BSki’s set to launch national franchises

By Jasmin Singh | The Daily Tar Heel
Franklin Street favorite BSki’s will soon introduce its wraps and refreshments to college students along other parts of the East Coast.

On Tuesday, the restaurant will host a franchising launch event where people can learn more about franchising opportunities.

Owner Bradley Smith said turning the family-owned business into a franchise has been his goal from the start.

“The time is right and the system is already in place,” he said.

Smith said many people have already expressed interest in starting a franchise.

“People have embraced the Ski factor,” he said.

Smith said he plans to focus on opening franchises in college towns because he knows that environment best.

He said BSki’s location in a college town has helped the business expand its services, including late-night dinners, take out and delivery.

Smith and his wife, Blair, opened BSki’s in Chapel Hill in 2006.

The restaurant’s name comes from Mr. Smith’s college nickname, BSki.

The name has become part of the Smiths’ vocabulary, and they used “Ski” to name their speciality item — the wrap.

“Narrowing our focus to our specialized product allows us to open up our market,” Mr. Smith said.

“We wanted to do one product and do it well.”

Since its opening, the restaurant has become a popular late-night hangout among UNC students — especially on weekends.

“We see about 300 to 400 people a day,” Mr. Smith said. “We stay pretty busy.”

Sophomore Eden Sipperly said even though she has only been to BSki’s twice, she really likes the Club Ski.

Mr. Smith said he hopes to open restaurants in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

Setting up a new franchise would cost between $230,500 and $494,500.

That cost includes buying the location, setting up the building and installing equipment, Mr. Smith said.

He plans to make the Chapel Hill location the franchise headquarters.

The restaurant will still stay open in its current location, where Mr. Smith and his staff have worked to create a friendly environment.

Music plays from the restaurant’s speakers and the front door stays open for customers to stop in for their favorite items.

“The chocolate chip cookies are amazing and warm,” said Heather Wells, a research specialist at aUNC lab.

But food isn’t the only thing that draws customers to BSki’s.

“The drink machine is the best,” said Katie Mills, a staff member at a UNC lab.

The electronic machine has more than 120 drink flavors.

The official franchise launch event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the restaurant, at 147 E. Franklin St.

The first 50 attendees will get a free Ski.

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