HUMAN RESOURCES | Staff Reporter, Australia

Peter Goldsmith, General Manager at Paleo Cafe

On promoting a healthy brand, pursuing excellence, and on planning long-term strategies.

QSR Media: What makes you excited about your position?

Peter Goldsmith: In summary, having been with the company for two months the opportunity to be involved with a truly ‘healthy’ brand in all senses of the word, in the very competitive QSR market, with extremely passionate founders and franchisees while the company is still in its relative infancy is one of the best opportunities anyone could ever wish for.

The growth opportunities for Paleo Café in Australia and overseas are enormous. Who wouldn’t be excited, because our franchise is all about healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle, which is the focus of many media programs and governments both in Australia and internationally, which means we have a head start on our QSR competition.

Furthermore the recent very positive television exposure specifically regarding the Paleo lifestyle continues to benefit our franchisees who have realised significant increases in customer numbers in the past couple of weeks.

QSR Media: What are your key business philosophies?

Goldsmith: I live by two simple mottos and try to apply them to both personal and business life: ‘be lazy, do it right the first time’ and ‘be single minded in the pursuit of excellence’.

To achieve these successfully in franchising means you must have a realistic business and marketing plan that matches the short and medium term objectives of the company, be in touch with your franchisees and customers, do your homework before launching into something new, follow any plan through until you achieve your goals, believe in yourself, your brand and most importantly make sure your franchisees are along for the ride, because without them you have no business.

QSR Media: What three goals are you focused on?

Goldsmith: Developing a solid platform for continued growth in Australia and internationally:
Being a relatively young franchise at two years of age, we have grown too quickly in some areas and have consequently reviewed our long term strategic plan and developed this year’s national business and marketing plans to suit. Our business and marketing plans both have two focal points, growing the business of our current franchisees and engaging new appropriately skilled franchisees. We signed a Master Franchise agreement for New Zealand with the first Paleo Café opening there later this year and we have received numerous enquiries from other interested overseas markets. Last week we launched Paleo Café Express, which is ready to roll out and we have great incentives for the first five Express franchisees.

Franchisee training:
Being open and honest about all aspects of the franchisees’ business which includes discussing the ugly stuff in a constructive manner because that way we all move forward rather than letting things fester. Encouraging franchisees to; be on their business at the same time as being in it and provide the best training for their staff to maximise the WOW factor when any customer comes into their cafes. This is achieved by meeting with them in their cafes and following up by phone and email on a regular basis.
We are also developing a range tool kits to assist franchisees better prepare for their local area marketing activities.

Adapting to the rapidly changing market place:
What was great yesterday is old news, that is how fast things are changing these days and keeping up is the challenge. We are utilising the knowledge of some incredibly experienced industry specific people to ensure our menu provides consumers with innovative, healthy and great tasting meals and light snacks. Our new menu which is launched nationally through all Paleo Cafés on September 19 provides greater variety than our current menu and following the customer feedback from Townsville where the menu has been trialled it will be a real crowd pleaser.

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

Goldsmith: With the speed at which today’s technology and consumer demands are changing to solidify a long term plan for change would not be prudent. Our long term strategic plan for growth is and has to be adaptable, but to say what changes will be put in place will be largely determined by the market place at the time.

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

Goldsmith: I have been privileged to work with major franchises starting at McDonalds and progressing through the management ranks gave me the best introduction to customer service and franchising. Owning my own very successful VIP Lawn Mowing and The Cheesecake Shop franchises provided me with one view of franchising and then moving to the franchisor side of the fence for The Cheesecake Shop in the UK and Australia cemented my career direction.

Eight years at Fastway Couriers as General Manager in Auckland and Sydney taught me what it takes to successfully turn a franchise around, and then working in conjunction with Franchise Systems Group to develop the strategic plan and all franchise documentation for two franchises from scratch taught me what detail was required to prepare a franchise for launch.

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