Saturday, August 29, 2015

Chirag Patel's Philly deli bet

The Indian clan behind a libertarian-owned, Texas-based chain's attempt to push Jewish-style sandwiches in the hoagie city

Chirag Patel's Philly deli bet

0 comments

Chirag Patel and three partners, also named Patel, are quickly expanding their Burlington County-based Prayosha Patel group with this week's deal to open 30 of Focus Brands Inc.'s Jewish deli-themed Schlotzsky's sandwich shops, with Cinnabon and Carvel franchies attached, around Philadelphia. (The Patels in the group "are not directly related," but trace their roots to Gujarat state in India, where many Patels are hotel-keepers.)

By Chirag's count the deal will in time more-than-triple employment at Prayosha's hotels and restaurants, to over 1,300. He's hoping to open in and near suburban Septa stations and other "non-traditional locations."

Patel came to Pennsylvania to study for master's degree in engineering and management at Penn State. Twelve years ago he went partners with Dasharath Patel, who owned a chain of Dunkin Donuts franchises. Now, with partners Ashok Patel and Atul Patel, they operate chain restaurants and Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn and Comfort Inn locations at mostly suburban sites from New York's Mid-Hudson Valley to South Jersey.

Chirag's special focus has been restaurants, including a string of Dunkin Donuts, and a growing number of Moe's Southwest Grills at local sites including, soon, Septa's Suburban Station. Moe's are owned by Austin-based Focus, which is owned by Neal K. Aronson's Atlanta-based Roark Capital, named for the hero architect Howard Roark in Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead. Chirag made friends with Focus boss Kelly Roddy, and Schlotzsky's seemed like a good next step.

Aren't sandwich shops a tough business in Philadelphia, the hoagie city? "We like very much the business case of Scholtzsky's," Chirag told me. "It's a very premium grade product. Upscale." He's done the math, and he's ready for the work, he says.



0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com, distefano251@gmail.com, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
Also on Philly.com:
letter icon Newsletter