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THE CHEESECAKE SHOP
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The Cheesecake Shop’s top franchisees prove it’s attitude, not experience, that counts
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The Cheesecake Shop's MD, Ken Rosebery, with Smruti & Jaimin Patel, winners of The Cheesecake Shop's 2017 Franchisee of the Year Award NZ
It’s a family birthday party this weekend and between organising invitations, food and activities, you’ve run out of time to make that special dessert. No problem – The Cheesecake Shop is just around the corner with its mouth-watering range of treats.
The Cheesecake Shop’s reputation for quality and convenience appeals not just to customers but to people looking for a business opportunity, too – people like Smruti and Jaimin Patel. The couple emigrated to New Zealand from India in 2005. ‘After seven years working at Mobil and four years owning our dairy in Otara, last year we decided it was time to look at another business opportunity,’ Smruti explains. ‘We thought buying a franchise would be a good way to start something new with less risk.
‘We have friends who own other food franchises and knew we wanted something a little bit different which didn’t require early starts, late finishes or which depended on specialist staff. As customers of The Cheesecake Shop, we had always felt there was a welcoming, can-do attitude about the place which makes it a great customer experience. I had only been a home baker before and Jaimin had never cooked at all but, once we started looking into the opportunity, we learned about the step-by-step recipes and easy ordering processes that gave us the confidence that we could do it.’
David Reid, a former franchisee who is now The Cheesecake Shop’s General Manager for New Zealand, suggested two possible locations including an existing site in Pakuranga that was ready for refurbishment. ‘We felt confident that we could succeed with The Cheesecake Shop behind us. The bank was happy to finance the purchase and our lawyer knew the business and its potential from other franchisees they had worked with, so we went ahead.’
The Cheesecake Shop was originally founded in Sydney in 1991 and now has over 210 stores worldwide. The company has twice won Excellence in Franchising awards in Australia. ‘A major reason for our success is that we have developed systems that make The Cheesecake Shop very simple to operate,’ says David. ‘You don’t need any food experience – this is a business that anyone can run as long as they care about presentation and customer service.’
Smruti and Jaimin run the busy Pakuranga store with six staff members. ‘Jaimin and I attended the three-week training course in Sydney, where we learned basic baking and decorating techniques, as well as The Cheesecake Shop’s operational systems,’ says Smruti. ‘During our first two weeks in the Pakuranga store we also had on-site training from the franchisor team. Along with a strong franchise support system, the overall process gave us the tools and confidence to train the rest of the staff and we’ve grown from there.’
In fact, their growth has been spectacular. Just over 12 months later, Smruti and Jaimin have seen huge increases in customer numbers and revenue – so much so that they have been named the company’s 2017 NZ Franchisees of the Year. ‘We weren’t expecting it at all after such a short time in this business, so it was a great surprise,’ says Smruti happily. ‘It’s given us even more positivity and energy within our business, and reassured us that this was the right decision for our future.
‘Really, our success is a credit to the systems provided to us,’ Smruti continues. ‘The franchise standards of quality for both our product and environment are high and, to be honest, our first audit after purchasing the business was not what we would have liked. But over the first year we found that if we couldn’t do something there was always someone to help us learn, and the franchise team were always happy to come if we called. There’s a sense of community support that is unique to the brand and a real network of franchisees who help and support each other.
‘Now, with a positive attitude and determination to do better, we consistently reach our quality targets and we can see the difference it makes. Even in our quieter periods, we’re up 13-25 percent or more on last year’s weekly figures – sometimes I don’t quite believe it when Jaimin tells me! That’s partly because it doesn’t feel as busy now that we’ve learned how to handle the increased customer flow, but the numbers certainly add up. We tell anyone who asks us that, with the right attitude, you can do it too.’
If you’d like to follow Smruti and Jaimin’s lead, opening your own business with The Cheesecake Shop requires equity of between $150,000 and $250,000. ‘It’s a turn-key business, so we will manage the equipment, shop fit-out and every detail for you,’ says David. ‘That means once you have completed your training you’ll be ready to move in, put smiles on customers’ faces and start making money.
‘We have a number of locations available right now in both the North and South Islands so give us a call and find out more about The Cheesecake Shop. It’s about attitude, not experience!’
See this advertorial on page 98 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 4
Contact details for The Cheesecake Shop
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This material is copyright © Franchise NZ Marketing Limited, Franchise New Zealand ™ magazine and Franchise New Zealand On Line . While it may be downloaded for personal use, no part may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the specific written permission of the publisher.