In The News

Video helps Kiwis learn how to buy a franchise 25th January 2018

24 January 2017 – A new YouTube video is aimed at New Zealanders uncertain about the process of buying a franchise

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Caci opens first new franchise for 2018 17th January 2018


Belgian company to buy Laser franchises 12th January 2018

Belgium-based multinational vehicle glass repair business Belron has agreed to buy Australiasia's largest plumbing and electrical services franchise, Laser Group, for an undisclosed sum. Laser was founded in West Auckland by fellow electricians David Clemmett and Pete Bassett and started franchising in 1999, mostly by signing up existing electrical businesses. The company twice won the Westpac Supreme Franchise System of the Year title, in 2005 and 2006, and further expanded by developing Laser Plumbing on a similar platform. The company started franchising in Australia in 2004 and now has 239 franchisees across both countries. Pete Bassett died tragically in 2010.

Belron already owns the Smith&Smith glass business in New Zealand.

The international vehicle glass repair and replacement group, which is part of Belgium-listed D'Leteren, said it had made the acquisition through its subsidiaries O'Brien in Australia and Smith&Smith in New Zealand. The deal is subject to finalisation of a due diligence book checking exercise.

Laser Group, through its members, provides plumbing and electrical services to both business-to-customer and business-to-business customers throughout Australia and New Zealand.


Mad Butcher returns to Leitch family 20th December 2017

Veritas Investments is to sell its Mad Butcher franchisor business to chief executive and former owner Michael Morton and his partner Julie Leitch - daughter of company founder Sir Peter Leitch - for $8 million. This is less than a quarter of what Mr Morton sold it to Veritas for in a reverse listing in 2013, when Veritas paid $40 million for the business - $20 million in cash and $20 million in Veritas shares. Since then, a number of stores have closed or been taken over by the company after experiencing difficult trading conditions and stiff competition from supermarkets. The sale is subject to the approval of Veritas shareholders, which will be sought at a special shareholders' meeting to be held in early 2018.

Veritas hired Bancorp Corporate Finance to manage a sale process for the meat franchisor business and attracted three bids. Morton declared his interest in October and was excluded from board discussions on the sale.

'The independent directors fully support the proposed Mad Butcher sale transaction and recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the resolution to be put to them for the proposed Mad Butcher sale transaction at the special shareholders meeting,' chair Tim Cook said.

Read the Veritas statement


Semi-retired couple are NZ's top franchisees 19th December 2017

New Zealand’s top franchisees of 2017 are a semi-retired couple who believe in working smarter, not harder. They also prove that some of the best opportunities in business lie outside the big cities

New Zealand’s top franchisees are a semi-retired couple who believe in working smarter, not harder. They also prove that some of the best opportunities in business lie outside the big cities.


Listed Australian franchise under fire 19th December 2017

19 December 2017 - A series of articles overseas has accused one of Australia’s largest franchisors of causing multiple franchisee failures through increased charges and a challenged business model.

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Follow the law on alternative holidays, says Labour Inspectorate 19th December 2017

19 December 2017 – Payroll calculations are continuing to catch companies out, and franchisees could be vulnerable

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New technology allows deliveries at the drop of a pin 13th December 2017

Domino’s Anywhere is a maps-based pin drop feature for mobile customers wanting picnic blanket pizza deliveries

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2017 survey confirms NZ is the most franchised country in the world 7th December 2017

New Zealand has one franchised unit for every 124 people. That’s just one of many surprising statistics from the Franchising New Zealand Survey 2017. Next survey results are due out in 2020.

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March visit from US franchisors 29th November 2017


New chapter for NZ as economic policies become clearer 22nd November 2017

22 November 2017 – What impact will new government policies have on the economy, and what will this mean for franchising?

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Franchise Awards 2017 RESULTS <br>- CABIN FEVER 12th November 2017

11 November 2017 – There were double celebrations for Just Cabins after the extra room specialists took out both Supreme titles at the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards. The other big winners this year were franchisees from the regions.

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New Life Members recognised 11th November 2017

11 November 2017 – The Franchise Association has awarded Life Memberships to three people who have made considerable contributions to the growth of franchising in New Zealand

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Children win thousands for their schools in Christmas competition 3rd November 2017


NZ Franchise Awards - who will win this year? 2nd November 2017

We look back at some of the winners and how the Awards have helped New Zealand become the most franchised country in the world

The Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards take place next week, and everyone is keen to know who will be setting the standards this year. We look back at some of the past winners and how the Awards have helped New Zealand become the most franchised country in the world

While some franchise awards internationally seem to be based upon reputation rather than systems and results (even today, some countries call for entries a scant two weeks before the winners are announced rather than three months as is normal here), the movers behind the initial New Zealand Franchise Awards were keen to ensure that the New Zealand Awards had real relevance to franchisors and franchise buyers.

