Entrepreneurs - Cambusier, this Kedger’s start-up puts...
After having received in Bachelor of International Commerce with a speciality in digital marketing, in 2015 Guillaume Voidrot began the Grande École Programme at KEDGE. He did a work-study year in Australia between his two years to perfect his English and discover a new country. He spent six months working as a Client Advisor with Louis Vuitton in Sydney during the day, and as a server in a restaurant on Bondi Beach in the evenings. He then took advantage of his last five months to travel and visit eight countries, mainly in Asia, most related to their culinary specialities. Upon his return to Bordeaux, and in parallel with the validation of his elective courses and the editing of his memoires, he worked with the Santosha team, an emblematic Bordeaux restaurant, renowned for its Thai and Indonesian specialties. He left the restaurant in January 2017 to finish his Masters 2 throhugh an end-of-studies internship with Microsoft as an Assistant to Channel Marketing XBOX with the team of Thierry Amarger, a KEDGE alumni whom we have already written an article about.
"I really enjoyed my internship at Microsoft, but had barely had it validated and even before I graduate, when Santosha’s creator, Emmanuel Meuret, reminded me that I had wanted to undertake a project in the food industry. I had already spoken to him about my desire to do so, so he proposed that I associate with him to open a Santosha in Barcelona. He said he had raised1.5 million with his new partner Benoit Germaneau, with the aim of opening five new restaurants in order to learn how to export the concept and to start franchising in the near future,” said Guillaume.
Because of his entrepreneurial enthusiasm, Guillaume was seduced by the project and naively left to study the Barcelona market. He also worked part-time on the opening of a second restaurant in Toulouse. Discouraged by political tensions surrounding the Catalonian independence movement, Guillaume and his associates focussed on developing the franchise and, in March 2018, they began fleshing out the franchising plans and headed to Paris to present their plans at the Franchise Expo. Confident of their project, the three partners launched their venture. At the same time, they began another venture: a delivery-only restaurant in the capital. While finalising these two projects, they opened a fourth restaurant in Lyon in September and the team is currently working on opening two more by the end of the year - in Talence and Pessac!
"We have set a target of opening six new restaurants in 2019. Although this is a significant number, we don’t want to open too many too quickly. Also, while we will respect the identity of the first Santosha restaurant in Bordeaux, the décor of each locale will be unique to avoid becoming another impersonal and indistinguishable chain,” he said.
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Guillaume, anything to add?
"We are opening a sixth restaurant in Talence, right next to the KEDGE Bordeaux campus, in December! Don’t hesitate to follow us via the network or to contact me if our concept interests you, whether it is simply for a meal or if you want to participate in our growth as either a franchisee or service provider!"