In The News

Why are visa changes costing franchisee employers more? 27th June 2022

June 2022 – Franchisees have been singled out for special treatment under the new Accredited Employer Work Visa scheme. Simon Lord looks at what lies behind the decision

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Wendy’s New Zealand up for sale 22nd June 2022

23 June 2022 – The New Zealand arm of the well-known Wendy’s hamburger chain is on the market, including all 22 company-owned stores

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Face-to-face franchise event in Wellington 21st June 2022


Avoid being scammed – good advice 16th June 2022

16 June 2022 – New Zealand banks have joined forces with CERT NZ, Consumer Protection, and Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to warn Kiwis of new threats from scammers. The following information has been provided by MBIE

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Franchise Conference 2022 19th May 2022

Future focus backed by impressive line-up as New Zealand's national franchise conference shifts to August

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McDonald's to exit Russia after 30 years 16th May 2022

McDonald's has said it will permanently leave Russia after more than 30 years and has started to sell its 850 mostly company-owned restaurants there. Last year, Russia and Ukraine reportedly accounted for about 9% of McDonald's global sales. The company says it's the first time the company has ever exited a major market, but it was losing US$55 ($87m) million each month after closing its Russian restaurants in March.


2022 Franchise Awards open for entry 13th May 2022

May 2022 – Only a couple of months since the 2021 winners were announced, the 2022 Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards are open for entry. The new simplified entry process has proved popular, and there’s also a new category

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Extra requirements for franchisees as employers under new visa category 5th May 2022

5 May 2022 – Franchisees have been singled out for tougher treatment than other employers in a new visa category. Learn more in a free webinar on 30 May

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Hollywood actor's burger chain to open in Auckland 3rd May 2022

3 May 2022 - Wahlburgers, the US burger chain founded by actor Mark Wahlberg and his brothers, is to open in Auckland later this year. It's one of five outlets the company plans for New Zealand, but with the brand being operated here by Australia's United Cinemas, it will not be franchised. The Auckland store will be located at the former Euro restaurant site on Princes Wharf, which industry commentators have described as a 'challenging' location although a high profile one as international tourists return. A previous star-themed restaurant, Planet Hollywood, was a key tenant at the former Sky City Metro on Aotea Square before closing in 2003 after just four years.


Reality check - why buy a new franchise? 3rd May 2022

3 May 2022 - Should new business owners follow a broker's advice to buy an established business rather than start up a business from scratch? Not necessarily, suggests Simon Lord

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McDonalds spends half a billion dollars on NZ ingredients 19th April 2022

17 April 2022 – McDonald's spent a record amount on ingredients from Kiwi farmers, growers and bakers last year, with the majority being exported to McDonald's operations in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa

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NZ pizza franchise to open in Australia 19th April 2022

17 April 2022 – New Zealand’s Hell Pizza franchise is ready to cross the ditch and open in Australia

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Almost 40% of Kiwi small businesses using personal savings to support operations 12th April 2022

11 April 2022 –  Latest findings from a survey commissioned by Prospa reveal that, when a business needs money, 38 percent of business owners will dip into their personal savings

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New partner for franchise law specialists 1st April 2022

1 April 2022 – Khushbu Sundarji has become a partner at Stewart Germann Law Office

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Overnight success - 30 years of franchise service 31st March 2022

March 2022 – Franchise New Zealand celebrates 30 years by winning the prestigious Service Provider of the Year Award

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Uni mates' initiative builds award-winning franchise 19th March 2022

The Otago Daily Times has proudly covered the story of two friends who met at the University of Otago in the 1980s and went on to build what is possibly New Zealand's largest franchise - CrestClean. The company has just been named Supreme Franchise System of the Year in the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards.  Read the ODT story here and see our full coverage of all the winners here.


NZ Franchise Awards 2021 Results: HONOURS EVEN 8th March 2022

6 March 2022 ­– Friendly rivals from the same industry won the two biggest titles at the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards tonight. There were a massive 75 finalists this year - here’s our full report with all the winners in every category


The Franchise Coach consultancy changes hands 8th March 2022

9 March 2022 - Long-established consultancy business "The Franchise Coach" has been bought by Stewart Germann, the specialist franchise lawyer. The move will see an additional level of professional services offered to emerging and established franchisors in New Zealand, and incoming franchise brands from overseas

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McDonald's Russia closes stores; Ukraine franchises donate food 8th March 2022

9 March 2022 - After yesterday's report that pressure was growing on global franchises to close stores in Russia, McDonald's has announced that it will close its 850 mostly company-owned stores there. The company said said the halt was a response to the 'needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine'. Meanwhile,  McDonald’s Ukraine is reportedly providing food from restaurants for the needs of Ukrainians during martial law, and KFC has opened kitchens for cooking to hospitals, military and territorial defence. A McDonald's Ukraine statement said, 'Our restaurants are closed for safety reasons, however, those located in the areas that are currently safe (as far as it’s possible) for our employees provide food to local communities. Local authorities take the products and distribute them where they are most needed.'


