No action over Hell's Beyond Meat stunt 16th September 2019
Hell's use of fake meat in burger toppings without telling customers didn't meet food standards but the company won't face formal action from the Ministry for Primary Industries. Instead, the company has been given 'education and advice'. A separate investigation by the Commerce Commission is ongoing. The promotional stunt, which Hell said was 'to start a conversation and raise awareness about sustainable food choices', highlighted a number of current trends and issues in food franchising which are covered in the latest issue of Franchise New Zealand.
The ministry had taken several factors into consideration when deciding what action to take, including Hell's agreement to follow its advice in any future campaigns, improved allergen information on the company's website and the fact it hadn't previously been the subject of similar complaints.
Auckland seminars – improving franchise performance 11th September 2019
Three seminars being held in October are designed to help franchisors improve the performance of franchisees and provide a foundation in franchise field management for new franchisors and franchise executives.
Columbus Coffee sees red for charity 27th August 2019
August 2019 – Columbus Coffee franchisees all over the country will be doing their bit for Cure Kids on Red Nose Day
Employment issues: keeping franchises out of trouble 27th August 2019
A Subway franchisee has made the company a ‘priority focus’ for Labour Inspectorate investigators. How can franchisors prevent a similar problem in their own networks?
Rubbish regulation could pack a punch for hospitality and retail 26th August 2019
August 2019 – The Ministry for the Environment is seeking submissions after publishing a consultation document which would see retailers and hospitality businesses responsible for specified products and packaging at their end of life
September workshops to improve franchise performance and growth 24th August 2019
August 2019 - A series of five workshops in September will give New Zealand franchisors and their leadership teams new insights into best practice methods across a range of topics to help prepare franchise networks for improved performance and growth
USA - California legislation could turn franchisees into employees 24th August 2019
14 August 2019 - Legislation currently pending in the Californian state legislature could significantly affect the future of franchising in that state - and set a precedent for other US jurisdictions
Westpac forecasts slower growth but has faith in policy 20th August 2019
21 August 2019 – Escalating trade war will affect NZ, but economists think the Reserve Bank’s actions will prove effective for now. A short-term rise in unemployment could ease staff shortages for franchisees
Christchurch event for franchisors and franchisees 15th August 2019
FANZ is holding a free networking event for franchisors and franchisees in Christchurch on Monday 2 September
Labour Inspectorate to target Subway franchisees 31st July 2019
Updated 27 August 2019 – A Subway franchisee who failed to improve employment practices after a warning has made the company a ‘priority focus’ for investigators
Café franchise helps bake a difference for animals 22nd July 2019
23 July 2019 – The Coffee Club has once again teamed up with SPCA for Cupcake Day, which raises funds for animals in need
World's top-valued food brand named 22nd July 2019
July 2019 – The world’s biggest food franchise is also one of the ten hottest brands on the planet, according to a recent report
NZ landscaping franchise launches in USA 18th July 2019
19 July 2019 – Zones, the bespoke design-and-build landscaping franchise, is taking Kiwi know-how to Florida
Wellington event - Round Table for franchisors, franchisees 10th July 2019
Business as usual for franchisees as Fastway brand phased out 9th July 2019
July 2019 – One of New Zealand’s best-known home-grown franchise brands is gradually disappearing from our streets as Fastway Couriers rebrands
Franchisors more positive but challenges remain – survey 8th July 2019
8 July 2019 – Dropping the CGT has helped franchise confidence increase, but worries remain about costs and staffing
Commerce Commision to investigate Hell over fake meat surprise 1st July 2019
1 July 2019 - A stunt which saw Hell Pizza add plant instead of meat patties to its pizza toppings without telling customers and saw the popular franchise called to a meeting with the Ministry for Primary Industries has now caused further problems. While the company says it wanted to introduce customers to alternative proteins in an unexpected way, it has been suggested that Hell could be in breach of both the Food Act and the Fair Trading Act, and the Commerce Commission has launched an investigation.
