Emma's story

Becoming a franchisee is a dream come true

20230616 0 C5 A8372
Emma Zwanenburg Franchisee Bram Ladage
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Emma Zwanenburg (21) is manager of one of the 42 branches of snackbar chain Bram Ladage. In six months' time, Emma, with her shop in Alphen a/d Rijn, will be the youngest franchisee in the entire organisation.

What is the beauty of your profession?

‘The customer contact anyway. And that people come back to us specifically to eat the chips that are so good, or to have a chat with us. I have had customers who come to tell me that their wife has died, these are people you have had a connection with for years. Sometimes people are crying in the shop when they come to share their life story here. That makes my work very beautiful.’

What makes Bram Ladage special?

‘Bram Ladage is a 52-year-old family business, grown to 42 branches and 30,000 kilos of potatoes go through it every week. Every day we are busy making the tastiest fries slide into a pointy bag. Yes, it really is. Every day we are working on the quality we want to deliver. We have a group of 16 people here, on weekdays there are three of us and on weekends there are six of us working.’

How did your adventure start here?

‘I started 6 years ago as a weekend worker and before I knew it I was working 4 days a week. Then I became assistant manager, manager and so in January 2024, this is my own shop as a franchisee. I genuinely get very happy here, this ís it for me. Actually, practically speaking, quite little will change, as I already bear responsibility for the shop.’

What makes you a good entrepreneur?

‘That I am always cheerful and that I pass on my energy. I radiate the joy of my work to others. I am good at that, even if I say so myself. I get energy when I feel and see that my team is growing, that people are developing as people. I hired and built the team myself. I know what I have and what to expect from them. The family feeling is there at every branch, we are so close together. That is also why people like coming here. Staff shortage? I don't know. I even have eight more in the queue.’

How do you see your future?

‘I have set 1 January 2024 as a dot on the horizon, which is what I am working towards. In a fortnight, I will complete my internal training, a six-month course. All I need to do is write off my business plan. This is my ultimate dream, yes. You know, I have always wanted to do everything myself, but I am learning to outsource more and more things. I see myself as part of the team, not a typical boss. Because the team is young, I can very easily relate to them. The hospitality dynamic is what I like so much, I just get on well with that.’