Global franchises face pressure over Russia 8th March 2022

8 March 2022 - A BBC report suggests that pressure is growing on Western food and drink giants to pull out of Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine. McDonald's and Coca-Cola, among others, have been criticised on social media for failing to speak out about the attacks and continuing to operate in the country. Apart from boycott calls on social media, both McDonald's and Pepsi have also been singled out by the boss of New York state's pension fund. Where franchises are locally-owned, either under individual or master franchise agreements, it's a complicated issue - for example, the majority of Starbucks sites in Russia are run by the Kuwait-based Alshaya Group - but McDonald's, which has 847 stores in Russia, owns the majority of them itself.


NZ's franchise sector worth almost $37 billion - and growing 7th March 2022

8 March 2022 - The New Zealand Herald has published a summary of last November's Survey of Franchising with comment from specialist franchise lawyer Stewart Germann. The article states that, 'New Zealand is the most franchised country in the world per capita, outside the United States, according to Franchise New Zealand.' Actually, that statistic does include the United States, which is believed to have around three times as many people per franchised unit as New Zealand (directly comparable statistics are not available). New Zealand has one unit per 154 Kiwis.

The NZ Herald article is behind a paywall; read our full report on the 2021 survey here.


Awards coverage on RNZ - Ben Coates interviewed 7th March 2022

7 March 2022 - RNZ's Nathan Rarere interviews Ben Coates from Moerewa, who won the Small Business Franchisee of the Year title at the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards last night. See our full coverage of the results.


Restaurant Brands breaks $1 billion barrier despite Covid 28th February 2022

Restaurant Brands’ total sales for the year ended 31 December 2021 were $1,068.2 million, an increase of $175.9 million (19.7 percent) from 2020. This is the first time the listed company, which owns the master licences for Pizza Hut, KFC, Carl’s Jr. and Taco Bell stores in New Zealand, has passed the $1 billion mark.

Approximately $100 million of the increase arose from an additional eight months trading this year from the acquisition of 69 KFC and Taco Bell stores in California from an existing franchisee. The company also has operations in Australia and Hawaii.

Full year sales for New Zealand were $461.1 million, an increase of 12.4 percent, primarily from strong same store sales growth of 9.1 percent. The company estimates that the Government-mandated full store closures resulted in lost sales of $26 million in 2021 and $40 million in 2020.

Fourth quarter total sales for New Zealand were $126.2 million, an increase of 5.3 percent on the equivalent period last year, with Carl’s Jr. and Pizza Hut performing ‘very strongly’.

Store numbers increased by four during the quarter to 137, with the opening of three new Taco Bell stores and a new KFC store. In addition two Carl’s Jr. stores were converted to a KFC and a Taco Bell. Same store sales were strong despite the adverse impact of the continued Covid crisis.

Read more at https://www.restaurantbrand...

Government changes date eligibility criteria for new support 25th February 2022

25 February 2021 - It quickly became apparent after the announcement of the government’s Covid Support Payment that the date comparator period would mean that many operators would be ineligible to access the support. Following lobbying by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, the criteria have now been changed to allow comparison with either early 2022 or the same period last year. See the full announcement at 


The outlook for franchising in 2022 23rd February 2022

23 February 2022 – Westpac’s latest quarterly Economic Overview looks at what lies ahead as New Zealand faces Omicron, and the Franchising Confidence Index finds franchisors looking for opportunities in a gloomy start to the year

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Kiwi cafe franchise sold 10th February 2022

Suntory Beverage and Food Ltd has announced it is to sell its fresh coffee business in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore to UCC Coffee. This includes New Zealand’s oldest café franchise, Robert Harris. 

UCC are a leading global coffee business, and have built hugely successful brands and blends across Asia, Europe and the Americas. With no other operations in Australia and New Zealand, they see the acquisition as a highly complementary opportunity to create a truly global leader in the coffee industry.

The sale is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022, (subject to regulatory approvals). Suntory say that, in the meantime, it remains business as usual for suppliers and partners with no change to day-to-day operations.

Robert Harris was born in 1897 in Sydney but lived most of his life in Hamilton. He ran a hairdressers and tobacconist’s shop before starting a delicatessen, and began selling coffee in a small way in 1952. He soon became fascinated by the coffee business and eventually devoted his life to building what became New Zealand’s first chain of cafés. Robert Harris died in 1974, and there are now 34 franchised cafés bearing his name around the country.


