How this Authentic Indian Restaurant Expanded Even During Tough Times
Yousaf Razzak is the proud owner of Kolachi Grill, located in Hanover Park and Schaumburg Illinois. Razzak started the company in 2020 with business partner, Syed Nizami.
“We started our company about 3 years ago in the restaurant business, which was something new and exciting for me and different from anything I had done before” – Yousaf Razzak
After opening, they were quickly met with the unexpected challenge of building a restaurant while many others were shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When we started our business in 2020 it was just before COVID-19, and we built the business in hard times. We were able to make it happen.” Eventually, Kolachi Grill’s success would lead Yousaf and Syed to expand their business with a new location through funding from Biz2Credit.
“The business started just before Covid, and we built it in Hanover Park. We were successful and had an opportunity to open the Schaumburg store. For the expansion we needed some cash influx because we were still breaking even with the first store. We went to Biz2Credit to help us out with the expansion and to take advantage of the opportunity for a new location” – Yousaf
When they first opened Kolachi Grill, Yousaf and Syed had to pay the rent of their restaurant without any sales coming in from dine-in. Yousaf reflected on the challenges of keeping employees around during COVID-19 and getting through the tough days when “there were only two orders.” With perseverance, Yousaf and Syed created a business presence with good online reviews. Through their growing reputation, word of mouth, and local marketing, they successfully built a restaurant business during the pandemic.
“At the beginning of our business we were doing about $100 a day in sales. We went up to $3000 a day in a few months. Keeping up with the demands of employees and inventory was a major struggle. We went to Biz2Credit to help us with that and with the expansion in Schaumburg.”
Despite their success and impressive rise in sales, almost quadrupling from the start of COVID-19, Syed and Yousaf needed funding to help with day-to-day expenses and to carry out their dream of expanding their thriving business.
“When you get an opportunity and you need to seize it, a company like Biz2Credit is the one who will come in and help you do it.”
After two years of growth, Syed and Yousaf saw the opportunity to open a Kolachi Grill at a new location, and they went for it. Yousaf explained that they had trouble trying to get conventional loans and lines of credit from traditional banks because they were not taking risks on restaurant businesses during COVID-19. He says that Biz2Credit saw the value of his business and decided to help Kolachi Grill.
Yousaf needed a fast turnaround time and decided that working capital from Biz2Credit would give his business the most favorable rate, longer terms to pay, and ability to renew if more funding was needed. With Biz2Credit, Yousaf and Syed found a long-lasting funding relationship.
“If Biz2Credit had not helped us out, we would still be in our first location struggling with employees and price wars,” Yousaf shared. He attributes this to the financing that Biz2Credit provided, which made it possible for the restaurant to grow and open a new location. “We were able to use the financing they gave us to expand. They really helped us out.”
Yousaf says the secret to their success is not having to worry about money. If you “do what you know and love what you do, that’s the best way to keep going.” Through financing from Biz2Credit, Yousaf and Syed have continued to do what they love and have brought their food to more people with a second location.
“People actually hug us when they love our food- it’s so authentic and reminds them of home in Pakistan and India.”
Putting a smile on peoples’ faces at Kolachi Grill is what keeps Yousaf going. He advises other restaurant owners not to be scared to take a chance and to go after opportunities that present themselves.
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