Franchisors finalists in EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards 26th July 2016
Maccas shuts down website after customer offensive 22nd July 2016
McDonald's New Zealand has been forced to close down its new Make Burger History website after customers made a range of offensive and bad taste suggestions for product names on the design-your-own-burger web page. The Stuff website suggests the problems have 'left the company red-faced', presumably because it under-estimated the immaturity and stupidity of its users.
The company launched its "Make Burger History" site this week, as part of a new promotion where customers can "build your own unique burger" and get free fries and a medium soft drink.
"Just come in to a participating 'Create Your Taste' McDonald's and order your Creation at the self ordering kiosk," McDonald's promised.
But its failure to consider what pranksters might dream up online has left the company red-faced, with the website overrun by racist, homophobic and otherwise offensive suggestions. The page now redirects to the McDonald's homepage.
Original Mad Butcher store closes 18th July 2016
The very first Mad Butcher store in Mangere, Auckland, has closed, with intense competition from supermarkets being blamed for the demise of a store which was a top performer just three years ago. Howver, Tim Cook of franchisor Veritas Investments has said the problem lies with the franchisee, not the business model.
"Despite many offers to help and a rent holiday being negotiated on his behalf, the [current] franchisee has been unable to turn around a consistent slide into poor performance," Cook said.
He said the franchisee was offered a "top performing proven operator free of charge" and an advertising package to help turn the business around.
"This was rejected by the franchisee," Cook said, adding that he had been surprised by the liquidator's lack of understanding of the state of the business.
"It is a lesson for all franchisee businesses that you can't simply buy a business and expect good performance to be maintained if you are not working in and on the business."
Domino's robot kerbs enthusiasm 7th July 2016
Domino's driverless pizza deliverly robot has hit a few snags - like kerbs and crossing roads. It hasn't slowed down the company's plans for new store openings in New Zealand, though, especially in Christchurch.
The vehicle, based on United States military hardware and input from Australian defence contractor, Marathon Robotics and other advisers, was a four-wheeled vehicle with compartments "built to keep the customer's order piping hot and drinks cold whilst travelling on the footpath at a safe speed from the store to the customer's door".
It was able to navigate from a starting point to destination, selecting the best path of travel, the marketing said. "His on-board sensors enable him to perceive obstacles along the way and avoid them if necessary."
Domino's wants to spin its robot wheels in New Zealand, where law covering the rollout of driverless technology is less rigid. Australia allows testing of semi-autonomous vehicles but not the unguided type that Domino's has in mind.
It hoped to start an DRU trial in this country in the first half of 2017, Bush said
Tracking franchise performance – breakfast meeting 27th June 2016
McDonald's registers McDelivery trademark in NZ 26th June 2016
McDonald's has registered the 'McDelivery' trademark in New Zealand consisting of a golden McDonald's arch zipping along on a skateboard.
Big Mac deliveries have taken off in Australia, with customers able to order online after setting up an account with the fast food restaurant. The online account can be set up to allow super-fast reordering with a "save your favourites" function.
There is no McDelivery option on the New Zealand McDonald's website, but the McDelivery logo has made an appearance on the Government's Intellectual Property Office's register of trademarks this month.
BurgerFuel's US expansion on hold 15th June 2016
BurgerFuel's planned expansion into the USA has been delayed following the death last year of Fred DeLuca, the founder of Subway and the major investor behind Franchise Brands LLC. Franchise Brands was to have taken a 10 percent stake in BurgerFuel with an option to increase to 50 percent, and the company planned to use the Subway network to establish its presence in the USA.
Subway was going through significant challenges and changes – largely due to the death last year of Subway founder, Fred de Luca, said BurgerFuel chairman Peter Brook.
Franchise Brands had not confirmed it would continue its involvement with BurgerFuel and the New Zealand company was not prepared to enter the US without that support, he said. A decision was expected in the next few weeks.
BurgerFuel posted a $1.1 million loss in the year to March 31, compared to a $817,000 profit the previous year. The loss was largely attributed to spending related to the planned US expansion.
The chain opened 12 new stores in the past year in New Zealand, Australia and the Middle East, taking the total number of BurgerFuel stores to 78.
Terrorism and instability in Kuwait resulted in lower sales than originally anticipated and in January the two BurgerFuel stores there were closed . A new store opened in May in Baghdad was performing well.
BurgerFuel pulled out of Iraq in 2014 due to an increased threat from Islamic State militants.
