FRANCHISING | Staff Reporter, Australia

QSR Media interviews Tasti D-Lite's John Crawford about their Australian launch

Following the announcement that the US QSR Tasti D Lite will be launching in Melbourne soon we sat down with John Crawford who has the Australian master franchise about his plans for brand.

QSR Media: How is Tasti D-Lite different to other dessert offerings?
Crawford: Tasti D-Lite is a low-fat, low-carb, low-sugar dairy-based soft serve frozen dessert t’s perfect for those who crave ice cream but don’t want the fat content, or who love frozen yoghurt but can’t get past the high sugar content or characteristic ‘sourness’ – Tasti D-Lite is great tasting but has none of those unwanted properties. It originated in the kitchen of a New York woman who was looking for a way to enjoy frozen treats but still watch her weight. Most 120ml servings average just 70 calories, a mere 1.5 grams of fat and 13 grams of carbs, yet it’s still the creamy, delicious taste that people want

QSR Media: How much for a franchise?
Crawford: Investment for a single unit franchisee will be in the range of $250,000 to $400,000, which includes all set up costs and fees. Costs will vary dependent upon size and location of centres.

QSR Media: 30 stores in 5 years, where are you targeting?
Crawford: Our initial Flagship store is in Melbourne and we expect to develop a number of centres in and around the city, but we are not limiting our expansion to Victoria and intend to develop the brand nationally. We are eager to talk with potential franchise partners throughout Australia.

QSR Media: How are you planning to promote yourself and the brand?
Crawford: We are confident that our product will speak for itself but of course we need to communicate our message through direct advertising and promotional activity. We have also appointed Franchise Selection as our Franchise recruiters and we will be well represented in forthcoming franchise expos and trade shows.

QSR Media: What is your background prior to taking on the master franchise?
Crawford: I was involved in the cinema industry with Village Roadshow for 25 years, both in Australia and internationally. As CEO for the Cinema division I was responsible for the company’s initial expansion beyond Australia and eventually all aspects of the Group’s operations in more than 20 countries. Over the past decade I founded a Retail Property development and management group in the UK and Europe, selling my interest in 2007.

QSR Media: You mention "investing heavily" in the brand, what exactly will you be doing?
Crawford: Apart from communicating the qualities of Tasti D-Lite to the Australian public we have adapted a comprehensive operating model to ensure that our franchise partners are fully equipped to operate effectively. This will include - but is not limited to - a state of the art Loyalty Program that is fully integrated with social media and a comprehensive intranet system for franchisees, which gives them instant access to the latest marketing, operational and administrative information.

QSR Media: How will you promote Tasti D-lite and its US heritage?
Crawford: The strength of the US heritage is that Tasti D-Lite is a tried and tested product, established for more than 20 years in one of the toughest markets – New York City. This coupled with the experience and professionalism of the team in the US gives us complete confidence that its heritage has the best of both worlds.

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