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Mon 2nd Jun 2014 - Breaking News - Hotcha launches franchise, hires Andy Emmerson as non-exec
Hotcha launches franchise, hires Andy Emmerson as non-exec: Chinese takeaway chain Hotcha has unveiled plans to open over 100 stores within the next five years through the launch of a new franchise scheme. The chain, which serves freshly-made Chinese dishes for collection or delivery, was founded two years ago by entrepreneur James Liang, who had a vision to create the UK’s first national Chinese takeaway brand. There are currently nine owned Hotcha stores in the South West of England with three more set to be opened in the coming months. The company aims to open one owned store per month on average in future with the ultimate goal of listing within the next few years. Hotcha has proved particularly popular with families, young professionals and students. Stores are branded with a modern “street” image and attract custom through multiple channels including online ordering, takeaway, delivery and dine in services. The first store was opened in Bristol and there are now six within the city. The company is seeking franchisees who are interested in developing the brand in urban centres with similar demographics including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford and Southampton. The scheme will be supported through the appointment Andrew Emmerson as non-executive director, who will also advise Hotcha on its overall business strategy. Emmerson was formerly business development director at Dominos Pizza, where he oversaw the sourcing and opening of over 50 stores annually, managing director of Millie’s Cookies and international brand director, Upper Crust. He was previously a senior executive at Dunkin Donuts in the USA. Hotcha has established central systems which simplify the preparation and delivery of its menu and ensure that franchisees do not need to have a background in Chinese cuisine. In order to maintain product quality, improve margins and reduce staffing costs, all core ingredients including meat, fish, marinades and sauces are freshly prepared by Hotcha’s central production facility in Bristol. Ingredients are then sent to stores every week where they are used to prepare dishes in line with Hotcha’s high standards, house recipes and presentation styles. A central call centre has been developed to streamline ordering and payments processes, allowing stores to focus on fulfilling orders and customer service. Hotcha offers a simple menu which has a modern take on well-known traditional Chinese dishes. The company has a policy of training its own chefs through a special academy rather than hiring experienced cooking staff. It has recently added alcohol to its online and in-store offerings. James Liang said: “We are delighted to welcome someone of Andrew’s calibre on board as we embark on the next stage in Hotcha’s development. His knowledge and experience of the franchising model will be invaluable as we seek to create the UK’s first Chinese takeaway brand. We are looking for experienced franchisees with strong knowledge of their local markets, a successful track record and the ambition to launch multiple Hotcha stores in due course. Knowledge of Chinese cuisine is not a prerequisite, as we have developed efficient processes and a training programme which ensures that our food can be cooked quickly and to a high standard.” Emmerson added: “Hotcha has experienced considerable organic growth since launching two years ago and there is great potential in the brand. It is a fresh concept that offers consumers something different and a compelling opportunity for franchisees. I am looking forward to working with James to help make Hotcha a household name throughout the UK.”
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