After establishing the concept, in 1997 the judging process was further developed using a new system based upon the Malcolm Baldrige international quality criteria and with the assistance of one of the few New Zealanders to have won such an award. The criteria measure entrants across six key areas: Leadership & Planning; Customers & Market Focus; Information & Analysis; People; Processes; Results. The Awards were further developed ten years later with the appointment of the Business Excellence Foundation to manage the Awards process - a link that continues to this day.


Handling the media - free seminar for franchisors 2nd November 2017

2 November 2017 - Media expert Pete Burdon is presenting a full-day seminar in Auckland next week to show franchisors how to handle potential media threats and create positive media attention

‘The media can be your friend or your foe,’ says Pete Burdon. ‘If you are prepared, they can be your friend, even during a time where reputations are threatened. And let’s face it, that threat could be just around the corner.’

Pete is a former journalist and government press secretary, which puts him in the unique position of having worked on both sides of the news media fence. His sessions at the National Franchise Conference in 2017 were highly rated by delegates and opened the eyes of many to the value of media training. This seminar will go into the topic in far more detail - read more.


NZ franchisor to pay nearly $200,000 for employment breaches 1st November 2017

1 November 2017 – Employment breaches in a series of connected Asian restaurants in Auckland, including the Gengy’s Mongolian BBQ Buffet franchise, have seen the owners face nearly $200,000 of costs.

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Tax cuts for small business to offset wage increases? 31st October 2017

31 October 2017 - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is looking at offering tax breaks for small businesses to ease the burden of incremental increases to the minimum wage rate over the next three years.

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Australian Franchise Awards <br>– 2017 Results 29th October 2017

11 October 2017 – Two names familiar to New Zealanders took out the top titles at this year’s MYOB FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards

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Franchisors cautious before government policies clarified 27th October 2017

Updated 27 October 2017 - Pre-election uncertainties caused a slow-down in business confidence which extended into the post-election period. How will the announcement of a Labour-led government affect that?

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Auckland franchisees repay $125,000 in missing wages 26th October 2017

26 October – The Franchise Association and the Labour Inspectorate are urging franchises to check their systems after faulty payroll practices caused some Caltex franchisees to underpay hundreds of staff

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RFG takes back control of Gloria Jean's NZ 19th October 2017

Retail Food Group has taken back control of Gloria Jean's Coffee in New Zealand after master franchisee Boost Group was put into liquidation by shareholder Eric Chase. Mr Chase has alleged 'numerous discrepancies' in the way the finances of the company had been represented by a previous owner, a company with links to politician and former Auckland mayor John Banks.

There are some 12 Gloria Jean's cafes in New Zealand, which had operated under the umbrella of Auckland-based Boost Group. In September, Boost was put into receivership by GJ New Zealand Holdings, which had provided vendor finance to Boost when it sold it the NZ master franchise. Boost was subsequently put into liquidation by shareholder Eric Chase, Companies Office records show.

Retail Food Group (RFG) "owns the global rights to Gloria Jean's so we still own and operate the brand even if Boost is in liquidation," a company spokeswoman said. "All our partnerships are working as usual" and RFG is currently seeking a new master franchise owner. The Gold Coast-based company has hired someone to run day-to-day operations in New Zealand, she said.


Veritas fined for non-disclosure of Nosh plan 19th October 2017

Veritas Investments has been publicly censured and fined $55,000 plus costs by the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal for failing to immediately disclose to the market that it had agreed to sell or close its Nosh business as a condition of continued support from its bank.

NZX said Veritas has accepted its view that it breached disclosure rules by failing to immediately disclose material information to the market. The regulator said it took into account that Veritas had taken legal advice and considered its obligations under the continuous disclosure rules before electing to withhold the undertakings.

"The tribunal notes that while obtaining and relying on legal advice may be a factor in mitigating the penalty, ultimately it is a matter for boards to exercise their own commercial judgement based on their knowledge of the issuer and its business to determine whether information is material information and whether disclosure is required," it said in a statement.

