Interview Ron Dharmika at SanSai® North America Franchising
Bio: Ron Dharmika earned a Bachelor degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The Ohio State University. He then worked for two Fortune 500 companies in telecommunication and automotive industry and 2 major Japanese consumer electronics companies with presence in USA in validation and product development capacity.
In 2004 Ron decided to start his own business and co-founded a trading / home furnishing company in Indonesia. He then came back in 2007 to USA to start career in Commercial Real Estate, and during his tenure in real estate, he came across the SanSai opportunity.
Due to his interest of Japanese culture and cuisine, he decided to pursue the SanSai opportunity in 2009 and grow the brand as President/CEO.
- Tell us about the SanSai concept.
The SanSai concept was founded in 2002 and SanSai pioneered the Japanese fast casual dining experience by infusing eastern world culture, food and spirit with a fresh, healthy and made-to-order American appeal.
Our healthy Signature Salads, mouthwatering grilled meats and chicken, succulent seafood and sushi are tasty and fresh, as well as quicker and less expensive, too.
- What are some of the advantages in being a SanSai franchisee?
There are definitely advantages of being a franchisee of SanSai. Our customer is attracted to SanSai as it meets their lifestyle needs - whether it's a desire for quality, healthy and convenient food choices, for more ethnically diverse foods, or both. In this way, SanSai Fresh Grill & Sushi Kitchen – is poised to take advantage of the huge potential for growth that exists in the Fast Casual Restaurant segment.
By joining our family you will benefit from "the nature of freshness" spirit to capitalize on the popularity of the SanSai Fresh Grill & Sushi Kitchen experience. The fast casual segment of the restaurant industry grew 14.4% between 2001 and 2011, and grew an additional 4.9% in 2012. The fast casual U.S system wide sales grew to an estimated $254 billion in 2012, up more than $12 billion over 2011, and is expected to represent 40% of dollar growth by 2016. The SanSai Fresh Grill & Sushi Kitchen brand is uniquely poised to take advantage of this opportunity.
- Who is your ideal franchisee?
The ideal SanSai franchisee is one that appreciates our Mission, our Core Values, and our Commitment to the guest experience. We look for potential franchisees that are willing to adhere to our high standards of excellence and who enjoy being part of a united team that works together to build a strong and lasting franchise brand.
- Tell us a little about the restaurant industry?
The fast casual segment of the restaurant industry grew 14.4% between 2001 and 2011, and grew an additional 4.9% in 2012. The fast casual U.S system wide sales grew to an estimated $254 billion in 2012, up more than $12 billion over 2011, and is expected to represent 40% of dollar growth by 2016. The SanSai Fresh Grill & Sushi Kitchen brand is uniquely poised to take advantage of this opportunity.
- What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
The greatest lesson I've learned in my experience with franchisees is that the sales process is the same, there are definite steps that have to be taken in order to qualify a potential franchise. But, I've learned too that people are motivated by their own factors of the heart that inspire them to be a franchise owner. Each story is unique and different, and the passion that lies behind each story is what really makes any franchise brand grow and thrive!
- Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?
Throughout my career I've been inspired by many people, but as I mentioned, my true inspiration comes everyday from the current franchisees and potential franchisees. I'm inspired on a daily basis to not only help SanSai to be the best that it can be, but also to be the best that I be in my personal and professional life.
- What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
My advice for anyone looking to purchase a franchise is to do your research and your homework. Of course, we'd love to have everyone as part of our franchise group, but that doesn't mean that we are the right fit for all. Look, feel, examine and truly contemplate what you are looking for in a franchise. If you take the time to do this, you will choose the right one.
- In your opinion, why do you think that SanSai would be a great opportunity for someone?
It is my opinion though that SanSai would be a great fit for many who are looking to become a franchise owner. At SanSai Fresh Grill & Sushi Kitchen, we believe in "the nature of freshness" spirit, our culture of passion and commitment to exceeding our guests' expectations for quality food, quick service and a unique dining experience. With this "the nature of freshness" spirit that translates into simple enjoyment for our customers, SanSai is poised to capitalize and profit from the burgeoning fast casual segment of the restaurant industry. If you are serious, passionate and in search of a truly rewarding experience, we invite you to take action and consider us to be your partner in your franchise career.