HUMAN RESOURCES | Staff Reporter, Australia

Martin Stepien, Managing Director of Espresso Lane Coffee

On wearing multiple hats, achieving targets and implementing changes.

QSR Media: What makes you excited about your position?

Martin Stepien: The fact that I get to wear multiple hats during the week, from Franchise Recruitment, Sourcing locations, Product Development to Marketing. Every day is different and presents new challenges and opportunities - I don't have a 9 to 5 job I have a "when I open my eyes to when I close my eyes" type of job.

Also the immense satisfaction from being able to support and work with people who have decided make the transition from employees to business owners and being able to guide them through this at times terrifying process.

I really enjoy working in the Franchising industry and I am very excited with the fact that I can see a long future in my current position as we continue to expand and grow. We have barely scratched the surface when it comes to Drive Thru Coffee and can achieve so much more.

Also when I get to meet with franchisees after a year of operating their business and witness the transformation they have gone through.

QSR Media: What 3 goals are you focused on?

Stepien: That would be store growth, we have a development schedule in place and I am working hard to ensure that we achieve our targets.

Increasing sales in our existing locations - we have had some great results in 2014 but firmly believe we can continue to grow our sales in the years ahead.

Growing awareness about the Espresso Lane Coffee brand and Drive Thru Coffee.

QSR Media: What long-term changes are you planning on?

Stepien: 2014 was the year to plant the seeds for crucial changes / improvements. Now it is a matter of implementing these changes and seeing them flourish.

There will also be a lot of emphasis on the culture within the brand. In the day to day life of operating a franchise we tend to provide "band aid " solutions to a lot of the small problems that pop up.

Now we are focused on implementing a "long term solution" philosophy to any issues that we face - it may not fix them straight away but we know that we will not be revisiting the same problem in the near future.

QSR Media: What are your key business philosophies?

Stepien: My key business philosophies are simple:

  • Need to be passionate about what you are doing
  • Always look for a Win - Win solution for all parties

Also a few quotes that I live by:

  • Be flexible and transparent.
  • "Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast" - Peter Drucker
  • "As long as your going to be thinking anyway, think big" Donald Trump
  • "If Someone offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes - then learn how to do it later" - Richard Branson
  • "You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future " - Steve Jobs
  • "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm " Winston Churchill

QSR Media: What previous positions prepared you for this one and how?

Stepien: My previous position was Marketing Manager for Subway Developments Nth West Victoria. I had the privilege to start working with the company when it was in its infancy stages of only 3 stores in our territory and experience great growth of 150 additional stores until I moved on to ESPRESSO LANE COFFEE. Over the years I got to wear many hats within Subway Developments and this gave me great preparation for my role as I dealt with various facets of franchising.

Also the fact that my Wife and I owned a Subway Franchise allowed me to experience "both sides of the fence" and look at franchising from different perspectives. The learning curve over the past few years has been huge but the experience I have gained from my previous job has been crucial and invaluable

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