In Focus
EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS | Staff Reporter, Australia

Oporto banks on their revitalised in-store experience to reach a growing millennial market

CEO Craig Tozer elaborates on the thought process behind the chain's new store design and their revamped national training programme.

Since starting its voyage in North Bondi in 1986 and venturing into franchising in 1995, Portuguese flame grilled chicken and burger chain Oporto has firmly planted its flag in the QSR landscape - establishing over 170 restaurants with over 3,000 team members.

But recognising the the millennial market's growing influence on Aussie food culture, the brand deemed it necessary to transform, making definitively steps in modernising its look and messaging.

(Also read: Millennials are eating healthier, and what this means for your QSR)

Oporto says such changes are well on their way, with a new store design rolling out in newly-built restaurants and renovations, a new national training program on customer service that includes the implementation of table service and newly designed uniforms.

The chain recently opened its stores in Birtinya on the Sunshine Coast in QLD, as well as Lansvale, Mittagong and Menai Marketplace in NSW, with the following stores to open across NSW, VIC and WA over the coming months:

  • Greenwood Plaza, NSW
  • Claremont, WA
  • Cranbourne North, VIC
  • Penrith, NSW
  • Waterloo, NSW

QSR Media caught up with Oporto CEO Craig Tozer, who discussed the rationale behind its latest campaign, how millennials influenced their ongoing brand transformation, and how they tweaked their hospitality strategy.

QSR Media: Overall, what was the mindset behind Oporto's Feed Your Adventure campaign?
Tozer: We wanted to push the bar with our video content and work with some key influencers who embody brand values such as pioneering and open-mindedness. Robbie is a great fit for the brand with his adventurous, global spirit, his confidence in owning his own vibe and authentic love for the food experience Oporto offers.

Our ethos at Oporto is to raise the bar in everything we do and we’re on an ambitious store opening journey this year. Not only is this an incredible adventure for a host of new franchise partners opening new businesses, but for our customers to experience even more Oporto stores with our new customer experience design where we have revamped the dine-in experience.

Adventure seems to be a critical element of your new campaign - how has customer demographics/feedback factored in to such messaging?
We know millennials crave experiences and Oporto wants to inspire and awaken consumers’ adventurous spirit and encourage people to own their vibe and escape the ordinary. What’s true in life is true in food and we aim to offer more adventurous flavours in premium fast food. Our customers look for new food experiences as well as fresh and healthy options that make them feel good. They also enjoy fun and lively places that are also convenient.

Tell us more about Oporto's revamped dine-in experience - how will it be different compared to past versions? 
As you walk into one of our new stores, you will notice new décor elements that bring the brand to life in our stores. We’ve added simple dine-in features like sets of cutlery and napkins available on tables, menus that allow you to peruse before ordering as well as table numbers so you can be served at the table.

Our biggest investment is always in our people. When you visit an Oporto, you will be greeted by a member of our hospitality team who brings their own unique vibe to their job every day. Whether you need a bit of help deciding on your menu choices or you’d like to know how hot our Original Chilli sauce is, or if we have any gluten free options, our staff will be there to help you. Our people are invested in giving our customers the best Oporto experience they can.

The new uniform also reflects individuality. We have several choices of t-shirt graphics, bandanas or caps and badges. These touches show customers we truly celebrate individuality within our organisation.

In the past, we followed a traditional service model and issued team members training and manuals around the 7 steps of service. We literally told people what to say and when to say it. By contrast, we’ve now empowered our team to think for themselves and put themselves in their customer’s shoes and deliver the simple ‘feel good’ parts of a service experience that makes a customer’s day – with their unique and friendly personality.

Inside's Oporto's revamped in-store design. Photo: Supplied

What are other steps Oporto is taking to further elevate convenience for its customers?
Oporto is now available on delivery platforms such as Uber and Deliveroo. We’re tapping into new customers as well as adding convenience for our existing customers when they’re not after a dine-in experience.

How are Oporto's international expansion plans going? Any new markets you are keen on to explore?
Oporto has already opened in New Zealand, Singapore and Sri Lanka with further plans to open our doors within Asia and the Middle East.

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