Blogs & Opinion

Find out how QSR procurement executives can achieve 'The China Price'

Flashing lights and fancy photos, Promise of exceptional quality and world beating prices, Pristine factories and innovative solutions. These are what even the most discerning of procurement executives will find when they start their search to import products and achieve the “The China Price.”

Find out how QSR procurement executives can achieve 'The China Price'

Flashing lights and fancy photos, Promise of exceptional quality and world beating prices, Pristine factories and innovative solutions. These are what even the most discerning of procurement executives will find when they start their search to import products and achieve the “The China Price.”

A quick guide to finding the best talent in the market

It’s a common challenge; how does business attract ‘best in market’ talent during a period of growth or in addressing natural attrition? It’s no secret that the current market is producing a shortage of top tier talent and this is the cause of great frustration for businesses looking to deliver an exceptional level of customer service and execute an efficient and highly effective operation.

How bagging awards can boost your company

Preparing award submissions is time consuming and takes a good deal of thought and patience, so you might ask if it is worth the effort or just an exercise in blatant self promotion. I have been involved in business and industry Awards for many years; organising, conducting, promoting, judging them and preparing winning submissions for a number of Franchise networks. I categorically believe that entering awards is an extremely useful and productive activity that all Franchisors should integrate into their marketing strategy, for a range of reasons. Major benefits include: Lifting public profile and attracting franchisees Winning awards assists in increasing the company’s reputation, credibility and building the brand. If your industry thinks the franchise system is a winner, it encourages others to look at it favourably. Award winning is a truly newsworthy way of promoting the Franchise brand to the media. Winning an award gives the media a reason to look at the franchise and examine what has made it stand out from the rest. Awards are an ideal way to recognise and promote the diligent efforts of the system’s franchisees, key personnel, products and services. It is an essential franchise recruitment tool, as potential franchisees are more likely to want to join and invest in a Franchise brand that is “going places”. Increasing confidence in those already in the company Being an award winning company helps develop a strong team spirit and company ethos. Employees and Franchisees share in the Franchise system’s accolades and feel proud to know that they are a part of a network that is highly thought of in its field, which promotes a level of confidence in the network’s abilities. Assisting in analysing the company’s strengths and weaknesses When you work in the business every day, you can be blinded to how it may appear to others. The process of preparing an award submission forces you to look at all aspects of the franchise system thorough another’s eyes. There is a lot to be learned from this exercise, as it can help bench mark your company’s efforts to those in your industry. The process of entering awards Investigate appropriate and relevant award opportunities on a local, state, national and international basis. These Awards should include categories that suit your franchise system’s marketing efforts such as; marketing and expansion activities, community service and support, innovation, environmental contribution, customer service, product and service qualities, local small business broadcast or print accolades.

Why there's no excuse for QSRs to ignore nutrition

For over a decade now nutrition has been a growing consideration for QSR’s. But, for an industry where taste and value have traditionally dominated what does nutrition really mean?

3 things to think about in the Penalty Rates Case

The Fair Work Commission review of penalty rates in the fast food and general retail sectors – it rejected any change - has thrown into relief a number of issues that have failed to be addressed. We provide our views on some of them here. Issue 1 - International Competitiveness The unions argued that the overall economic situation of the retail industry remains very strong and there is no evidence of structural change impacting upon these considerations. Our Commentary Competition in the retail sector has been steadily increasing, and the consumer is demanding greater flexibility in opening hours. 2011-12 was a particularly bad period for sales with major retailers cutting staff to remain profitable. As well, there has been a shift in retail spend to online sales and big barns with fewer staff, for example, Ikea, Bunnings, Aldi, and so on. The Productivity Commission (PC) pointed out in a 2011 report that growth in retail sales has experienced a long-term slowdown due to changes in consumer buying habits. Consumers are choosing to spend less on retail goods, are saving more and spending a greater share on services. For many Australian retailers, wages are growing at a faster rate than the price of goods, the ratio of labour costs to sales is high compared to the United States and United Kingdom, and these higher labour costs are being passed onto consumers. According to the PC report: “Part of the explanation for the lower total labour costs to sales ratio overseas appears to be higher labour productivity, which in turn is influenced by capital investments and the adoption of workplace flexibility initiatives, amongst other factors.” So we have a situation where the consumer is paying for higher labour costs at a time when overall retail spending is in decline, and the internet is making consumers increasingly price sensitive. Issue 2 - Our Changing Society The unions argued for no changes to penalty rates. They asserted that penalty rates are a reward for working unsociable hours, and help to compensate employees who are lowly paid. Our Commentary Employers argued penalty rates are a throwback to a previous era, where retail opening hours were closely regulated, where competition for the consumer dollar was low, and a cultural stigma attached to working on a Sunday. They said this was no longer the case. Most people are too busy to shop between 9 to 5 on weekdays, and after hours and weekend shopping has become the new ‘normal’. They also said employees are looking for greater flexibility in working arrangements, including the opportunity to work evenings and weekends. In our view, the nature of our society has changed significantly since the 1970’s, but our award system still seems rooted in that era. We need an openess to change to reflect our changing society. Issue 3 - Legalistic Approach The FWC are requiring employers to produce direct evidence of the link between penalty rates and employer behaviour and practice. For example, they want evidence that lower penalty rates will translate into more jobs and provide greater flexibility to employees. Our Commentary The current quasi-judicial approach taken in the review of awards should be replaced by one of genuine inquiry. The FWC needs to get out to the workplace and find out what is happening by talking to workers and employers, instead of being fed very selective information by unions, lawyers, advocates and paid consultants. One thing it will find is a dual economy - those employers who play by the rules and pay legal rates, but also many who cannot afford to, do not know how to, or the many who choose not to. The employer case was woefully under-funded compared to that run by the unions, and was actively supported by relatively few employers, despite its importance for their businesses. A lot of evidence put forward was either ruled out or ruled irrelevant. It is ironic that the unions ran a concentrated, well-planned campaign presented by legal counsel, while the employers generally muddled through with a diverse range of employer association representatives who weren't well supported by their employer members. So much for business supposedly having all the economic power!  