Celebrating 20 years - an invitation 14th June 2016
WFC shares information to help franchises grow 12th June 2016June 2016 - 45 members of the World Franchise Council gathered in Italy to discuss joint employer legislation and share information on franchising country-by-country
McDonald’s celebrates 40 years in New Zealand by going back to 1976 7th June 2016June 2016 - 75 cent Big Macs as Macca’s Queen Street revisits the good old days
Big names join line-up for Franchise Conference 25th May 2016
Burger King NZ for sale? 25th May 2016
You can't buy an individual Burger King outlet in New Zealand, but you might be able to buy the whole operation - including 83 outlets around the country. An Australian report suggests that private equity firm The Blackstone Group may be preparing the business for sale. The Australian Financial Review says that the company is 'trading pretty well', after is reported a 7.5m loss in y/e 2014.
Industry analysts say Burger King is now trading pretty well. They are tipping the company, which could fetch between A$140 million (NZ$149 million) and A$160m, will soon release financial results that reflect an ongoing improvement in performance.
Should Blackstone give the green light to a formal sale process, likely trade buyers include 'Hungry' Jack Cowin, who owns the Hungry Jack's franchise in Australia and is a major shareholder in Domino's, as well as Stephen Copulos, a former KFC franchisee who sold 42 outlets to New Zealand outfit Restaurant Brands in March for A$82m.
The business may also be attractive to some regional private equity funds who are building pan-Asian portfolios of fast food outlets.
New turn in 7-Eleven PR disaster affects all Australian franchisors 23rd May 2016The 7-Eleven employment scandal in Australia continues to have repercussions for the whole franchise sector there. Jason Gehrke of the Franchise Advisory Centre provides an update.
Mixed growth outlook offers opportunities, challenges 22nd May 2016
Franchisee tops Aotearoa NZ Maori Business Leaders Awards 14th May 2016A New World franchisee has been named Outstanding Maori Business Leader for 2016
The Coffee Club heads north 14th May 2016
Maccas launches all-day breakfast 3rd May 2016
3 May 2016 - McDonald's is launching its all-day breakfast nationally tomorrow
Starbucks sued for too much ice 2nd May 2016
A disgruntled customer in the US is suing Starbucks for $US5 million for putting too much ice in its cold drinks. Stacy Pincus alleges the chain is cheating customers by underfilling drinks. Adding ice to drinks is a standard practice in most food outlets unless the customer requests otherwise. Interestingly, the news.com.au report chooses to end by referring to the recent publicity about Starbucks in Saudi Arabia not admitting women - something that was later shown to be erroneous.
"In the iced coffee example, a Starbucks customer who orders and pays for a Venti iced coffee, expecting to receive 24 fluid ounces (709mL) of iced coffee based on Starbucks' advertisement and marketing, will instead receive only about 14 fluid ounces of iced coffee."
The suit also claims Starbucks is making more money off its customers than it should.
"In essence, Starbucks is advertising the size of its cold drink cups on its menu, rather than the amount of fluid a customer will receive when they purchase a cold drink - and deceiving its customers in the process," the complaint states.
Ms Pincus is seeking $US5 million in damages. The case is a class action, representing anyone who bought a cold drink from Starbucks in the US in the last decade.
Starbucks has dismissed the lawsuit, saying staff would happily remake a drink for any unsatisfied customer.
New franchise scheme called ‘meaningless and dangerous’ 27th April 201627 April 2016 - A specialist lawyer and the Franchise Association have spoken out against a new scheme which offers franchises ‘warrants of fitness’. The scheme was initially promoted to franchisors via an email sent out on 22 April that said: ‘Stop – Now there is no need to be a member of the NZ Franchise Association.’
Over 40% of new business owners and franchisees don't know what due diligence is 26th April 2016
A survey of over 600 current and former franchisees and independent small business owners in Australia has found that 42% hadn't heard of the term 'due diligence' or didn't know what it meant. The research also found that time spent on undertaking due diligence was found to be “relatively low”, although prospective franchisees were found to be consulting more widely than owners of independent businesses. Only around a third of business owners surveyed said they consulted with an accountant, lawyer or financial advisor prior to purchasing or starting a business.
Professor Lorelle Frazer, director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence, told SmartCompany the apparent lack of time and money spent on undertaking due diligence was the most surprising finding to come out of phase two of the research.
