In 1993, his dad opened the first McDonald’s branch in Ostrava, and since then he has been a part of the environment of the most famous fast food chains in the world. After completing his master’s degree, he joined the restaurant full-time and a few years after that he bought the restaurants from his father. Today he operates a total of 4 branches in the Moravian-Silesian Region and is considering to open more. We bring you an interview with a successful entrepreneur and the first and only second generation franchisee, Jan Ostrý.
What was your journey to McDonald’s?
I remember the beginnings of McDonald’s in the Czech Republic as a child. My dad was one of the first franchisees (McDonald’s license partners operating individual restaurants) to open the first restaurant in Ostrava. Since then I have been in this environment all the time. After graduating from college I started working in the restaurant full-time. Ten years ago, I completed a year-long, complex training for franchises, in which the candidates learn everything related to running a restaurant, the individual positions involved in the kitchen and restaurant mangagement. After this training was completed, I became the operator of my own restaurant and it was the restaurant located in Forum Nová Karolina. At that moment I became the first and only franchisee of the second generation. Subsequently, I also bought the restaurants from my dad, and today I operate a total of 4 McDonald’s branches. Three of them are in Ostrava, and one is in Havířov. I already know that I would like to open more establishments with golden arches in Moravian-Silesian Region. I see many opportunities for further development here.
What is it like to work under a global brand? How much is the American corporate culture reflected in your branches?
The history of McDonald’s, the size of the brand and the global reach is a huge advantage for me as the owner. The organization of processes and experience from other markets create conditions that significantly reduce the time to find the right solutions and thus the desired results are achieved faster. However, at the same time it is also a big commitment, as I am not only representing myself, but also one of the most valuable brands in the world. In the time that I have been working at McDonald’s, I haven’t found any significant differences in culture or any apparent elements of American culture. Except maybe the fact that we are all on first-name terms with each other in our restaurants. On the other hand, the different experiences from different markets around the world, and therefore also the American market, are implemented within our internal regulations.
Can you tell us how financially challenging it is to open a McDonald’s branch in the Czech Republic? After how long does it become profitable?
Every single restaurant opening is different. It depends on the choice of location, whether it is a greenfield site or a restaurant in an existing building, the size of the plot, the number of parking spaces, etc. Generally, the total investment is in the order of tens of millions of crowns. Part of this amount is paid by McDonald’s and part by the franchisee. Again, the performance of a given restaurant depends on many factors, especially in the recent turbulent years. Given the size of the investment the opening of a new establishment is usually financed by a loan from the bank. In the best case scenario, the restaurant starts making a profit from the moment it opens. The return on such an investment for the owner is calculated to be around seven years.
Mr Ostrý, thank you for the interview.
Text a foto: redakce