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HUMAN RESOURCES | Staff Reporter, Australia
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Patrick McMichael, Chief Operating Officer at Retail Zoo

On respect, choosing franchise partners, and the entrepreneurial process.

QSR Media: What makes you excited about your position?

Patrick McMichael: Retail Zoo is an exciting company due to the multi brand strategy that has grown off the success of the foundation brand Boost Juice. Boost has such a great vibe and culture that transfers across to the newer brands in the stable. The company itself has very mature operating systems, well ahead of the age of the company. It really shows how the young culture of the company has embraced technology to create sound management systems to foster profitability and growth. In my role it is very important to have a clear view across the brands to ensure that the platforms for the brands are aligned for the ultimate success of each brand. Retail Zoo is very focused on the business platforms in each brand being best practice to create the best opportunity for franchise partners to achieve the best return on their investment possible. With this strong business platform approach , I was ultimately excited about the strong growth opportunities for the company. Boost being the maturest brand still has a strong runway for growth in Australia, and an outstanding runway for growth internationally with 150 stores trading in 19 countries already. Salsa’s operating in the fast growing Mexican market and Cibo trading in the Coffee market all gave me great confidence that I could work with the Retail Zoo team drive growth across the brands .

QSR Media: What are your key business philosophies?

McMichael: My key business philosophies have been built off a long career in franchising as both a franchisee and a member of the corporate team . Firstly I believe that it is very important to respect the franchise partners that have invested in the system. The success of the franchise partners is ultimately the success of the company. Secondly I believe in the entrepreneurial process. There must be an alignment between the franchisor and the franchise partner in the desire to succeed and the passion for the business. I really like the term Fran-treprenurial. I picked this up from our Global Business Development Manager. I think it is a perfect description of the alignment I refer to. Thirdly I believe that the best franchise partners are involved and working in the business. I do not advocate selling to investor franchise partners . Even the strongest brands need an engaged franchise partner to create the success that both the partner and the franchisor are looking for.

QSR Media: What three goals are you focused on?

McMichael: My three key areas of focus will be:

  1. Growth of the individual brands both domestically and internationally in the case of Boost.
  2. Continued development of the operating platforms across the brands.
  3. Ongoing innovation of the product offerings and quality across all brands.

QSR Media: What long-term changes are you planning on?

McMichael: I don’t view my role as making big long term changes. This is a company that was working well prior to my arrival. I would characterise my role more along the lines of fine tuning with the benefit a multi-channel view. Looking back in the future we may say there were big long term changes made, however I am not approaching the role in this way. In many systems that operate multi brands there are silos that are built and there is a lack of sharing across the brands, to the detriment of the company overall. My role is to ensure that there is constant sharing in Retail Zoo and all brands and partners get the benefits of the best operating practices and the silo mentality averted.

QSR Media: What previous positions have prepared you for this one and how?

McMichael: I have previously worked with Domino’s Pizza for the last 25 years both domestically and internationally. I have managed the physical growth of the system in Australia and New Zealand for the last 8 years as Chief Development and Franchising Officer at Domino’s Pizza Enterprises. In this role I have had the privilege to build and work with one of the highest performing teams in the franchise industry, managing the sale of over 600 new and existing stores, and the refurbishment of 87% of the Dominos system. I really enjoyed my time in Dominos and I will use the knowledge that I have built over my career to work with the team at Retail Zoo to drive growth across the brands to the benefit of all stake holders. I am really focused on team work as this built success historically for Dominos and I am confident that moving forward the team at all levels will be the key to greater success in Retail Zoo.

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