Donna Maree Paulin Lopez
Cottlesloe WA, Franchisee

Donna Marie Paulin Lopez, Cottlesloe WA, Franchisee

When did you open or become a Sushi Izu franchisee?
19th of September 2022.

Why did you choose a Sushi Izu franchise over another franchise?
Why not? If you are already with the best, why settle for less? I previously worked under one of the great operators in Western Australia with the same franchise company for more than 5 years. With the extensive experience I had with Sushi Izu, it made me dream to be an operator someday and this opportunity happened to me in the most unexpected circumstances. It was a great honour and privileged to be chosen among other applicants to be a franchisee for one of the best sushi retailers in the world.

What are the benefits of owning a franchise over a standalone sushi business?
There are a lot of advantages to owning a franchise over a standalone sushi business. This franchise business provides everything you need to run a successful store – from trainings to supplies and most especially marketing this business without doing the groundwork is a bonus. AFC demands quality in all aspects. They do checks and balances so there is no room for mediocrity while a standalone sushi business could be lacking on these aspects.

What did you do before starting your Sushi Izu franchise?
I had worked as a Store Supervisor in one of the branches of Sushi Izu in Western Australia for over 5 years and then got a job in WesTrac in the Credit department.

What is the best aspect of operating your own Sushi Izu franchise?
You are the captain of the ship. The hard work and perseverance you put into the business benefits your own operation and not someone else’s dreams and goals. You have the freedom to be the best and as creative as can be.

What kind of training and support did you receive?
The company has provided this aspect which I am very much grateful for. When field managers do their General Inspections or the Food Safety Specialist come to check the store, I am ever willing to be given constructive criticisms and feedback to improve the operation and make it more successful. After all, this is a partnership. We must work together to keep us going. Apart from my own target goals, my area manager always gives weekly target goals and updates on economic trends within the location and statewide. This helps a lot in our undertaking to be always relevant.

What is your favourite menu item to make?
I always love making Chef’s Platters and Chef’s Samplers because it shows my creativity and the intricate art of sushi making. If I can do this beautifully, I feel like a pro.

Please share a memorable experience you’ve had during your time as a Sushi Izu franchisee.
As a new operator, I have numerous memorable experiences to date but there is this moment I will forever treasure in my heart. This was during the Mother’s Day promotion when one of my loyal customers came up to me with a gift and her words of appreciation was heart-warming. That was just a proof that I have done an excellent customer service to the Cottesloe community. I am forever grateful for that moment.