There’s a new wave of entrepreneurs joining the 1,500-unit-strong Sport Clips system, and they’re bringing with them a wealth of franchise experience from a broad cross-section of successful national brands. Sam Samaan and Wahid Karas are two of these franchisees.
Earlier this year, Samaan and Karas joined the ranks of Sport Clips’ esteemed team of store owners by signing on to open three locations throughout Southern California. But it’s their backgrounds that make this new venture with one of the world’s fastest-growing brands truly unique—as co-owners of multiple Popeye’s and Jersey Mike’s locations, Samaan and Karas bring with them nearly 25 years of experience within the food industry. Samaan and Karas’ reason for crossing the bridge from quick-service restaurant to a booming hair salon franchise is twofold—they wanted to diversify their portfolio with a widely recognized brand while simultaneously joining a business that boasts much larger profit margins than the restaurant industry.
“Working with brands like Jersey Mike’s and Popeye’s has been incredibly rewarding, but the problem is that within the restaurant industry, there are razor thin margins. You have to account for the raw cost of food, rent, staff, training, utilities and much more. When you balance all of that with your actual revenue, there are very small margins to be made,” Samaan said.
Interested in exploring additional options to grow with, over the past year and a half, Samaan and Karas began observing various non-food businesses. Sport Clips was the one brand that caught their attention.
“Sport Clips is very different from other brands. We noticed that Sport Clips stood out from the pack based on its growth numbers alone, but the fact that it was designed to cater specifically to men’s hair care showed us that they were growing in an unrivaled niche, too,” Samaan said. “It didn’t hurt that everyone we talked to spoke very highly of the brand—so we decided to join their team.”
In particular, Samaan and Karas were drawn to Sport Clips’ simple operations—a refreshing change from their work within the restaurant industry.
“In the food industry, you’re working with many different departments just to keep your business functioning every day. You’re working with quality assurance teams, engaging with your supply chain to ensure quality products or working with a technology company to install POS systems and other controls to track sales and inventory,” Samaan said. “But at Sport Clips, there’s a lot less involved. There are no hidden food costs. You just have to worry about assembling the perfect team and making customers happy.”
Through their experience with Popeye’s and Jersey Mike’s, developing a strong team is something Samaan and Karas know a thing or two about. These business partners are now utilizing that knowledge to make sure their new Sport Clips locations will be able to thrive.
“Once you’re in the business of franchising, it doesn’t matter so much what you’re doing, but how you do it. As long as you have a strong leadership team in place and know how to help them develop alongside your business, you can achieve anything,” said Samaan. “It really all comes down to having the right people to back you up—and Sport Clips offers that.”
Ultimately, it’s the support that Sport Clips offers its entire system that really influenced Samaan and Karas to make the leap from food brand to salon brand.
“We haven’t seen anything else like Sport Clips before. This is a brand that takes good care of their people—from stylists to franchisees, everyone teams up and works together to make their business the best it can possibly be. It’s no wonder why Sport Clips is one of the fastest-growing brands in the country,” Samaan said.
To learn more about franchising with Sport Clips, click here.