THE AMERICANS ARE COMING
US fast-food companies have a large presence in Australia, but many new franchise opportunities are being offered by other non-food offerings
A US franchise presence over here is about more than fast-food favourites.
What is it about the Australian market that attracts so many US brands? Fast-food household names like McDonald’s, Subway and KFC have all made a home here, and the quick-service restaurant arena continues to bring in American chains – think Carl’s Jr (read about this brand’s development plan on page 34) and Wingstop Restaurants.
But the US presence extends way beyond our food courts and eating hubs...just check the brands below to see what is on offer on our shores.
Mosquito Squad, a north American insect-control business that has traded since 2005, has its sights set on the Australian marketplace and is looking for a master franchisee. The US brand has almost 250 domestic locations, and is turning its attention to the global opportunities.
It has just signed its first master licensee for Indonesia, with development starting on Java and an agreement to develop 60 sites across the country.
Chairman/CEO Chris Grandpre of Outdoor Living Brands, the parent company of Mosquito Squad, says “Following the launch of our first international markets in East Africa this year, we’re continuing to drive our global expansion efforts and are thrilled to be taking Mosquito Squad services to Southeast Asia.
“With a dense, tropical climate and forested land, Indonesia suffers a great deal of insect-borne illnesses and is in urgent need of results-driven efforts that can eliminate the spread of mosquitoes.”
Since Mosquito Squad partnered with Malaria No More, a nonprofit global health organisation with the goal of ending malaria deaths, they have raised almost US$500,000 to help fuel the fight against malaria.
Mosquito Squad specialises in eliminating mosquitoes and ticks from outdoor living spaces, allowing people to enjoy their yards, special events and green spaces. Services include barrier protection, automatic misting systems, all-natural protection and special-event sprays.
DC Strategy is handling the recruitment of an Australian master franchisee.
THE HUMAN TOUCH
FirstLight Home Care provides compassionate in-home, senior and respite care to any adult in need, whether they have dementia, an illness or the challenges of old age. The business was established in 2010 and has
been listed in the Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 compilation of top franchise firms.
Its web-based business management technology platform has proven to be a major resource for the system's franchisees, enabling higher levels of efficiency and profitability.
Since its inception in 2010, the company's goal has been to combine best practice with innovative approaches so it can be an emerging market leader in a rapidly growing industry.
FirstLight claims its training programs have enabled it to achieve a retention rate of 86.2 per cent against an industry average of 30 per cent. It is expected this will be a major competitive advantage in the Australian market, allowing the local licensee to also provide staffing aid to a variety of institutions and organisations providing elderly-care services.
FirstLight now has more than 230 territories in the US and is looking for a master franchisee to build the Australian market. An ideal candidate should be committed to providing exceptional care, and business development and sales management experience are preferred.
The US company is looking at opportunities in several overseas markets, and Australia is a key objective because of the sharply increasing demand for homecare services. FirstLight is also focused on awarding licences in Europe and New Zealand, and in its domestic market expects to add 30 new franchises this year.
THE SPRAY WAY
Line-X Protective Coatings is an American franchise that specialises in spray-on corrosion-resistant coatings. The franchise arrived in Australia 18 months ago and is now aggressively expanding.
It has been running in the US for about 30 years and has been franchising for 20. Altogether there are 550 stores, which is a testimony to the success of the business.
COO and franchise veteran Mark McPherson helped to bring the model to Australia and franchised straight away. “We had to start from scratch with everything in terms of the franchise side of the model as we have different codes of conduct to America,” he says.
In a short time the company found franchisees through organic website traffic and some advertising. So far there are two company stores, in Welshpool and Kelmnscott. There are franchisees in Bunburry, Canberra, Sydney, Rockhampton and Adelaide.
The company’s main goal is to be national, with the next priority being Melbourne and Brisbane. By 2020 the franchise wants 30 stores.
McPherson says the company is looking for franchisees who are excited about the brand, passionate, and with a strong drive to do well.
THE FRO-YO ROBOT
A US robotic frozen yogurt brand has plans for 500 vending machines across Australia in the next five years to bring in US$18 million in sales.
Generation Next Franchise Brands has signed its fourth international licensing agreement for Reis & Irvy’s, a concept launched in the US two years ago. Since then, more than 235 franchisees have signed up to run 1100 vending machines.
The high-tech robotic vending machines dispense servings of frozen yogurt, ice cream and sorbet – with toppings – in less than 60 seconds.
Troy and Michelle Bingham are heading up the Reis & Irvy’s brand and expansion in Australia. The couple has extensive experience in international business development and global management consulting across areas such as franchising, tourism, distribution channels, customer loyalty, payment and incentive programs.
“We were looking for a business that could generate annuity income, require minimal time and staff once set up, and was in a sector we knew we could grow over the next 10 to 15 years,” says Troy. “The patented robotics, seamless payment, marketing interactivity and cloud-based reporting on the supply chain ticked all the boxes.
“More importantly, the energy, passion and support from the Generation Next team to grow a quality brand and product was very exciting for us. We see frozen yogurt as just the first of many robotic and technology ideas to come.”
Generation Next Franchise Brands chairman Nick Yates, who is based at the head office in San Diego, says “Being an Australian native myself, I am familiar with the similarities between our market here in the US and the market down under.
“The market in Australia loves frozen yogurt and has seen steady growth in consumption over the past five years. We believe our product will find a way to disrupt the retail sector, and Troy and Michelle know exactly how to ensure that it happens.”
Reis & Irvy’s has also teamed up with manufacturing and logistics partners, including Dannon YoCream, Stoelting Food Service (creator of the first soft-serve machine for US brand Dairy Queen), and Pitney Bowes, which will provide installation and national servicing.