Why are Souvlakihut, Mad Mex and Chooks staying within the local market?
Defining and locating your market is just as important as keeping up with the growing market demand. From staying within the borders of Australia to defying location limits, seven companies from the QSR industry talk about their most lucrative market to date, as they continue to keep abreast with the consumer's ever-changing lifestyle.
Widening horizons in Australia
Founder of Bucking Bull, Dean Vella, defined the company's market by age group. Vella said the 18 to 30 year old is their best market, pointing out that consumers in this age bracket are prepared to pay a premium as they are heavily influenced by social interaction and ease of consumption.
Chooks, “the champion of chicken”, Mexican food franchise Mad Mex, and Greek restaurant Souvlakihut have their biggest markets in Australia.
“NSW is the biggest market, with VIC close behind, however at present our focus is on QLD and TAS as we already have representation in those states,” said Steve Hansen, founder of Chooks fresh & tasty.
Mad Mex director Clovis Young said customer demand will be fairly consistent across major Australian markets, so real estate costs and population densities will define opportunities.
“QLD and VIC have better real estate costs so are more attractive than NSW on the whole. WA presents a logistical challenge, but compelling economics,” added Young.
Meanwhile, Queensland is Souvlakihut's best market to date. Bill Fotiadis, Co-founder of Souvlakihut, said Queensland's warm weather allows for longer trading hours and a more alfresco style-type of dining, which have worked well with their customers.
In just two years Souvlakihut has opened 10 stores, including the first North Queensland store in Townsville in early 2010.
Staying aboard or going abroad?
Eagle Boys Pizza CEO Todd Clayton said Australia has given them their best growth opportunities. He said their decision to stay focused on Australia certainly paid off.
“We had plenty of work to do to not only grow store numbers, but also to reposition our brand. In the last three years, we have been very successful and have had compounding double digit growth,” said Clayton.
Clayton said they will look at international opportunities when they believe it is the right time.
Oporto CEO Jeff Fisher thinks otherwise. The company headed to China and opened in March 2010 its first branch in Xiamen. Seeing China's quick growing fast food sector, Oporto, a Portuguese-themed food franchise, aims to continue propagating its business in the Sleeping Giant.
“The Xiamen store will be the first of many planned openings across China over coming years. The Chinese market offers an abundance of growth opportunity for Oporto, with the Chinese spending an estimated $US60 billion on fast food each year,” pointed Fisher.
Oporto is positive that with a rapidly emerging middle class population, surging disposable income and growing enthusiasm for dining out, the industry will continue to boom over coming years.
“We’re confident Oporto will be a hit with Chinese customers, who are very quick to adopt new Western style foods and concepts. Our unique flavour profile, which has been the cornerstone of our success to date, will keep them coming back for more,” assured Fisher.
Fisher predicts Oporto China will eventually outperform Oporto’s Australian business. He points to the success of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in China as a model for growth.
“Over the last ten years, KFC has opened more than 2,000 stores in China, with another 400 in the pipeline. If Oporto can replicate their success even on a small scale then the sky is the limit for this 100 percent Australian success story,” said the company's CEO.
Healthy Habits founder Katherine Sampson admits they are getting inquiries from New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong & the Middle East, however their biggest market remains in the East Coast.
“The East coast is still our biggest market, however moving into Perth should allow us to add an additional 15 stores to the group,” said Sampson who is also the Managing Director of the health-conscious food chain.