With Plano’s dining scene on a rapid rise, Wisconsin based sandwich eatery Erbert & Gerbert’s will be making its way to Plano this week. The store will be opened and ran by 22-year-old Aubrey Janik, who is the company’s youngest franchisee.
“I’ve been working towards this for over two years,” Janik said. “It’s extremely exciting to get it up and running and to finally see if my research, work and preparation will pay off in the end.”
Janik learned the ropes of the restaurant industry during her time living and working in Chicago last year.
“I was working with [Aby Mohammed], who owned and operated a lot of different franchises in the greater Chicago area, and so I was with him learning the ins and outs of fast food operations,” Janik said. “By this point I had already done a lot of research over different concepts and had a very good idea on what I was looking for in a franchise. I would read magazines, online forums, articles, and just keep an eye out when I’m driving to see if I could find interesting concepts.”
Proper planning, funding and knowledge of the restaurant business is essential when opening a dining establishment of one’s own. Obtaining the funds to launch the Plano store was a process that took several years of hard work.
“I worked two jobs throughout most of high school, I mowed lawns, cleaned pools, flipped things on Craigslist,” Janik said. “I did virtually anything and everything I could to make money, and I’ve been doing this since I was very young.”
Janik’s knowledge of the stock exchange also played a role in obtaining funds for the shop.
“My fascination with the stock market probably stemmed from my obsession with money and business,” Janik said. “Every entrepreneur I looked up to had a pretty heavy presence in the stock market, so it always seemed like a good route to go down, but I didn’t open my first trading account until I was 16 or 17 years old.”
Choosing a location to open Erbert & Gerbert’s first DFW location required logical planning and careful observation of the desired neighborhood.
“There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a location,” Janik said. “Does your site have good access? Is there room for a lot of signage? Is the rent reasonable? Is the site at a busy intersection? What are the demographics of your area? What are the traffic counts? How many parking spaces are at your site? Is the site an in-line or an end-cap? Does it have the opportunity for a drive-thru?, etc. Location is the number one most important thing with any brick and mortar business and so there is a lot that goes into choosing the site, because you simply can’t afford to make mistakes with something as crucial as real estate.”
With less than 100 Erbert and Gerbert’s locations throughout the country, and Texas’s only location being in San Marcos, Janik feels that the upcoming Plano location will be a breath of fresh air from Dallas’ other sandwich shops.
“I think people as a whole are tired of highly processed, unhealthy, and unsatisfying fast food,” Janik said. “I’m a vegetarian and like to think that I am pretty health conscious, so finding fast food that is healthy and delicious can sometimes be a challenge. However, Erbert & Gerbert’s has something for everyone; they have such unique sandwiches, they have vegetarian options, vegan options, gluten-free options, soups and chili.”
The first Dallas location may not have opened yet, but Janik has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
“For my company as a whole in five years I would like to have five E&G locations, I’d like to continue to invest in the market, and expand my real estate portfolio, and I’d like to merge into new concepts,” Janik said. “As long as this location works, this is just the beginning, and I have a lot planned for the next five years.”
Erbert & Gerbert’s first Dallas location is set to open on August 6 in Plano at 1921 W. 15th Street.
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