Braeden Lord, CEO, Gelatissimo.

Why shopping centres are the next destination for QSRs

CEO Braeden Lord shares his thoughts on market trends, supply chain, and expansion plans.

Shopping centres continue to be the destination of choice for consumers when going out and Gelatissimo made sure that this is part of their international expansion strategy as they try to take over the world with their brand.

In early February, Gelatissimo completed a brand refresh where it partnered with creative marketing and brand strategy firm Houston to create the new store design. The design was created over a period of 12 months of discussions and revisions. 

Braeden Lord, CEO of Gelatissimo, previously said that the plan now is to replicate the new design to the current one and increase its international footprint. True to his word, its franchise partner in the Philippines opened a new store that features a fresh colour palette of soft pastels, supported by luscious swirl patterns of the new design.

In a follow-up interview with QSR Media, Braeden said one of the factors fueling their expansion plans is the return of consumers in shopping centres.

“We saw this in a little bit in the Philippines as well, but traditionally shopping centres were seen as places where you can do your shopping or have a quick snack on the run, foodcourt style. Now they are becoming more destinational where you can find pubs, restaurants, and even fine dining. So as you wander back out of a restaurant and see a Gelatissimo and buy a gelato after a meal, it's a great way of capping off the experience,” Braeden said.

Gelatissimo's new store in the Philippines located inside a mall. /Gelatissimo Philippines Facebook.

Braeden said consumers who like to go to restaurants in shopping centres and then walk around and buy dessert from a different kiosk or chain are also a prominent trend in Australia's High Street. However, this model must depend on the location. 

Braeden mentioned their Circular Quay branch where foot traffic for tourists is high but most do not want to stay and dine in.

“It’s a very popular location lots of ferries coming and going. Train station, lots of walking, traffic, tourism, even ocean liners with cruises and so forth. That’s not about sitting down. That’s about grabbing a gelato and wandering to your next destination,” Braeden said.

This was the opposite of another location a few miles from the Circular Quay branch which has more sitting options for consumers that were tired after a day of exploring and just wanted to grab a sit and relax for a bit with a coffee or gelato.

Supply chain

Most of Gelatissimo’s plans for the year are strengthening its presence in international markets. Braeden mentioned that they plan to put up more stores in Singapore, Thailand, and across the US.

With this in mind, how does Gelatissimo deal with supply chain issues?

“Fortunately supply chains internationally have come back to pre-COVID reliability and levels of consistency, which is fantastic. Additionally, the cost of international freight has come down. Prices of some raw ingredients are still on the rise but this is somewhat offset by lower freight cost and more dependent on shipping timetables,” Braeden said.

What also helped them with their supply chain strategy is how shipping timetables have been more reliable. A year ago, Gelatissimo had to ensure that they had to have 45% more stockholding to cope with the buffering or delivery delays.

Gelatissimo sources most of its ingredients in Italy and Australia as well as some other global markets. What works for them is they let local players in international markets source their own milk. However, for the rest of the ingredients they supply them in what they call kits.

“We distribute what we call a kit. These kits have all the ingredients which we deliver to a local market. They add the milk and they blend the product fresh within the store,” Braeden explained. Braeden said this gives them both a commercial and practical business model which makes it easier to roll out across international markets.

For example, in the Philippines, the local master franchisor has a warehouse that distributes the kits to each store. These warehouses are run by locals, which means the business also creates new jobs in the market.


Gelatissimo has over 70 flavours of gelato, which a dedicated gelato product development team updates.

This team consists of chefs, food scientists, and quality assurance professionals in their lab in Australia where they do product testing.

Gelatissimo's Lemoncillo flavour. /Gelatissimo

There are three different ways for Gelatissimo to create a new menu. One is from customer feedback.

“We have customers come in our stores and say ‘Hey, you should do an ube cheesecake’. And we go, okay and we feed that back to our product development team. Then if we get enough hits for it we release it.” Braeden said.

Another way is keeping up with what’s fresh. Gelatissimo figures out what’re the new, trendy fresh ingredients that can be turned into a gelato flavour. One such example is their dragon fruit range. Aside from its amazing flavours, its striking colours were also a feast for the eyes for customers.

The last is collaborations with international brands. Some brands they have worked with are Lindt and KitKat.

With 70 flavours, Gelatissimo picked the 14 top flavours from their brands. These 14 flavours are all available in any of its local and international stores. 

“You can drop by Singapore or you could drop by in Sydney and you could get a mango sorbet from any of these stores. Then we have a range of products curated by the local operators. So if they see a high demand in the Philippines for ube, then we should have ube and have that on a regular supply,” Braeden said.

Gelatissimo also takes into consideration local tastes for its signature flavours. For example, Gelatissimo has two kinds of chocolate chile flavours.

“One of them is a mild chocolate chile for us Australians. The other one for the Philippines has a stronger punch. If we put the stronger flavoured chocolate chile in Australia, some would like it while most won’t. Whereas, if we put the mild one in the Philippines the locals would say there isn’t enough chile in it,” Braeden explained.

In Houston, which is known for its bourbon, Gelatissimo partnered with a local distillery, just beside their store, to create the special bourbon pecan flavour gelato.

Target expansion

Gelatissimo said spreading across Southeast Asia may be in the books sometime in the future but for now, it aims to focus on Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. Sometime before the end of the year, Braeden said they plan to have the Singapore stores undergo their brand refresh.

Meanwhile, they are currently eyeing one more mainland market and are now in discussion with a possible franchise partner.

Follow the link for more news on

Join QSR Media Australia community
Since you're here...

...there are many ways you can work with us to advertise your company and connect to your customers. Our team can help you dight and create an advertising campaign, in print and digital, on this website and in print magazine.

We can also organize a real life or digital event for you and find thought leader speakers as well as industry leaders, who could be your potential partners, to join the event. We also run some awards programmes which give you an opportunity to be recognized for your achievements during the year and you can join this as a participant or a sponsor.

Let us help you drive your business forward with a good partnership!