New owners for food franchise 9th February 2022

10 February 2022 – Asia-based investment company PAG Asia Capital has sold The Cheesecake Shop to Melbourne's River Capital, a boutique asset manager. The Cheesecake Shop operates more than 220 franchised stores across Australia and New Zealand.

PAG bought TCS in 2017 and also owns the Red Rooster, Oporto and Chicken Treat brands.

River Capital has a history of investing in franchise concepts: it was previously a significant shareholder in Brumby’s before it was sold to Retail Food Group, and has had investments in Domino’s and KFC.


Franchise Awards move online 1st February 2022

1 February 2022 - The Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards will take place as an online-only event on 6 March. 

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No jabs franchisee loses business 27th January 2022

27 January 2022 – A franchisee which advertised for unvaccinated staff despite the mandatory requirement for hospitality staff to be vaccinated has left the business after being fined $24,000 for breaching the mandate. The franchisor reportedly gave them 10 days to comply or leave

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2021 Franchising Survey – RESULTS 7th December 2021

Highlights from Massey University's latest franchise survey in New Zealand show the resilience of franchising in difficult times

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Hospo franchisee's no jab jobs ad withdrawn 30th November 2021

1 December 2021 - A hospitality franchisee who invited unvaccinated workers to apply for bar and restaurant roles on a "No Jab Jobs" website has had the ad removed. Lone Star New Lynn posted the advertisement on the site four days ago with a note saying the business "will not be discriminating either whilst employing or serving our guests." The job ad appears to contravene the vaccine mandate for close contact workers in the hospitality industry.

Paul Steiner, operations manager for the Lone Star franchise, told the New Zealand Herald, "All franchisees are required by the terms of their franchise arrangements to comply with all relevant laws, legislation, and government requirements, including health requirements."

The mandatory vaccination requirements have generally been welcomed by franchisors, although there have been concerns about the challenges that enforcing the vaccine pass will present to franchisees. 

See here for guidelines for the food and drink industry under the traffic light system.


Traffic Light system - guidance for businesses 25th November 2021

26 November 2021 - Guidance for businesses on the general rules for operating under the COVID-19 Protection Framework (also known as the traffic light system) is now live on This explains what the system means for businesses, with detailed guidance for certain categories at the various levels. Click on each category for a direct link to the relevant information:

Accommodation services;
Close contact services (eg. hairdressers and beauty salons);
Entertainment, recreation and exercise (eg. gyms);
Events (including private events);
Food and drink services (eg. bars, cafes, restaurants, takeaways);
Manufacturing, supply or processing of goods and packaging;
Primary industries;
Public facilities;
Services (eg. home cleaning);
Transport, freight and logistics.

The COVID-19 Protection Framework will start operating from 11.59pm on 2 December 2021. Until then, businesses should continue to follow the Alert Level rules.


Hair franchisees ready to reopen 22nd November 2021

23 November 2021 - Just Cuts franchisees are prepared for re-opening thanks to proven app from the franchisor

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Tauranga event for franchisees, franchisors 14th November 2021

November 2021 - The Franchise Association is holding a Bay of Plenty event in  Tauranga on Thursday 25 November to help Bay of Plenty franchisors and franchisees learn what’s happening in the wider world of franchising. There's also a panel session on what generates value in a franchise, and how are recent disruptions affecting the dynamics of buying a franchise?

Both members and non-members of FANZ are welcome at this no-charge event. See more details.

Read more at https://events.franchiseass...

Christmas cups are back for KidsCan 12th November 2021

November 2021 – Continuing an annual tradition, KidsCan and The Coffee Club have announced the young winners of their Christmas Cup Artwork Competition

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Sad loss of leading franchisor 8th November 2021

8 November 2021 – New Zealand franchising has lost one of its most highly-regarded leaders with the sudden death of Campbell McMahon, CEO of Super Liquor

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Auckland exodus to boost regional business 6th November 2021

7 November 2021 – Nearly half of all Aucklanders are considering leaving the city, a survey has found

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New rules on rent relief – 5 key aspects for franchisees 2nd November 2021

3 November 2021 – A new Bill has seen commercial lease abatements implied into leases as a way of requiring landlords and tenants to agree fair rent relief during periods affected by Alert level restrictions. Paul Turner of Goodwin Turner Commercial Lawyers outlines the changes and comments on 5 key aspects and what they could mean for affected franchisees

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Australian Franchise Awards winners 2021 1st November 2021

2 November 2021 ­– Australia names top franchisors, franchisees in 2021 Awards

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Franchisors comment on mandatory vaccination 29th October 2021

29 October 2021 – The recent announcement of mandatory vaccination requirements for certain sectors, including hospitality, hairdressers and gyms, presents new challenges for franchisors and franchisees. How will they cope?

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