor now seeks to develop the brand throughout the country. Its first location debuted in 1988 in Lexington, Kentucky, which is company headquarters.
Fazoli’s claims the title as the largest “Italian QSR in the country.” The company attributes its success to its business model, which enables guests to enjoy quality Italian favorites at reasonable prices and conveniences such as drive-through and catering services.
“Their vision and forward thinking right now is just the beginning,” Kurani says. He believes the company’s timing is impeccable and that it fills a lucrative gap in the market. “There are not that many Italian fast-casual places. This is the best time to get into a brand like this.”
– Rochelle Miller
For more information about franchising opportunities with Fazoli’s, visit https://ownafazolis.com/ or call 859-825-6212.