Revealing the use of Beyond Meat, Hell general manager Ben Cumming said the company had wanted to introduce customers to alternative proteins in an unexpected way and had expected mixed feedback.
The company cared about the planet and had wanted to start a conversation and raise awareness about sustainable food choices, he said.
Hell has since launched an interactive allergen warning feature on its website, which lists the potential allergens – like soy, gluten and nuts – on each pizza and updates automatically when toppings are customised.
A request for customers with life-threatening allergies to inform the store before ordering is also included.
A spokesman for the Commerce Commission originally said it had received eight complaints about "burger patties" on Hell pizzas and they would be assessed.
Reducing the stress of business ownership 17th June 2019
18 June 2019 – A new survey shows that running your own business can be stressful and frustrating. How does being part of a franchise help?
Liquor franchisee's employment breaches raise questions 17th June 2019
18 June 2019 – Liquor store franchisee fined after failing to address employment issues
McDonald's latest honey trap creates a buzz 16th June 2019
17 June 2019 - McDonald's Sweden has created the 'world's smallest restaurant' - a replica drive-thru that's a fully-functioning beehive. It's designed to be installed on top of restaurants world-wide to draw attention to the plight of bees, and the plan seems to be working with massive online coverage. How many McDonald's are sited near suitable sources of pollen for bees remains to be seen - and wait for the first lawsuits from stung customers who blame the brand ...
Incidentally, It’s said that every third bite of food in the human diet relies upon bees. As well as the news item about McDonald's roof-top hives, then, here's a fascinating article from the BBC's Science Focus magazine on the contribution of bees to the Big Mac.
McDonald's says the initiative is designed to draw attention to the plight of bees, which are critical to the world's food supply but are facing a global decline. Industrial agriculture, parasites and climate change are the main drivers of the decline.
Christoffer Rönnblad, marketing director of McDonald's Sweden, said in a statement: "We have a lot of really devoted franchisees who contribute to our sustainability work, and it feels good that we can use our size to amplify such a great idea as beehives on the rooftops."
Regions boosted as more families leave Auckland 8th June 2019
A new report has found that almost 33,000 people left Auckland for other parts of New Zealand over the four years to June 2017, with housing affordability and traffic being among the key reasons. The average Aucklander apparently spends around 450 hours per year in a car, either as driver or passenger - three times as much as the next highest area (Christchurch). While the exodus from Auckland is offset by immigration and a positive inflow of New Zealanders in the 20-24 age group, there are high outflows of people in their late 20s and 30s - the peak working years for many people. Read the full report.
The trend is reflected in the growing interest of many franchise buyers in regional opportunities. As this article revealed, many of New Zealand's most profitable franchises are based in the regions rather than the big cities, and recent winners of the Westpac Supreme Franchisee of the Year title have come from the provinces.
More than 30,000 Aucklanders left the super city for other parts of the country in recent years in search of cheaper housing, an economist says.
Benje Patterson's report found that between June 2013 and June 2017 nearly a net 33,000 Aucklanders moved to other regions, a trend expected to continue due to the city's housing affordability issues.
"The allure of selling an Auckland home to free up equity for a cheaper house in the regions is proving too difficult to resist for many people," Patterson said in his report?
Northland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty attracted two thirds of the "exodus", he said.
Westpac predicts NZ economy to pick up growth 21st May 2019
22 May 2019 – The latest Quarterly Economic Overview from Westpac predicts more stability in the global economy and the NZ economy to exceed 3 percent GDP growth. What will this mean for franchising?
Entries open for 2019 Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards 6th May 2019
May 2019 - Franchisors, franchisees and master franchisees are encouraged to enter the 25th Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards
Franchise prospects looking up as CGT canned 28th April 2019
April 2019 - The news that the Government has shelved plans for a Capital Gains Tax for the foreseeable future has been welcomed by many in the franchise sector.
MBIE reminder on personal liability for employment law breaches 28th April 2019
29 April 2019 – The Labour Inspectorate has reminded individuals, including business directors, senior managers and legal or business advisors, that they can be held personally responsible even if they are unofficially connected to a business that breaches minimum employment standards.