Veritas is still under pressure from the bank to restore its finances.


McD's tests McVegan burger in Finland 19th October 2017

As meat-eating continues to attract media attention (including the cover story in the latest Listener magazine) owing to health and environmental concerns, McDonald's is testing out a vegan version of its Quarterpoiunder in Finland. There are vegan fries, too.

McDonald’s is now offering a “McVegan” burger for a limited time. Although this is a step in the right direction, the burger is only available at the Tampere, Finland store until November 21. 

But this is likely a test by the fast food chain and if the menu item performs well, we may see the vegan-friendly option available at several McDonald’s stores across the world.

The “McVegan” is similar to the McDonald’s staple the Quarter Pounder. The cheese-less burger comes with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. 

But the burger isn’t the only vegan offering being served. This McDonald’s location is serving a vegan version of its beloved fries. The vegan fries will continue to be served after the “McVegan” LTO.

According to the “Top Trends in Prepared Foods in 2017” report by GlobalData, veganism is one of the six key trends outlined. Going meat-free was identified as the No. 1 trend.


Australian Franchise Awards – 2017 Results 11th October 2017

11 October 2017 – Two names familiar to New Zealanders took out the top titles at this year’s MYOB FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards

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The Coffee Club finds new home for happy franchisee 10th October 2017

10 October 2017 – Waikato drivers can look forward to a high quality break after an expired lease meant a new opportunity for franchisee Richard Sun

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Top 200 franchises bounce back 5th October 2017

5th October 2017 – After a sales decline last year, global franchises are on the rise again, says a US publication. Who's growing and who's struggling?

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Columbus Coffee celebrating Red Nose Day for charity today 29th September 2017

It's Red Nose Day today! Head into your local Columbus Coffee to help celebrate and make your donation to Cure Kids or pick up a Red Nose, wristband or pin. To find out more about Cure Kids and the wonderful work they do, visit

Since Cure Kids was established by Rotary in 1971 as the Child Health Research Foundation, we have helped save and improve the lives of thousands of kids both here in New Zealand and around the world.

We have invested almost $40 million in research which has helped shape and change the way children who live with serious diseases and health conditions are diagnosed and treated.

The breadth of the work we support is wide; just some of the projects we have funded,or are currently funding, include childhood cancers, inherited heart conditions, cystic fibrosis, sudden unexpected death in infants (SUDI), stillbirth, burns, and child and adolescent mental health, among many others.

Cure Kids are the largest funder of child health research outside the government, and we are supporting the best science possible to make a difference to the health and well-being of children in New Zealand.

Support from every day New Zealanders makes this important work possible, and every year we are humbled by the generosity of Kiwis up and down the country who dig deep and donate to Cure Kids.

We are proud to be a fundamental part of improving and saving the lives of New Zealand children and, with your support, we will continue to give today’s and tomorrow’s children the best chance of enjoying a healthy childhood.

Donate for Red Nose Day


Bullet-proof your franchise from media threats - seminar 28th September 2017


One man and his dog celebrate Fastway's first Courier Day 27th September 2017


KFC launches table service for urban areas 27th September 2017

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KFC has launched a ‘linger longer’ table service restaurant in central Auckland, with plans to open more in other urban areas.

Following a successful testing period, the Fort St location was specifically chosen to house KFC's first table serviced restaurant.

'The area that the [new] store is in has a lot of residential and commercial activity so people would like to be able to come in, sit down and have a quick meal.

'Having customers stand around, waiting for an order to then be able to take it and sit down is not ideal, and so table service became an important part of the solution to improve the experience.'

[Restaurant Brands CEO] Creedy says customers no longer just want food fast - they want an experience.

'Some people would prefer to have a discussion or a lunch meeting maybe and we have tried to offer them a variety of options; fast or linger a bit longer.'


Survey review: new franchises require care 25th September 2017

A large number of new franchises have launched on to the New Zealand market over the last five years. Simon Lord suggests some things to watch out for

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Late payments rise for second consecutive quarter 19th September 2017


Fair Work Changes Pass In Australia 18th September 2017


Domino’s raises dough for Youthline 18th September 2017


Learn from NZ's top franchisors - Podcast & Video 1st September 2017

August 2017 – An experienced panel of New Zealand franchisors explored the 2017 National Franchise Conference theme of innovation, integration and resilience in business, sharing some vivid examples from their own experiences

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Mad Butcher owner faces problems after bank withdraws support 29th August 2017

29 August 2017 - The future of publicly-listed Veritas Investments, the owner of the Mad Butcher franchise, is unclear after the company's bank pulled its support for the company. Veritas is looking at a possible sale or merger of its business.

