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The Great Franchisees: The Falcons Group, Checkers & Rally's, Athens and Jonesboro, Georgia

Motivated by the brand’s iconic drive-thru model and the perseverance for success during the pandemic, The Falcons Group Managing Partner Shamsu Charania is excited to add the two locations to the group’s roster.

By Kayla Bodel1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSORED 11:11AM 02/01/21

The Falcons Group and its managing partner Shamsu Charania expanded their enterprise last November by opening two new Checkers* drive-thru restaurants to bring Athens and Jonesboro, Georgia residents some “crazy good” food.

Charania got his first taste of the fast-food industry when he worked at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen every summer and winter break while he attended the University of Arizona. Upon graduation, he decided to leave the desert and move back to his hometown of Atlanta to open his very first franchise, a Dunkin’. Over the next few years, he turned a single franchise into a franchising group comprising over 50 locations and four brands. 

Charania is continuing to expand and has plans to reopen a Checkers drive-thru in Athens near the University of Georgia campus this year, and is currently building a new location in Jonesboro.

1851 Franchise: Tell me your story – what did you do before franchising?

Shamsu Charania: I went to the University of Arizona in Tucson where I majored in computer science and minored in business. I got into franchising right after graduating. I used to fly back to my hometown in Atlanta to work at Popeyes during breaks from school, so I had experience with the industry. 

1851: How did you initially find out about franchising? 

Charania: After graduation, I had the opportunity to open a Dunkin’ franchise and everything took off from there. 

1851: Why did you choose franchising over starting your own business?

Charania: Franchising is essentially starting your own business, but it provides a template for you to work with. It is one of America’s greatest inventions and is more successful than starting on your own. 

1851: What types of brands did you look at?

Charania: I currently own locations in three different brands, but we didn’t really look at anything other than Checkers for the Jonesboro and Athens markets. In today’s climate, a drive-in restaurant makes the most sense. 

1851: Why did you choose Checkers? What excited you most about the potential?

Charania: The Athens location used to be a Checkers, so we are just reopening in the same space and building on that potential. For Jonesboro, there isn’t a Checkers location in the trade area, but there are a ton of other QSR brands. It made total sense to open one in that area to add to the fast-food options.  

Both Athens and Jonesboro are great areas with plenty of traffic and matching income levels. The Checkers & Rally’s brand is doing really well right now and we wanted to grow our presence in the two markets.

1851: What are your dreams with the business? What does the future look like?

Charania: The future looks really bright for these locations — that’s why we acquired the real estate for them as well. The Athens location is on a busy corner next to St. Mary’s Hospital and also being near the University of Georgia. The Jonesboro location is in a Kroger shopping center in a community setting with a lot of family homes in the vicinity. We’re also branching out with the Jonesboro location because it will have a lobby and dining areas which are not traditional for most Checkers & Rally's locations.

1851: What value do you see your business providing to Athens and Jonesboro?

Charania: Besides the delicious food, the locations are going to provide around 15–20 jobs that can lead to many different career opportunities. We also donate to local organizations and work with them for outreach programs. We strongly believe in giving back to the community by supporting local schools and hospitals.

1851: What advice would you have for others looking at buying a franchise?

Charania: I would tell someone looking into franchising to be careful and to do your due diligence. Be prepared to work extremely hard as this is a 365-day business with long hours. Find the brand that excites you and fit your personality. After that, master the systems and trust the franchising process completely.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.