FIVE MIN­UTES WITH…

Inside Franchise Business - - Contents -

Mad Mex di­rec­tor rakes our Q & A.

1. What is your per­sonal strength in busi­ness?

Build­ing strong in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tion­ships, hav­ing an en­tre­pre­neur­ial vi­sion to recog­nise op­por­tu­ni­ties in the mar­ket and to grow and de­velop them. I love re­tail and hospi­tal­ity, and this flows out of my en­joy­ment of work­ing with teams and serv­ing cus­tomers. I’m all about the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.

2. What have you learned about fran­chis­ing?

It’s all about peo­ple. You can’t build a great brand with­out sur­round­ing your­self with great peo­ple. Good char­ac­ter is the pri­mary req­ui­site, af­ter which pas­sion and ta­lent must fol­low. We’re in the ser­vice in­dus­try, so you have to love serv­ing peo­ple and ex­ceed­ing ex­pec­ta­tions.

3. What does it take to have an ef­fi­cient fran­chise model?

You need a solid foun­da­tion so peo­ple are free to fo­cus on lead­ing, coach­ing and de­vel­op­ing their teams. There are seven core el­e­ments...

Fran­chisee se­lec­tion: It is im­por­tant that fran­chisees are “on-brand” as they hire, train and lead the in-store team and de­liver the brand ex­pe­ri­ence.

Store devel­op­ment: The ba­sics for de­vel­op­ing a new store are a great site, lease ne­go­ti­a­tion, de­sign and project man­age­ment.

Train­ing: Pro­vid­ing com­pre­hen­sive train­ing from the start is a must, as well as in­vest­ing in con­stant up­skilling.

On­go­ing sup­port: Fran­chisees re­ally want some­one to help them de­velop and ex­e­cute com­pre­hen­sive busi­ness growth and devel­op­ment plans.

Prod­uct devel­op­ment: Cus­tomers ex­pect in­no­va­tion.

Mar­ket­ing sup­port: The mar­ket­ing team in many ways shapes cus­tomer per­cep­tions of our brand and what we’re about, so it is im­por­tant we never lose sight of our “true north” and those ideals we never com­pro­mise on, so it’s brand first then prod­ucts and pro­mo­tions.

Sup­ply and dis­tri­bu­tion: Sup­ply-re­lated headaches sour fran­chisor re­la­tions very quickly if not dealt with. Fran­chisees have a right to ex­pect great pric­ing, qual­ity and dis­tri­bu­tion, and it is the fran­chisor’s job to make sure this area of the busi­ness is as ro­bust and ef­fi­cient as pos­si­ble.

4. What do fran­chisees want from their fran­chisor sup­port team?

I think fran­chisees want strong and pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ships with peo­ple they can de­pend on – a team that can help guide them in grow­ing and de­vel­op­ing their busi­ness. This goes well be­yond the ini­tial set-up and hon­ey­moon phase.

5. How does a fran­chisor fos­ter trust in the re­la­tion­ship with a fran­chisee?

You must have car­ing, hon­est and transparent re­la­tion­ships to build trust. When the trust bank is high, the brand pros­pers. Great fran­chisee re­la­tion­ships are the key to suc­cess. Lis­ten­ing is very im­por­tant. Stop lis­ten­ing, and things break down quickly.

6. What can fran­chisees do to en­sure a good re­la­tion­ship with the fran­chisor team?

Com­mu­ni­cate. Make your voice heard. I find that too many of our fran­chise part­ners keep their thoughts and ideas to them­selves. This is a mis­take, as fran­chisors need feed­back to bet­ter un­der­stand their busi­ness and how they are go­ing. We have quar­terly state meet­ings, anony­mous sur­veys and an­nual con­fer­ences to en­sure we’re gain­ing as much in­ter­ac­tion and feed­back as pos­si­ble

from our fran­chise fam­ily.

Phillip Blanco is di­rec­tor for na­tional devel­op­ment at

Mex­i­can fast-food chain Mad Mex.

7. In your ex­pe­ri­ence, what is the most com­mon mis­take fran­chisees make?

Hir­ing the wrong peo­ple – peo­ple who are not on-brand and who are not re­ally ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing the brand ex­pe­ri­ence. If you have the wrong peo­ple work­ing in your res­tau­rant, the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence suf­fers and all the mar­ket­ing in the world won’t save you. It’s all about get­ting the right peo­ple on­board.

8. What do you look for when in­ter­view­ing a prospec­tive fran­chisee?

En­ergy, pos­i­tiv­ity, and pas­sion. We look for peo­ple who are “peo­ple, peo­ple”. We can teach them our sys­tems, but we can’t change their nat­u­ral dis­po­si­tion. Our brand ex­pe­ri­ence should be a fun and a bit cheeky, so we look for peo­ple who can de­liver that in our restau­rants.

9. What do you think is the most im­por­tant qual­ity a fran­chisee needs?

A gen­uine pas­sion for de­liv­er­ing out­stand­ing cus­tomer ser­vice.

10. What does it take for a fran­chisee to be a star per­former?

Liv­ing the brand val­ues. For us, that’s be­ing “cheeky, au­then­tic and con­nected”. A lot sits be­hind these three ad­jec­tives, but when you bring them to­gether you can build a great team and a great busi­ness. busi­ness pro­to­cols.

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