We've posted a couple of articles on private equity and listed company ownership of franchises recently. Read Dr Callum Floyd's discussion of the pros and cons of private equity and listed company ownership for franchisors and franchisees, while Simon Lord questions how well financiers understand franchising here.

Veritas Investments, the NZX-listed owner of the Mad Butcher and Better Bar Company franchises, said ANZ would withdraw its banking facilities when they fell due in October and November.

This created "material uncertainty" for the company, which earlier this year sold the troubled gourmet supermarket brand Nosh, and its ability to continue.

The directors of the company were confident a solution could be found.

"The directors acknowledge that if the group is unable to obtain alternative sources of funding, within the required timeframe to enable the repayment of the bank debt, or receive an extension of timing of debt repayments to the bank to enable the group to execute any of the above options, then the going concern assumption would not be appropriate."

"Whilst material uncertainties exist, the directors consider that there is a reasonable expectation that the above options can be executed and that the ANZ will support the group through this process."

Read more from the Stuff report.

There's also some interesting analysis and comments from the NBR and its readers.


One in 20 Kiwi jobs is in franchising 28th August 2017

August 2017 - Latest info from the Survey of Franchising reveals that the sector is a major employer and trainer of New Zealanders

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KFC uses VR gaming in new staff training programme 28th August 2017

KFC is incorporating the VR experience  into a programme designed to show trainees how to cook its signature Original Recipe fried chicken. In order to get out of a virtual escape room, employees will have to play as a pair of disembodied hands to demonstrate (virtual) mastery of the five-step cooking process — inspecting, rinsing, breading, racking, and pressure-frying — all the while being cajoled by Colonel Sanders himself. The company says it's meant to 'instill pride' in KFC's heritage rather than being a serious training tool at this point, but it points to future uses of the technology in an industry where staff turnover means fast, efficient and inexpensive training is vital. Experience the game

KFC wanted to create a fun and engaging way to highlight the heritage behind its chicken recipe, using gamification and immersive participation to make it more memorable than say, a presentation or video. The experience -- dubbed  “The Hard Way” -- will be shown at regional general manager training classes, quarterly franchise meetings and during corporate onboardings. Felix says that the experience is KFC’s “first foray” into VR.

The VR experience goes beyond linking a legacy company with modern tech. Through fresh characterization and storytelling, the training can better connect staff with the company's founder and mascot, capabilities and decades-long history, according to Jonathan Minori, design director with Wieden + Kennedy Lodge, the agency behind the project.


Warning - NZ women targetted by 'secret' pyramid scheme 28th August 2017

The Commerce Commission has issued a warning about women's 'gifting circles' which are no more than a pyramid selling scheme in breach of the Fair Trading Act. Unlike franchising, pyramid selling schemes promise payments for the enrolling of others, rather than sales of a product, and require the constant recruitment of new members - which is ultimately impossible. The latest scam is specifically targetting women in Auckland, Tauranga, Nelson and Golden Bay, and has been described by one victim as a 'spiritually transmitted disease.'

Pyramid schemes are illegal in 46 countries. The Commerce Commission wants to hear from anyone who has been approached recently to join a gifting circle, or anyone who has information that identifies anyone profiting from the scheme. Women operating a circle, or who invite others to join one, may be fined up to $600,000 per offence.

Pyramid selling or network marketing should not be confused with franchising, which is a reputable way of doing business where franchisees own their own business providing goods or services under a common brand. Understand how franchises work and see details from the latest Survey of Franchising.

Women pay a "gift" of US$5000 (NZ$7000) when they start as a seed, before moving on to sapling, then blossom and finally achieve the "Lotus" status to receive a US$40,000 payout from eight new women. If no new members are recruited, the circle can collapse.

A circle document entitled "25 Ways to Manifest Your Gift" encourages new recruits to sell their car, paint a neighbour's house, apply for a credit card or second mortgage, take out a loan or ask for an early inheritance.

The most disturbing is number 18, where they are encouraged to sell their blood or plasma, and even their eggs.

Women sign a document stating the money is "a gift and not an investment" and that they "expect nothing in return".

They receive coaching on how to recruit others and meet several times a week in person or by phone to discuss life, spirituality and personal development.


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