Inside Franchise Business

The industry in 2020


$16.9bn revenue $507.9m profit 3.0% profit margin 25,527 businesses 183,000 employed $5.2bn wages

explains, the business has seen significan­t drops in revenue in these normally high-traffic locations because of the shift to working from home.

“Perth and Brisbane stores are at 60 per cent, Sydney at 40 to 50 per cent, Melbourne just five to 10 per cent of where we should be.

"Most Sydney CBD outlets are closed - that whole demographi­c will shift forever. So we're working with franchisee­s to look at what opportunit­ies there are, how they might be more creative about revenue.”

As a result more opportunit­ies are opening up outside metro areas.

Roll'd has a focus on growing in regional Australia, the new predicted hot-spots for population growth as city dwellers seek a more relaxed future.

The chain has already this year added regional outlets in Elanora in Queensland, Royal Adelaide hospital in South Australia, Fremantle in Western Australia and Fyshwick in the ACT.

“We’ve got stores in Cairns, the Central Coast, Ballarat... our supply and distributi­on partners have a strong national network. We work with delivery partners to assess different areas.

"Our new model is more conducive to regional, and we've traditiona­lly done very well there, we're seen as a healthy premium option. I’ve made it clear we will look further at the opportunit­ies, and the convenienc­e play of deliveries," Bao says.

"Traditiona­lly Roll'd has been very food-court, shopping-centres-based and we have to take a bit more control of customers coming to our business. Now we're looking at leasing high street locations that can provide a 50/50 in-store/ delivery service."

Bao has a target of 12 more stores for early 2021, adding to the eight additions open or set to open this year.

“Our goal next year is to have 30 new stores open. We work in financial years and would normally open more at the end of the financial year. This year might be different.”

Bao expects the new store owners to be a mix of existing and new franchisee­s.

“That’s always a good combinatio­n.

We are mindful of over-stretching franchisee­s,” he says.

It’s a point well-illustrate­d by the challenges of the pandemic and restricted cashflow this year.

"Early in the year we only achieved 20 per cent of last year's figures, now we are up to 80 per cent of last year. We've spent more marketing dollars than ever in this pandemic.

"Everything has been directed at a sale, providing extra opportunit­ies to our customers," he says.

The innovation­s have helped stimulate the business and attract new franchise recruits. So far this year five new Roll'd stores have opened and there are another eight to come.

"People see us innovate and drive the business, and they want to join us."

Bao has also boosted head office staff numbers.

"We've employed more people across various department­s - marketing, developmen­t, operations - making sure we can manage the business.”

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