What most people forget about the Franchising Code of Conduct

Leave the grill and give up serving customers for a few minutes. I’m sure your busy but there’s another review of the Franchising Code of Conduct happening.

Quick guide on getting your franchise marketing right on the first try

All successful businesses need to develop a public profile and a recognisable brand, particularly in the case of franchises because a key asset of a franchise is the power of its brand.

3 rules to keep a skyrocketing business revenue trend for QSR's

Sustainability within any business commences with understanding the drivers of revenue streams and profitability. In finance circle this is often referred to as the “jaws” i.e. keeping the revenue line growing upwards on a graph faster than costs and expenses. Understanding the market the business operates, variations in consumer sentiment, known competitive advantages and old fashioned value for money and profit margins are all imperative. With franchise groups there are few that don’t have designs on dominating their given market whether domestically or internationally. A franchise group will have a heavy focus on creating best practice in their operations which are meant to reflect a consistently superior product or service than that of a non-chain competitor. Getting the product or service to market takes a good business mind generally with extensive retail or marketing mindset. Getting a successful product or service to market is only half the battle. Maintaining a sustainable brand and network requires focus and dedication and the ability to understand that without a sustainable franchisee proposition the situation is eventually destined for disaster. Unfortunately sustainability isn’t always given its due focus and failures at both franchisee level as well as franchisor level occur. Whilst I can appreciate the administrative constraints of the Franchising Codes of Conduct it reflects the desired rapport required that any given franchise group can lay its foundations on. Whilst every business is unique and requires a variety in structure and operations the basics of sustainability commence with following rules: 1. Accept that without sustainable franchisees your product or service can’t be delivered to the market and create valuable revenues for the group.

The Power of Pinterest

A few months ago Pinterest was the new kid on the block in social media, boasting never-before seen user growth rates and promising a radical new mix of social and marketplace. We were extremely excited and the feedback we got on any blog mentioning Pinterest was incredible.

The Top 4 things to consider when picking a new location for your QSR - Part 3: The shopping centre or mall site

A QSR normally fits into one of 4 categories: · Free Standing with Drive Thru (FSDT)

Workers Compensation “Insurance” – did you know it isn’t?

It’s probably just coincidence, but a number of our clients in recent months have raised their concerns about how their workers’ compensation insurance provider hasn’t handled a particular claim well, and this has cost the employer dearly, either in an employee’s ongoing lost time from work, or by causing an increase in the employer’s workers compensation premiums.

Is your QSR marketing team in control?

Typically a QSR marketing team receives pressure from the top, from board and management and from the franchisee community or both individually or via advisory councils. With a role that covers everything from working up the overall strategy to following up on every little implementation detail, QSR marketing teams have their own complexity, from managing menu rollouts to product nutritional information and seasonal produce only available in some areas. It isn’t hard to see why things can rapidly get out of control, potentially overwhelming even the best resourced and most skilled teams.

Employees and social media: where does work end and home begin

Today, communicating with our friends, family and work colleagues has never been easier. We can communicate literally at any time from almost any place simply by pushing a “touch screen” button on our latest mobile phone or tablet, or by sitting at our computer.

What you do well and where you can improve your business?

From my observations of a number of businesses over the past 6-9 months it is very apparent that most businesses are very good in some areas of their business and not so good in areas that could make major differences to their actual operating basis and their profitability.