Business still nervous despite balanced economy 11th April 2019
11 April 2019 – The franchise sector remains nervous about the current business outlook, though more positive than general business
Calls for social media responsibility gain traction 1st April 2019
April 2019 - Franchises are facing an interesting decision over social media advertising as New Zealand seeks to apply pressure on companies such as Facebook by withdrawing advertising pending the development of better content controls following the Christchurch shootings. The latest move sees the UK Superannuation Fund calling on more Government funds worldwide to join the campaign.
How should franchisors respond, especially if the movement starts to attract followers at customer level? Social media advertising can be a vital part of many promotions and it's a tough call for franchisees effectively to be penalised by the suspension of campaigns, even for the best of reasons. However, it's a discussion many will have to have if the social media giants refuse to engage and respond to calls for better safeguards.
Here at Franchise New Zealand, we have suspended our own paid advertising on Facebook. We are not big advertisers on Facebook and recognise that this will have very little effect upon that company, nor will it affect our own advertisers, but we support the campaign. We continue to post free information about franchising in New Zealand on our website and social media pages for the benefit of our readers, and are continuing with Google advertising. We will continue to review our position as the campaign progresses.
Another 18 institutional investors, including a huge British pension fund, have joined a Kiwi-led push to pressure social media companies to strengthen content controls in the wake of the Christchurch shootings.
The NZ Superannuation Fund said 23 investors with assets of more than $800 billion now hoped to convince Facebook, Google and Twitter to take extra steps to prevent the live streaming and distribution of objectionable content "such as the shootings that took place in Christchurch".
Three British pension funds have signed up; the Church of England Pensions Board, Britain's Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) and Merseyside Pension Fund.
But more could be added as soon as NZ Super fund chief executive Matt Whineray jets to London later this week to the 2019 Global West Government Funds Roundtable to call on more government funds to join the push.
2019 Conference - Together Towards Tomorrow 27th March 2019
Together Towards Tomorrow is the theme of this year’s National Franchise Conference, and it’s attracted a great line-up of speakers. The deadline for Earlybird bookings has just been extended to 8 April.
How would capital gains tax affect the franchise sector? 21st March 2019
25 February 2019 – With a proposed capital gains tax the major talking point at the moment, Philip Morrison of Franchise Accountants looks at possible implications for franchisors and franchisees
Practical workshop: Franchise Financial Essentials 18th March 2019
Education - who trains the trainers? 18th March 2019
March 2019 - If franchisors want to help franchisees build better businesses, they need to invest in themselves
Report recommends more changes for Australian franchising 18th March 2019
16 March 2019 – The final report from Australia’s Parliamentary Inquiry into the franchise sector there makes sweeping recommendations but the time-frame for any changes is uncertain. Jason Gehrke summarises the report; additional reporting from New Zealand by Simon Lord
Migrant workers allegedly exploited by Bottle-O franchisee 6th March 2019
The Migrant Workers Association has gone to RNZ with claims that a franchisee of the Australian Bottle-O chain has underpaid workers in his Auckland and South Island stores. The Labour Inspectorate is investigating, having previously issued an Enforceable Undertaking to the owner for failings in employment agreements, record keeping, and provision of holiday and leave entitlements.
Franchisors take such failings very seriously, as they are a breach of franchise agreements which require franchisees to comply with New Zealand employment law obligations. In many cases, the franchisor terminates the franchise agreement, leaving the franchisee with no business as in this case.
The Franchise Association has been working pro-actively with the Labour Inspectorate and specialists in the employment area to help franchisors make franchisees better aware of their obligations.
Three migrant workers claim Bottle-O franchise owner Ravinder Arora has underpaid them by tens of thousands of dollars, and even asked them to repay him money, the Migrant Workers Association says.
The association said in one case a worker at the stores based in Auckland and the South Island worked 84 hours in a week but was only paid for 32 hours, meaning their actual pay was only $7 an hour, half the legal minimum wage of the time.
