Winning the Best Franchisee of the World prize would be a lifetime achievement for many franchise operators, but at 21 years old, Sushi Itto franchisee Omar Yunes has only just begun. An innovative and energetic businessman from Mexico who manages 13 Sushi Itto outlets in Mexico City, Puebla, and Veracruz, Omar Yunes’ Best Franchisee of the World victory placed him on the global stage in a December 2015 competition in Florence, Italy, one that pitted him against competitors from 13 other countries, including Portugal, Hungary, Brazil, France, Italy, Argentina, and Mexico.
Modestly crediting the 400 Sushi Itto employees under his management and the “brand that allowed us to innovate,” Omar Yunes, who manages 10% of the franchise outlets owned by Sushi Itto, has proven to be a major competitive force in winning Mexican franchises a place on the world stage. Yunes’ presentation on “The Professionalization of the Role of the Franchisee” demonstrated his innovative drive, as the competitors for the BFW prize were evaluated not just on their effects on the brand itself, but on the entire network of the organizations they represent, including employee motivation, overall savings, and improvements to the business model as a whole. Yunes emerged as an important and ambitious force for change, implementing a strong business model and control boards that allowed for a more precise measurement of each unit’s operating cost.
Sushi Itto chief executive officer Benjamin Cancelmo offered high praise for Yunes, remarking that “We consider these awards a manifestation of our joint effort to offer our customers excellent service, remarkable, flavor, and unique hospitality.” For Diego Elizarrarás, organizer of BFW Mexico, Omar Yunes’ award is a testament to Mexico’s effort to gain recognition at the international level, leaving behind days when Mexican franchises were primarily regional. Yanes’ prize is a major step for Mexican franchise operations.
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