Starting a Home Catering Business Ireland - DOC

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					                                   NEWS RELEASE
                                        11 NOVEMBER 2003

          Botanic Avenue marks first of four new outlets in Northern Ireland before Christmas

O‟Briens Sandwich Bars launches its seventh store in Northern Ireland tomorrow (Wed 12 Nov –
12noon), when business partners, David and Brian Watson, mark their first business venture together
and open a new franchise outlet at 49 Botanic Avenue in Belfast. This is the first of several O‟Briens
planned by the new business partners over the next few years. A further three will be opened before
Christmas by other franchisees across the Province, starting with Omagh town centre next week.

As O‟Briens increasingly becomes a familiar and very welcome face across Belfast, customers at
Botanic Avenue will be given the chance to sample its fresh made to order sandwiches for just 50p
each on the opening day. Belfast Giant, Paxton Schulte will drop in to join the O‟Briens‟ team in
welcoming new customers from 1pm. Special discount vouchers for many other food and drink offers
will be distributed throughout the area during the opening weeks.

Asked about the choice of O‟Briens for their first business venture, David said: “We‟ve considered the
challenge of doing something for ourselves for some time now and looked into various franchise
options, including transport, but as people always need to eat, we took the food route. With several
franchises on offer we kept coming back to O‟Briens, as we love its healthy made to order concept
that gives customers exactly what they want.

“O‟Briens also comes with a proven track record and a range of quality branded products, which we
also love, especially the coffee. And whilst we felt pressurised by others to commit to their franchise,
O‟Briens has allowed us to make up our minds in our own time. Since committing to the brand, we
have enjoyed fabulous support from the O‟Briens team here in Northern Ireland, led by national
development agent, Adrian Garvey, who also runs many successful outlets in the area.”

As Brian continues in full time employment as a project manager in Belfast, which brought him back
to home territory from London in 2000, he will provide behind the scenes support at O‟Briens. David
is fronting the new venture and employing at least six more staff to make up the Botanic Avenue
team.    It signifies a complete change in career for David, originally from Wiltshire, who was a
chauffeur with the Royal Danish Embassy in London before coming to Belfast where he worked
initially at the airport.                                                                  More/…
A Belfast location was the first choice for the business partners, who see the city providing excellent
scope to grow their business. They are participating in the regeneration of the area, as the 100-year-
old Botanic Avenue property was previously a derelict eyesore. Following a major refurbishment,
O‟Briens is taking over the ground level and offices will occupy the two floors above.

“The strength of the O‟Briens brand is boosted by such a fabulous location,” said David. “This is a
bustling area adjacent to the extensive Queen‟s University campus with businesses, financial
establishments, theatres, private housing and the Botanic railway station on our doorstep. And a
new medical centre is to open next door. We also see massive potential for early morning custom,
as hundreds of people use the area for parking before walking or commuting into the city centre.

“We are confident that the outlet will prove a winner and allow us to open additional sites in Belfast
sooner rather than later, before turning our attention to other towns around Northern Ireland.”

The Botanic Avenue store will offer takeaway, office and outside catering services with seating for up
to 26 people in a contemporary and stylish setting, adding atmosphere to the interior. External
seating will also be provided.

O‟Briens, which has shaped its reputation on its “build your own” thick bread sandwiches and healthy
option WrapposTM, also enjoys strong sales with its speciality coffees, fresh soups, tossed salads,
ToostiesTM - toasted sandwiches - snacks and a range of soft drinks. Catering platters, delivered free
in Belfast, are aimed at parties, conferences and business meetings from five to five thousand.

Development agent, Adrian Garvey said: “We are benefiting from a period of rapid expansion as we
welcome the guys to the team and get set to open with a new franchisee in Omagh next week. With
two more in Belfast before Christmas and Newry in the New Year, these are exciting times.

“David and Brian have tremendous enthusiasm, essential attributes for any new franchisee, and are
looking forward to quickly building their business as multiple-franchise operators. They will be a real
asset to the O‟Briens brand.”

Advance orders at Botanic Avenue can be made by contacting David and the team on tel/fax: 028
9031 4816. Special order sheets are available direct from the shop, which will open Mondays to
Fridays from 7am to 7pm, Saturdays from 8am to 7pm and 9am to 7pm on Sundays.

More information on O‟Briens Sandwich Bar, including franchising opportunities, is available at, or by calling Freephone UK 0800 97 38 88.
Elaine Stewart, Elaine Stewart Public Relations (ESPR)
Direct Tel: 01475-806801        Mobile: 07703 191095           Email:

David (45) worked for his family catering business in Wiltshire in the 1970s, moving to London in his 20s where
he began as a driver for a disabled charity. He held several positions as a chauffeur, working latterly with the
Royal Danish Embassy in London, which meant many high-speed journeys around the capital escorted by
police motorcades.

For Brian (38), the move from London to Northern Ireland in 2000 marked a return to home. Having worked in
IT project management both in the UK and abroad, he returned to take up a position with a local telecom

With no other family commitments, they decided to combine their resources and look at a business venture
together, first reading about O‟Briens in a franchise magazine then finding out more at a national exhibition.
They turned to the Bank of Ireland for additional financial support to help the business get off the ground.

They have enjoyed a fantastic response to their recruitment ads for the new Botanic Avenue outlet and may
add some extra people to their current compliment of six full time staff. A manager will be appointed following
an initial training period. They will look at expansion over the next few years.


       O‟Briens Sandwich Bar is expanding worldwide. It is the market leader in Ireland and Scotland and fast
        becoming one of the major players in the UK offering a healthier fast food option. Northern Ireland
        outlets can be found at Chichester Street and Fountain Street in Belfast town centre; the University of
        Ulster, Jordanstown; two at Belfast International Airport; Lisburn Square, Lisburn.

       CEO, Brody Sweeney, opened the first O‟Briens in Dublin in 1988. Over the last fifteen years, he and
        his team have successfully opened more than 200 franchises in Ireland, UK, the USA, Australia,
        Denmark, Singapore, India, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. There are now more than 120 outlets
        across the UK and Northern Ireland.

       The O‟Briens concept facilitates the development of one, then a series of retail stores in tandem with
        bulk catering opportunities, particularly within the local business community. It offers franchisees the
        chance to site mobile sandwich and coffee counters in large office blocks, acting as „in house cafés‟.

       O‟Briens has shaped its reputation on its build your own” thick bread sandwiches and healthy option
        Wrappos . Literally built on the spot to meet individual tastes, customers can see for themselves the
        fresh, natural ingredients that are packed into their orders. Its speciality coffees are also popular and
        sales have soared over the past few years.

       Catering platters, delivered free in Belfast, are aimed at parties, conferences and business meetings
        from five to five thousand. Platters, designed to create a great impression, can be tailored to individual
        needs. Fresh soups, tossed salads, Toosties - toasted sandwiches - snacks, crisps and a wide
        range of soft drinks also make up the O‟Briens portfolio. As well as many Irish products, customers
        can enjoy the kind of warm welcome that O‟Briens is now renowned for throughout the world.

       One of six finalists in the British Franchisor of the Year 2003, O‟Briens won Franchisee of the Year in
        2001. Nominated one of the UK‟s best sandwich bars by the Sunday Times Style Magazine in 2000,
        O‟Briens has also won Irish Franchisor of the Year. At the British Sandwich Association Awards 2001,
        it beat off stiff competition to win Sandwich Marketeer of the Year.

Elaine Stewart, Elaine Stewart Public Relations (ESPR)
Direct Tel: 01475-806801        Mobile: 07703 191095                 Email:

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