In another case Mr Arora paid the workers correctly and according to their pay slips, but would then demand the employees refund him thousands of dollars in cash, again leaving their pay packet light and below the minimum wage.
The Labour Inspectorate has confirmed it is "currently progressing proactive investigations in Mr Arora's Nikhil Himalaya Companies".
RNZ has made repeated attempts to contact Ravinder Arora - he hung up on our producer after telling her to contact his lawyer, but refused to provide details for them.
Employees at two of his Auckland businesses today said he was not on site, but that they were paid fairly and above the minimum wage.
Burger King NZ up for sale 3rd March 2019
The whole of the Burger King New Zealand franchise is up for sale, following a decision by American private equity firm Blackstone to sell the company. Blackstone paid close to $108m in 2011 for the franchise, which makes an estimated $20 million per year according to the Australian Financial Review. The company does not sub-franchise, with 83 of the 85 Burger King restaurants in New Zealand being operated by the Blackstone-owned Antares Restaurant Group.
Blackstone was rumoured to be receiving offers for Burger King in 2016, but held on to the business at that time.
A spokesperson for Craigs Investment Partners confirmed it has been mandated to sell the business on behalf of Blackstone. Deutsche Craigs has been hired to run an auction for the fast food business.
The last few years have been turbulent for Burger King, which has faced scrutiny for its treatment of staff and questionable working conditions.
No critical safety risks found at Dunedin Pizza Hut 27th February 2019
A Dunedin Pizza Hut franchise which was under fire after allegations by former workers has been found to have no critical food safety risks after an investigation by the Ministry of Primary Industries. The franchisee has denied the claims, which were backed up by photographs allegedly taken in his stores. Restaurant Brands, which is the master franchisor for Pizza Hut in New Zealand, said, 'Our Quality Assurance team is continuing to work with the franchise team and MPI on any follow up.' NZ-listed Restaurant Brands is currently the subject of an $881 million bid from Mexican company Finaccess Capital.
Hayley Bevin, 26, quit her job of seven years at Pizza Hut in Dunedin about three weeks ago after what she describes as a series of ''disgusting'' actions by the franchise owner.
Dunedin has two Pizza Hut stores, one in Hillside Rd, South Dunedin, and another in Great King St, North Dunedin.
Naveen Malhotra took over the two franchises of the chain about three months ago, and the hygiene and staff treatment ''kept getting worse'' after that, Bevin said.
He extended best-before dates on food, including chicken and seafood, she said.
The workers were told to use ''disgusting, crusty'' expired dough.
He also refused to fix a mixer which was leaking oil into dough, she said.
The last straw came when expired brownies which she had thrown in the skip were put back in rotation, she said. ''I came back on Monday and they were in the chiller. I knew it was the same packet, because I took a photo of it before I left.''
Restaurant Brands said it was aware of the issues and was working through them as a ''matter of urgency'', and the Ministry for Primary Industries is investigating.
The franchise owner has denied the claims.
How couple with no experience built a world-class business 24th February 2019
February 2019 - From learner to leader: we look at how franchising can help someone with no experience in an industry develop a world-class business
Economy is 'extraordinarily ordinary', says Westpac 19th February 2019
20 February 2019 – The latest Westpac Economic Overview, published today, says that the economy is unusually average at the moment. Where will it go from here?
Business as usual after fire guts franchisees' building 1st February 2019
1 February 2019 – Sometimes, it’s the unexpected things that pay off when you buy a franchise
Franchising starts 2019 with hint of optimism 31st January 2019
1 February 2019 – Business confidence seems to be creeping back after several quarters of pessimism, and franchising is no exception. The latest Franchising Confidence Index shows improvement in sentiment over the previous quarter towards general business conditions, access to suitable franchisees, operating costs per franchisee and franchisor growth prospects. There are still challenges, but opportunities too.
Employment law changes - does your franchise comply? 28th January 2019
January 2019 - The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 introduced a number of employment law changes that aim to improve fairness in the workplace and deliver decent work conditions and fair wages. The first changes came into effect in December 2018; the remainder will become effective in May 2019. Is your franchise prepared?
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