In Focus
FRANCHISING | Staff Reporter, Australia

Learn more about Rolld's plans to tap into in the technology space

The Vietnamese food brand is looking for the balance between technology, automation, and the 'human touch'.

QSR Media got a chance to speak with Rolld CEO and Co-Founder Bao Hoang about what the brand has been doing lately, what challenges it is facing, and where it aims to go next. 

Rolld offers traditional Vietnamese recipes that have been passed down through generations. The brand aims to serve food that stays true to the essence of Vietnamese food, balanced, vibrant, and flavoursome. Rolld offers rice paper rolls, noodle soups, salads, and a variety of Vietnamese dishes, available online for pickup or for delivery.

QSR Media: What's new at Rolld?

Bao Hoang: Stores, stores, and more stores! We're responding to the growing market demand for more fast, fresh and still nutritious meal options. In the past month we've opened four stores, and recently a major milestone on October 5th, when we opened our 50th store in the Melbourne Central Dining Hall, VIC to an eager crowd and long queues. We've still six stores to go for 2016, so watch this space.

What else is new with stores is that we've simplified the fit out, and laid out the store to allow for more display and food theatre, with visuals into the food prep areas. We've shifted the focus to ensure food is the hero, and not the fit-out, as it should be. To our predictions, the move has shown great results, with newer stores showing an average increase in turnover estimated at about 25% more.

Another great milestone worth mentioning is that we've launched our Boarding House. Rolld has partnered with an Australian charity based in Vietnam called Blue Dragon, and in 2015 pledged to raise $150,000 to be build a boarding house for kids in a remote province in North Vietnam, to allow them safe and secure shelter so they can attend school. Blue Dragon rescues kids in crisis (e.g. kids trafficked into the rag trade or sex industry), and the boarding house was flagged as one of the best preventions for kids dropping out of school, and becoming susceptible to traffickers. The Rolld family network was able to raise over $184,000 and on September 18, 2016 officially opened the facility to house over 200 kids at any given time, including new bathroom and kitchen facilities. A huge effort, and so proud of our team!

QSR Media: What can you say are the challenges you are currently facing in the industry?

Bao Hoang: In recent times, the increased demand for Australian product in international markets has seen a rise in costs for particular items, such as beef, for local businesses. Fluctuations in prices for raw product obviously affects the bottom line, and makes it more difficult for future-planning of the network as a whole.

QSR Media: Opportunities?

Bao Hoang: Definitely plenty of opportunity in the technology space that I'm very excited about, such Geo-targeting and Geo-fencing. We're always looking at different ways to refine our business model to find that perfect balance between technology and automation, and 'the human touch', as we believe this is key to winning loyalty with our most influential consumers - Millennials.

QSR Media: Any big plans you have before the year ends?

Bao Hoang: Perhaps one of our biggest endeavours to date is launching our first international store. The first store is due at the end of this year in a major shopping precinct in the Philippines. So as local businesses are winding down and construction companies in Australia take a break for the festive season, we'll be gearing up for a big launch! A big holiday might have to be tacked on to the end of it!

QSR Media: What would you like to tell the market about the direction of your brand? 

Bao Hoang: The Rolld family has big dreams, and we're not just hoping to wake up with success in our laps. We understand that it takes a village (a big village!) to raise the bar in this industry, so one major focus for us now is getting the absolute best to join us. But 'best' to us doesn't only mean the smartest and most experienced; we need people to be on the journey for the right reasons and to have the same values. We're absolutely not losing focus on food quality (to be honest, our mums wouldn't let us!) but more so increasing the focus on engaged and happy people, that do what they do because they love it, and will keep doing what's necessary to get to the greater goal. So if anyone knows anyone? We need more family! much as we love ours already. 

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