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Charleys Philly Steaks Franchise Review: Meet Kevyn Scott

How an entrepreneur found success with the fast-growing cheesesteak franchise

Kevyn Scott opened his first Charleys Philly Steaks location in January, surpassed more than triple digits in sales projections and is already planning to open a second location. To say it’s been a busy year is a bit of an understatement.

“If I had to do this 100 times over, I would always choose Charleys. This has been a phenomenal experience,” Scott said. “This is one of the best decisions and investments that I’ve made.”

Scott opened in Bouie, Maryland, just outside Washington D.C., in a town center location, and has been blown away by the response from the community, so much so Scott already has plans to further expand across Maryland.

In this wide-ranging interview, Scott talks about what drew him to the Charleys brand, how business has been since opening and what his future plans are for expanding.

 Q: What first made you want to go into business for yourself?

A: Entrepreneurship is always something I have been interested in. But you have to get in at the right time, and I didn’t necessarily have a brand in mind. Earlier, I didn’t know I’d get into franchising, I just knew I wanted to be a business owner.

 Q: What interested you about franchising?

A: I thought about opening a restaurant, but after researching, realized it’s extremely hard to go off and start your own restaurant. So I came across the franchising concept. And it struck that balance where I could be a business owner and control my own destiny.

 Q: And so you opened a Charleys. How has that gone?

A: It has been a blessing. The store has been well received in the area, and I am 147% over initial sales projections already. That tells me customers are loving the food and the staff, and they’re coming back.

 Q: Are you seeing sales increase?

A: We’ve been growing ever since our Grand Opening. Usually, numbers start to go down a little bit after a Grand Opening and the initial hype, but our numbers are continuously increasing. We’re about 10% higher in sales than when we opened.

 Q: What sold you on the Charleys brand?

A:  I went to three weeks of training down at corporate headquarters and it felt like a family atmosphere. You feel like you’re part of a family. That’s one of the major things that drew me  – feeling part of a family and valued.

 Q: Have you implemented those values at your store?

A: I wanted to take this same culture at the corporate level and make my employees feel like family. I want to make them feel valued, I want to make them feel appreciated. And I also want my guests to have a great experience every time they visit.

 Q: You mentioned corporate training. What is helpful?

A:  I didn’t necessarily have a food background, so I wanted to attend the training, and I thought it was extremely relevant. They take the time to teach you all aspects of the business, and it’s a key factor why my store is successful.

Q: What other ways is the franchise supportive?

A: They’re constantly trying to be innovative and researching new and improved products. We see that in the USDA cut, the quality of the sandwich, the freshness of the bread. That’s really what sets us apart from competitors.

 Q: What are your future goals?

A: It doesn’t stop here, for sure. I’m working on my second location right now. And I really plan on solidifying my footprint in Maryland with the Charleys brand. Eventually I’d like to expand all throughout Maryland.

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