From novice startup to reasoned restaurateur, this San Francisco entrepreneur has made Great Steak a well-known Bay Area destination
Even though he’d studied computer science and accounting in school, Moe Elhindi always wanted to own and operate a restaurant. In 1992, he looked at what was out there, evaluated several options and finally took a chance on a relatively new concept, the Great Steak™ cheesesteak franchise. A quarter-century later, he is pretty sure he made the right call.
“I didn’t know anything about running a restaurant, but I did know good food and I loved Great Steak,” says Moe, who owns and operates locations in San Francisco and nearby Daly City. “I thought it would do well here, and I’m pleased to say that Great Steak has built up a very loyal following over the years.”
Strong early support crucial to growth
Moe knew his enthusiasm wouldn’t be enough to carry the day, so he relied on his training and support from the Great Steak corporate team. He says that kind of backing is vital for someone new to owning and operating a small business.
“I had to learn how to walk through every process,” he recalls. “I was able to meet and get to know the founders and learn how it all started. I was able to watch the brand grow and evolve over time, including becoming a part of Kahala Brands™, which has invested a great deal into operations and support. They say you have to spend 10,000 hours in any business before you become a master of it, and that’s certainly true of the restaurant business because there is so much to learn and discover.”
Mall locations have been ideal
He set up his first Great Steak cheesesteak franchise in the Serramonte Center in Daly City, and followed that with a second site near San Francisco State University in 1998. Both are in busy shopping centers and get plenty of foot traffic, but that’s not the only reason they have fared well over the years, Moe says.
“I would say location is important, but it’s also the food,” he says. “We have a simple menu, but there is still a lot of variety in there. Dark or light meat, beef or chicken … the theory behind Great SteakTM has always been to keep it about the food, and to keep it basic. People come to us because they want cheesesteak. Sure, we offer salads and baked potatoes, but we’re not trying to have everything on the menu. I was sold on the idea of simplicity 25 years ago, and I’m still sold on it today.”
And what would he go back and tell his younger self? “Probably that running a Great Steak cheesesteak franchise is a lot of work, but it’s also a good business,” he says. “I am very comfortable with the decision I made all those years ago, and how it has worked out.”
Great Steak is a low-cost investment opportunity with a proven business model in the $19 billion sandwich industry. Since our brand’s founding in 1982, the Great Steak cheesesteak franchise family has grown to more than 60 locations nationwide as it partners with entrepreneurs who are passionate about bringing the classic American cheesesteak experience to their communities. Owners enjoy the support not only of Great Steak’s top-shelf management team, but also that of Kahala BrandsTM, one of the most trusted names in franchising with more than 3,000 premier locations nationwide. Whether you’re looking to bring authentic cheesesteak sandwiches to a shopping mall near you or wanting to open a friendly neighborhood eatery, Great Steak offers the right opportunity at the right time. There’s never been a better time to open a Great Steak.