In The News

Hell Pizza formally warned over fake meat 1st October 2019

2 October 2019 – The Commerce Commission has warned Hell Pizza that its advertising of the “Burger Pizza” was, in the Commission’s view, likely to have breached the Fair Trading Act 1986.

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Exporting Kiwi Know-How 30th September 2019

Mina Phillips and Simon Lord look at how two New Zealand franchises are expanding overseas.

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Franchise agreements could be affected by new business protections – lawyers 26th September 2019

26 September 2019 – Andrew Skinner and Khushbu Sundarji of Stewart Germann Law Office discuss the potential impact on franchising of proposed changes to the Fair Trading Act

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Legal protections to affect small businesses – and franchising? 24th September 2019

24 September 2019 – Proposed changes to the Fair Trading Act would extend current consumer protections against unfair contract terms to apply to business contracts with a value below $250,000

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More on product stewardship 20th September 2019

20 September 2019 - Our recent article about the possible impact of new rubbish regulation on food and retail franchises mentioned the concept of product stewardship. Here's a plain English guide to how it works from wasteMINZ, the Waste Management Institute of New Zealand.


Email invoice scam on the rise 20th September 2019

MBIE is warning of a sophisticated fake invoice scam  attacking small businesses. Emails from an attacker pretending to be a recognised supplier contain fake invoices and attempt to trick the business into paying the invoiced amount into the attacker’s account. The invoices look legitimate because the attackers have previously attacked an employee’s email account. In organisations such as franchises, where many people may share similar email addresses or platforms, one weak password can leave you vulnerable. CERT NZ recommends four measures to help keep franchisors and franchisees safe.


New law 'cannon aiming at mosquito' 20th September 2019

20 September 2019 - California's AB5 law, which could see franchisees classified as employees, has been called a 'cannon aiming at a mosquito' by the International Franchise Association. The law, which is designed to protect workers in the gig economy such as Uber and food delivery service drivers, but could affect the franchise business model as collateral damage. The IFA has asked for franchisees to be exempt from the law, which comes into force on 1 January 2020. Uber and food delivery companies Lyft and Doordash say they have pledged $90 million on a ballot initiative next year that would exempt them from AB-5.

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

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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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Liquor franchisee's employment breaches raise questions 17th June 2019

18 June 2019 – Liquor store franchisee fined after failing to address employment issues

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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?

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.


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