Calif, a romanian business with an oriental touch, in which the first rule to be learned by the employees is to smile. Business supported by BT
Comunicat de presa 2016-06-21
Califis a chain of quick-service restaurants in Bucharest and it is the first Kebab Boutique in Romania that offers a refined oriental food: all specialties are carefully prepared in the company’s own production center. The passion for oriental flavors and the good taste is a landmark of all “Caliphates”. Recipes are strictly observed, so that the taste is the same in all the restaurants.
On a rather busy market, such as the fast food market, Radu Tanase and his two partners have built a brand based on quality products, a unique presentation and a most pleasant customer experience.
The Calif story started 5 years ago, at the end of 2010, with am EUR 190,000 turnover and 20 employees, and in 2015 it ended the year with a turnover of more than EUR 3,000,000, 150 employees and 3 locations in Bucharest: Selari Caliphate, Iancului Caliphate, Militari Caliphate.
Radu Tanase, one of the three shareholders of Calif, is telling us the story of this business supported by Banca Transilvania, the bank of entrepreneurial people.
How would you define Calif in 3 words?
Honest, clever and different.
What was your motivation to start the business in this field?
This is a long story, but the only thing that I still have and that has made me go into the partnership with Bogdan Jantes, is courage and my appetite for new. challanges.
Why Calif? How did you come to the current logo?
The name came after a quite long period of time in which we have analyzed, spelled and pronounced long lists of names proposed by specialized agencies. Calif was eventually chosen because we believe that it has that “something” reminding us of the Orient and respect.
The logo was created by the designer Victor Bartis, with whom we have worked our visual identity. A rather special artist.
How did you succeed in being different from businesses? What marketing and promotion strategies have you used?
In a segment in which the clients were familiar with a standard product, with a plain taste and little attention to details, being different was not such a difficult endeavor.
I think that our leadership position in the last years in the Quick Service Restaurant segment speaks for itself. Thus, the menu of Calif comprises today 75 different products, divided per categories that cover our clients’ taste range almost completely. Likewise, we want to fight the idea that fast food is unhealthy food, and for our menu we work with a specialist in nutrition and have included a rather wide range of diet and vegetarian products.
Marketing has been and continues to be the tool that we use pretty well, a thing confirmed by our accession to the top social brands in Romania, according to the Biz magazine. In terms of strategies, we have focused on social media - it is available to everyone in our core segment - but not only to them. I think we have been the first restaurant that dared to include in its menu 3 products made entirely by bloggers, and one of them is today a top choice of our clients. We also have lots of surprises for the future, so ... “keep connected”.
What are your business chamllenges?
I think the main challenge is to be ranked among the top 3 businesses in the field, in terms of brand awareness. Likewise, our No. 1 challenge is to keep and further develop the quality of our products and services.
What is the target segment you address?
We target consumers between 21 and 30 years old, with medium to high income.
How did you come to work with BT?
Our initial approach was no loans from banks, and for a rather long period of time we have supported this business from own funds. Nevertheless, there came a moment in which we needed a little help, and you, Banca Transilvania, were the ones that have lent us a helping hand. For the rest of the banks we were nothing else by some other highly risky apprentices, with no history.
How will Calif evolve in the coming years?
We wish it to become the best quick service food business in Romania, and we shall do our best to achieve this goal as soon as possible.
What is your advice for the persons who wish to start a business?
A 5-year business plan, most attentive cash-flow management, an eye on the “worst case scenario”, respect for the team, salaries paid on time, without even 1 minute delay, strict and clear rules: give bonuses when people deserve it, sanction if necessary.