Franchise Lounge is a monthly podcast series spotlighting interviews with prominent and intriguing members of the global franchise community. Themes include tech innovation, bold brand strategies, post-Covid growth initiatives and much more.
A 40-year veteran of the franchise industry, Brody Sweeney has battled through tough times and enjoyed some sweet victories while running a series of fast casual restaurant franchises throughout Ireland, the UK and across the globe. One of his current celebrated triumphs is his venture, Camile Thai Kitchen, a health-conscious Thai food franchise, with a twist. Your order is prepared by robots and delivered to your door by drones.
In the mid-80's, Brody decided it was time to fill a gap in the marketplace and launched a revolutionary new deli franchise. “Back in the 80’s, sandwiches came in 2 flavors: ham or cheese, and if you were really racy, you had ham and cheese together and they were wrapped in clingfilm and sat on the top of a news agent’s fridge.”
In response to this tired approach, Brody developed a more sophisticated sandwich with a Seattle-inspired coffee service, O'Brien's Irish Sandwich Bars. The concept was so successful that Brody managed it for more than two decades. At its height, O’Brien’s had 340 restaurants in 16 countries, with 3,500 employees. Then, in 2009, when the recession hit, the business went bust and Brody lost everything.
Fast forward to 2021, a resilient and more philosophical Brody has risen like a phoenix from the flames. Brody is now Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Camile Thai Kitchen, a gourmet delivery operation whose mission is to produce nutritious, high-end Thai food and deliver it in a most expeditious manner. Camile's menu pleases the palate of consumers' increasing demand for healthier eating options. And Brody devised unique, powerful robotic cookers and a drone delivery system to respond to the consumers' penchant for screen time, social media, and instant gratification.
The fast-growing chain, Camile Thai Kitchen now has more than 40 franchises across Ireland and the UK. And Brody’s driving force is to leverage technology and innovation to power food preparation, drone delivery and beat his competitors, whom he refers to as margin-guzzling delivery giants, at their own game. Game on!