Fahad Samad: Your Friendly Neighborhood Franchisee
I never imagined I would do this and had no prior experience in the food business. I was thrown into the fire and have been learning as I go. It’s challenging—but lots of fun—to work through issues and watch the business continuously improve.
Location/s: Jamaica, Queens
Background: I was born in Pakistan. My family came to the U.S. 30 years ago and settled in Queens. I currently live in Flushing with my wife and two young children.
Education/Employment: My degree is in Information Science and Forensics from SUNY Oswego. I’ve traveled the world as a Business Analyst and Project Manager and presently work at Topps, the trading card company.
Favorite Pastime: I run a not-for-profit basketball organization and am a member of three different leagues. I love the competition and play every chance I get. Most people wouldn’t guess that I have a mean three-pointer.
Bone-in or boneless: Bone-In
Favorite sauce: Jerk BBQ (my wife loves the Lemon Pepper)
Mild, medium, hot, atomic or nuclear: Medium
Why did you decide to purchase an Atomic Wings franchise?
I was not planning on it, but the franchise owner—a close friend of mine—convinced me it was a good investment opportunity. I took over the Jamaica store in November 2018 and am negotiating locations for additional stores.
What do you like about being a franchisee?
I never imagined I would do this and had no prior experience in the food business. I was thrown into the fire and have been learning as I go. It’s challenging—but lots of fun—to work through issues and watch the business continuously improve. There’s an open line of communication with other franchisees; they’ve been a huge help getting me up to speed.
What makes your location special?
Our customers are wonderful and come from many walks of life. Most of our walk-in business is part of our large Muslim community, which appreciates that we serve 100% halal meat. We are also located near three high schools and have become a popular lunch-hour spot for students.
What does your store do to give back to the community?
We have partnered with a nearby shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. When orders are cancelled or not picked up, we donate and deliver the food to the shelter. If we have the resources to do it, then why not? Otherwise, we’d be throwing the food in the garbage.
In addition, on the last Saturday of the month, we donate freshly prepared food to ICNA Relief’s Hunger Prevention Program. Their volunteers hand out food to the homeless on the streets of Manhattan. I ride the train to work every day and see so many homeless people. I felt it was important for me to do what I can through Atomic Wings.
Please share a favorite Atomic Wings story.
In February, for our first Super Bowl Sunday, we had no idea what we were getting into. Were there many American football fans in our Muslim community? The answer was resoundingly, yes! I’d never seen this many people in a store. We went through 45 cases of wings. It was great to watch our team work really hard and we will be sure to be ready for the hordes of people coming in on Super Bowl Sunday 2020.