Business Profiles

by Cobb & Co.

last updated 14/12/2017

Cobb & Co.
old brand NEW THINKING

by Cobb & Co.

last updated 14/12/2017

Innovation helps Cobb & Co. franchisees achieve results fast

Cobb & Co. might be one of the oldest-established restaurant brands in the country, but it’s also one of the most forward-looking. New franchisors recruited a team of bright young brains to create efficiencies that drive profitability for franchisees – and it’s working. The latest outlet to open, in Dunedin, has delighted its franchisees.

‘Dunedin is absolutely humming, it’s done crazy figures,’ says Callum Inglis, the Group Product Officer of the Cobb Group. ‘The site in the Railway Station looks a million bucks, it has been very warmly welcomed by the community and we did over 400 covers the first Saturday night without any real marketing.’

Of course, serving customers is one thing; making a profit is another, as Callum points out. ‘While many restaurants enjoy a honeymoon period  of strong trade when they first open, it can be months or even years  before they find their feet in terms of profitability. What we have done at Cobb & Co. is put massive effort into menu development and purchasing, along with systems to help franchisees monitor and manage their cost of goods. Together, these enable new restaurants to achieve their targets within a matter of weeks. This makes a critical difference to the returns they deliver.

‘By systemising the product side, we’re allowing franchisees, chefs and staff to focus on delivering the customer experience: the product, the service and the atmosphere.’

putting it all together

Now in his late 20s, Callum is a law and commerce graduate who admits to having been a foodie since he was four years old. ‘I was always around the kitchen and when I started doing holiday jobs I worked in the kitchen at Cobb & Co. in Tauranga with Noi Sivilay, who is now Group Executive Chef for the Cobb Group.'

Callum’s experience is put to good use overseeing product purchasing and contracts; menu development and implementation; and managing food and beverage profitability at a restaurant level. This includes the development and implementation of industry-leading systems in association with CFO/CIO Alex Gower and COO Nathan Bonney, one of the most experienced food franchisors in the country.

‘Hospitality is a traditional industry,’ says Callum. ‘Yes, there’s a lot of focus on the latest trends in food, but there’s so much you can do now to make the business easier to manage. By combining procurement, product development and product management within one area, we’ve been able to streamline the whole process of restaurant management.

‘For example, in some restaurants the chef is responsible not just for ordering but for entering invoices to the system. That’s not their area of expertise, and is a waste of their time and skill. With us, everything is integrated from start to finish so that data comes direct into the system from the suppliers. Waiting staff use iPads, so all the ordering data is entered automatically and it’s integrated directly into the accounting system. All you have to do is check the stock each week and you get back really valuable information that tells you, “This is what you’re doing well, and here are the areas where improvements are possible.” It shows  actual usage and ideal usage so you can see, for example, if you have  an issue with portion control or wastage. It’s clear and simple, and  people can’t wait to see how they’ve done and what they need to do  to nail it next week.’

making it simple for franchisees

Callum says the processes have three principal outcomes for new franchisees. ‘We’ve made the business simple to open, simple to measure and simple to grow.

‘We establish national and local supply channels so franchisees find it simple to open a new restaurant. We help them recruit and train staff and managers, and ensure they have everything in place. That takes the stress away so they can concentrate on delivering the customer experience.

‘The processes make it simple to measure cost of goods, output and profitability. A lot of people in hospitality can run successful operations but fail at running a business. Our franchisees run businesses and we equip them with the tools they need to do it properly.

‘And we make it simple to grow. Franchisees get data to show them how they’re doing, help them identify issues, improve results and move forwards. They don’t even need hospitality experience to succeed as Cobb & Co. franchisees. We’ve made the back end easy so they can concentrate on their customers.’

opportunities now open

Cobb & Co. is looking for new franchisees who want a truly profitable opportunity in cities and towns throughout New Zealand. ‘We have some excellent locations available and fans ready and waiting,’ says Nathan Bonney. ‘The investment required is upwards of $500,000 to $1 million, much of which can be financed through our strong relationship  with the banks.

‘We want to hear from individuals and groups looking for hospitality opportunities throughout the country. Cobb & Co. has a great name and now has the great systems to go with it. Contact me and find out more.’

See this advertorial on page 57 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 3

Contact details for Cobb & Co.

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