Restaurant Business: Aziz Hashim: The Empowerer
Restaurant Business: Aziz Hashim: The Empowerer

From franchisee to franchisor, Hashim fights to preserve the franchise business model.

Aziz Hashim, IFA chairman, NRD Capital managing partner and Popeyes and Rally’s franchisee, has been working in the franchise industry since he was 14 years old, starting out clearing tables at his uncle’s Burger King in the U.K., where he grew up. After studying electrical engineering, he worked in that field for mere days before quitting to dive back into franchising. “The cubicle life wasn’t for me,” Hashim told Restaurant Business. “Franchising for me was a very apparent route for success—a way to do something else.”

After becoming a multi-unit and multi-brand operator, Hashim found a way for everyone to benefit from ownership while decreasing the risk involved. He formed an investment fund that franchisees could buy into for a much lower investment. From there, he went on to found NRD Capital, a private equity firm that purchases franchises and follows the franchisees-as-partners setup.

As the industry begins to face new regulatory challenges, Hashim’s biggest concern is joint employer. “Overtime pay, a $15 minimum wage—all of those things, we can find a way to deal with. Joint employer is an existential threat. If you unionize restaurant workers, the franchising model will come to a standstill,” Hashim said.

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