As a Schmidt customer turned franchisee and former Lebanese restaurateur, Tony Nakhoul, knows more than most about the power of a great kitchen
It takes a special product to convince someone to change their career plans. That’s exactly what happened to Tony Nakhoul.
“My wife bought a Schmidt kitchen from another showroom before I become an owner,” says Tony, owner of Schmidt Ruislip. “As a client, I was amazed at the quality of the product. I thought Schmidt must be doing something right so I got in touch and decided to be a franchisee.”
Tony’s passion for the product has clearly paid off as despite having no prior design or interiors experience, he has the number one ranked Schmidt showroom for sales volume. Originally from Beirut, Tony was a city banker for 15 years before opening a Lebanese restaurant in Chelsea. However, the long hours and weekend work were not conducive to Tony’s plan for his family life.
And then he came home to a new kitchen and his life changed.
Tony says: “I’m proud I’ve learned this business very quickly and become number one. I can’t tell whether I’m a lucky person or have just managed my company properly. On day one, we had a sale and clients. We have never had a failure from the day we opened. I’m the top showroom in the UK after three years and have managed to overtake many others who had been trading for longer.”
Despite having a master’s in international business, Tony is humble enough to credit Schmidt’s comprehensive training. He says: “They teach you everything and hold your hand and if you follow the formula, you will be successful. The company’s been in the market for more than 80 years so it would be silly not to.
“Schmidt were very, very honest with me. They told me absolutely everything about the business, so I wasn’t surprised by anything.”
But how has Tony managed to achieve record-breaking figures?
“If you don’t love the product, you can’t sell it. That’s why I’m successful. I live with the product on a daily basis in my own home so I can sell it with honesty. When I explain to a client about the kitchen, I explain from the heart. I talk from personal experience and speak with passion.
“I’m also very fussy with my staff, with customer service, with all the details. This is what clients like. I’m a bit of an OCD person, so all this helps me be successful.”