“Business owners are often so concerned to know how much it will cost to buy or start a business, which is a big investment, that the last thing they invest in is education leading into it,” she says.
While Frazer says there are some free resources available to prospective business owners, including from governments, it is more often the case that these individuals are missing out on specific, expert advice that applies directly to their business.
“Each business is unique,” Frazer says.
“They need to do their own personal due diligence for their particular business, to make sure they are in the right market, understand the competition and if they are paying the right price for the business.”
Frazer says one of the concerns in the franchising sector is the tendency for prospective franchise owners to seek general professional advice, as opposed to specific advise about franchised business models.
Confidence strong but it's still a buyers' market for franchisees 25th April 2016
Good health and safety procedures offer bottom line benefits 21st April 2016All About People improves franchise businesses by keeping them safe
Health and Safety is in the news with the new legislation that came into force earlier this month. 'But it's not something you bolt on to a business because you’re scared of legislation – it’s something you build into your business to make it perform better. Once you think of it that way, it’s a benefit, not a threat,' says Michelle Macdonald.
Mature franchisees need intelligent support 20th April 2016
MYOB first to launch e-GST filing service 18th April 2016
How to recruit and support franchisees more effectively 18th April 2016
More than half of all Australian franchise brands and more than a quarter of all New Zealand brands have attended a Franchise Advisory Centre event. In May, five top workshops for franchisors and their leadership teams return to Auckland.
SME confidence rebounds as sectors show growth 13th April 2016
MYOB backs franchisees and franchisors through increased support 8th April 2016
Will franchise model help or hinder New World's online ordering? 8th April 2016
Foodstuffs has announced plans to launch online ordering and home delivery services following trials in its New World stores. The announcement will see the locally-owned business catch up with Australian-owned Countdown, which has offered the service for some time. But an un-named 'industry insider' told the New Zealand Herald that the franchised model used by Foodstuffs made it too difficult to work.
Foodstuffs, which owns the Pak'n'Save, New World, Four Square, Liquorland and Gilmores brands, is New Zealand's biggest supermarket chain.
Read our report on how franchises are handling e-commerce.
Chris Quin, the new Foodstuffs North Island chief executive, said this week that the move was a big step forward for the business and its customers.
Rival Countdown has offered online grocery orders for many years, he acknowledged. But Quin said he expected click-and-collect orders to be a significant market share, whereby customers would order online but collect the goods themselves.
The supermarket chain will use trucks and staff from each store to deliver the goods, rather than contracting the service out, he said.
More than 10 per cent of New Zealand retail sales were now online so he projected big growth. "New Zealand has a growing population and it's getting harder and harder to buy sites, so you can serve more customers," he said, indicating new supermarket development rates might fall as online picks up.
The length of time it had taken Foodstuffs to go ahead with online orders was partly driven by resistance from supermarket owners, the critic claimed.
The online supermarket model was internationally challenging because big scales of business were needed to make home deliveries of food items work to cover the extremely high costs involved, he said.
Veritas to franchise Nosh stores 6th April 2016
2016 Conference – Building Your Brand 5th April 2016
How to franchise your business – seminars around NZ 4th April 2016
New Stonewood owners terminate agreements with founder's franchises 24th March 2016
24 March 2016 - Stonewood Homes' new owners have severed ties with the building firm's founder Brent Mettrick. These include not just the Christchurch franchise which they previously bought from the receivers. but also the West Coast, New Plymouth and Blenheim franchises of which Mr Mettrick was a director, after he took the companies over from failing franchisees. In most franchise agreements, liquidation is grounds for termination. Although the three franchises were not themselves in liquidation, in the opinion of new franchisors Inno Capital they were not 'financially sound.'
Mettrick said he had no issue with the Inno's decision to cancel the franchise agreements.
In reference to the outstanding franchise fees, Mettrick's solicitor Mark Odlin said the entities may owe historic franchisee fee arrears to Stonewood Homes New Zealand Ltd, a debt which Inno may have purchased from the receivers.
If it was the case, the entities, not Mettrick personally, owed the money to Inno.
Before making the decision, Webber said Inno Capital was in contact with the Registered Master Builders Association. It has plans to ensure homeowners affected by the decision got "the best outcomes".
Meanwhile, work to complete the first 50 homes in Canterbury affected by Stonewood's receivership started this week.
