The Aggarwal family is a franchising legend in Houston, Texas. With 56 Subways already open, and a new 8-unit ADA under their belts with Wing Zone, they’re picking up prime real estate and developing the Houston food scene.
Renu Aggarwal had the opportunity to purchase a Subway location in 1997.....
Renu Aggarwal had the opportunity to purchase a Subway location in 1997, after moving from her native India. She wasn’t familiar
[caption id="attachment_15648" align="alignright" width="237" caption="Kesh, Renu and Annie Aggarwal"][/caption]
with the concept of franchising, or what business ownership in the states would be like, but took the leap of faith in entrepreneurship. Her one store turned to five stores, and in 1998, her husband Bharat joined the company to help with accounting and operations. This turned the one-woman show into a husband-and-wife system.
When their son Kesh Aggarwal turned 15 (he's now 24), he joined the family business while still studying as a sophomore at Clements High School. His sister, Annie also joined. With the whole family in place, they kept dreaming bigger.
Currently, they handle 300 employees, an operations team, a new store openings team, a real estate team and a construction team. The beauty of franchising for the Aggarwals is that they could multiply and grow – and do it well.
Renu had a vision about how to run a business - work hard and focus not only on the business side – but the employees. As she believes, “There’s no point in being in business if you don’t take care of your employees.”
The Aggarwals treat their employees like family and don’t tout themselves as owners or bosses, but run their whole franchise system as a family business.
The entrepreneurs finds that Houston is a very strong market with abundant growth potential for food concepts. This factor gave them the confidence they needed to bring Wing Zone into a new market and make it successful.
How did you learn about the brand?
Kesh: We owe the Wing Zone concept to my dad. He was flipping through a magazine and saw the Wing Zone logo, and after kept pestering me to look into it. Six months later, I started looking at wing concepts to develop in the Houston area as we were ready to grow and diversify our Subway operation. After doing research and reviewing the brand more in depth, Wing Zone offered us much more than other competitors in the segment could. Wing Zone can deliver, has takeout, includes a nice décor and a great logo that is recognizable –most importantly, it has great food. I visited a few Wing Zone restaurants in San Antonio, and knew this was the brand for us to back. I owe it all to my dad.
Why did you choose an opportunity with Wing Zone?
Kesh: The Wing Zone name isn’t developed in our area –this is a challenge and an adventure for us. My mother and father taught us out to run a business, and we were looking for something similar to Subways --smaller operations, a manageable franchise fee and something everybody loves to eat.