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Young Ones To Watch: Reka Oszlanczi, Creppy Franchise System

This new franchisor wants to change the world, one crepe at a time.

Will 2021 be the year of the palascinta?

If this ambitious Hungarian franchisor gets her way, then yes, the traditional Hungarian-style pancake will be the newest food craze sweeping the world. 

Reka Oszlanczi opened Creppy, her crepe restaurant in Northern Hungary, 14 years ago. With a hit on her hands, she recently decided to expand through franchising, a business model that’s not always well understood in her country, she said. She’s out to change that. 

Right now,there are four Creppy locations in Hungary, two corporately owned and two franchised. Her strategy is to expand to Hungary’s largest cities before spreading to Northern Europe. 

From there, of course, the world awaits.

1851 Franchise: What sets Creppy apart from other crepe restaurants?

Reka Oszlanczi: We specialize in authentic Hungarian-style crepes, palascinta. We offer our guests the real art of these crepes. Our menu has everything from fried crepes to healthy options. If you would like [heartier] meals, try our Svejk crepe, which is Burgundy beef stew with sheep’s milk cottage cheese. If you want a lighter meal, you can order the Captain crepe, which offers grilled salmon in creamy dill sauce on spinach crepe strips. One of our most popular sweet options is the Diva crepe, which has blackberry-vanilla cottage cheese and cream in crepe flowers served with whipped cream and blueberry sauce.

1851 Franchise: How did you get started?

Oszlanczi: The concept of Creppy was born 14 years ago. It was a family decision to start it.  I grew up in the restaurant business. My parents had several different restaurants, so I had the chance to experience how to operate a business. Thank God my family is still my strongest support in Creppy. 

1851 Franchise: Why do you think Creppy is a good concept for franchising?

Oszlanczi: Creppy is a strong and loveable brand with a very good reputation across Hungary. We have developed a very detailed and very precise franchise system, which can help create mutual success. If our partner uses the franchise system we’re creating properly and is capable of regular cooperation, success is inevitable.

1851 Franchise: How many franchisees are there at this moment? What's your growth strategy? Any plans for U.S. franchises?

Oszlanczi: We have two corporate locations and two franchisees. We are beginners in the franchising industry. We have a few partners, but the Creppy has grown to have a national reputation. I feel that we are strong enough in our region. We would like to expand step-by-step. First, we would like to open a Creppy restaurant in larger cities of Hungary, then we would like to start to expand abroad.

1851 Franchise: What is your role in the company today?

Oszlanczi: I am the CEO. I am responsible for finding solutions to a wide range of tasks and challenges that arrive on my desk every day. It’s a bit like a juggler who has to spin several plates in the air at once to make the show work.  Our strict operating system requires quality work. I am supervising the company’s procedures and I am also making final decisions.

1851 Franchise: What do you love about the franchising industry?

Oszlanczi: I love that we can grow together with our partners so that basically everyone manages their own business. In the franchise business, everyone can achieve individual success with the support of the experience of the franchisor. That’s the beauty of this business form.

1851 Franchise: How do you feel about the industry's response to the coronavirus crisis this year?

Oszlanczi: In this situation, it is very important to believe in the concept and stick to it. Panic leads to breakdown.The power of franchise is that it can help a business survive this hard and challenging period.

1851 Franchise: Are there challenges or opportunities that the franchise industry still needs to address?

Oszlanczi: In Hungary, the franchising industry is still new. Most people do not understand the point of the franchise concept, including several franchise business owners. It will be a long process to teach people how to handle this kind of business.

1851 Franchise: What advice do you have for other young up-and-comers in the space?

Oszlanczi: My advice is to study the business thoroughly to know what they are getting into. After they start to understand the business, just take a deep breath and just begin. They will never be alone in franchise business.