Domino's driverless pizza delivery plans excite Minister 18th March 2016
US franchise entrepreneur looking for NZ meetings 16th March 2016
Franchise sector strengthened as leaders join forces 16th March 201616 March 2015 - Franchise New Zealand has joined forces with the Franchise Association to promote franchising to more people than ever
NZ-developed franchise management app taking off 15th March 2016March 2015 - Franchise Infinity, the tablet-based franchise management system, is catching the eye of some of NZ’s best-known franchises
The Coffee Club targets more expansion in Christchurch 10th March 2016
Stonewood franchise sold to Chow Brothers 9th March 2016
The troubled Stonewood Homes franchise has reportedly been sold to the Chow brothers, the property magnates who have made a fortune from strip clubs, hotels and commercial property deals. The brothers were in the news in 2014 when they abandoned plans to build a 15-storey 'super-brothel' near the SkyCity casino in Auckland.
Stonewood Homes is New Zealand's third-largest home builder, but both the national franchisor and the Christchurch franchise were placed in receivership on 22 February. Receivers KordaMentha have confirmed the sale. The company has 19 franchises across the country, but no mention has been made so far of how they will be affected.
The brothers, whose assets include commercial property, hotels and strip clubs, said the deal covered both the national franchise rights and the Christchurch franchisee.
"Stonewood complements our office, retail, accommodation, and car park property portfolio," John Chow said in a statement in Christchurch on Wednesday.
"This purchase signals our clear intention to repair recent damage to the brand and to re-establish the Stonewood brand nationally on a very firm footing."
Last Thursday, the Chow brothers and Webber met the 44 remaining employees of the company and offered them "new contracts on similar terms", they said in a statement.
"While we still have quite a process to work through with the receivers, our next step will be to engage urgently with customers with uncompleted homes.
"It's vital we provide certainty for customers who have been affected. We have a management team of eleven here in Christchurch to seal the deal but we ask for tolerance from affected parties," Webber said.
Shortly after the company was placed in receivership, 41 staff were laid off.
Grant Graham of KordaMentha said the sale to Inno Capital included the business and assets of the companies.
The "prompt sale" was the best possible outcome in the circumstances, he said.
Restaurant Brands going back into Australia 6th March 2016
NZ-listed Restaurant Brands is to return to the Australian market by purchasing multi-unit franchisee QSR in New South Wales. QSR operates 42 KFC stores in the state.
Restaurant Brands, which is the New Zealand master franchisee for KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl's Jr. and Starbucks, previously attempted to enter Australia with the purchase of 51 Pizza Hut stores in Victoria in 2002. It sold them again in 2008 following a disappointing performance. However, KFC has been a strong performer for the company in New Zealand of late where it has re-invested heavily in the brand.
Restaurant Brands [NZX: RBD] is expanding its footprint across the Tasman, acquiring Australia's second-largest KFC franchise for $A82.4 million.
The deal sees Restaurant Brands acquire all the shares in QSR Pty – the largest KFC franchisee in New South Wales – owned by Australian property developer Stephen Copulos.
A notice to the NZX this morning states QSR is a profitable operator with 42 stores, generating sales in excess of $A100 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of more than $A15 million a year.
Can Starbucks work in Italy? 2nd March 2016
While Starbucks is a big name in the US, and used to be a staple scene in romcoms, it hasn't always flourished outside its home country. In Australia it struggled for eight years before closing over 60 unprofitable stores, while in New Zealand it has always struggled against better offerings from other brands. Part of the reason for this is that franchises such as Columbus Coffee, The Coffee Club and Robert Harris are individually-owned by franchisees, while Starbucks outlets are operated under management by Restaurant Brands.
Now Starbucks is to expand into Italy, the home of espresso and the culture that reportedly inspired Starbucks founder Howard Schultz 30 years ago. Will it fare any better in one of the world's most style-conscious and sophisticated markets? Time will tell.
The headline of its news release said the company was entering Italy "with humility and respect" for the country. Schultz said he plans to develop a coffee blend specifically for the Italian market and add a bar for customers to stand at, as is custom in Italian coffeehouses.
The company will also be going local with a partner, working with Percassi - which Srere noted is "hugely respected in Italy" - as the licensee to operate its stores.
Branding experts said the humble and local approach was the right one.
"You've got to go and kiss the ring here - you don't mess around with Italy and coffee," Ries said. Companies need "to be authentic, and to not just be the big American brand with guns blazing, coming in to take over the town."
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