According to Franchised Food Company (FFC) Managing Director Stan Gordon, blasé comments from US-based Kahala Franchising about recruitment issues for the Australian expansion of its Cold Stone ice cream chain, may become a cautionary tale.
Gordon said recruitment of suitable franchisees is the biggest issue currently facing franchisors here, that any franchise relies on its operator’s strength and tier one franchisees are becoming increasingly difficult to find.
“The last few years have been difficult for several operators in Australia and while the marketplace has room for competition, recruitment should be the key concern, not a secondary thought, of any new entrant.
“Franchisees can’t simply be counter retailers, they need to have a passion for the product, be willing to work hard and have sound knowledge of their local market. It’s rare to find operators who hold all those qualities.”
Prime examples of offshore brands that failed to achieve this include Krispy Kreme, Starbucks and Baskin Robbins, Gordon said.
“Those brands all enjoyed an initial surge in popularity but ultimately failed to understand the Australian marketplace.”
“Imposing a product or experience that has worked overseas doesn’t necessarily resonate with Australian consumers. Tastes vary and it’s vital to respect that and modify your offering accordingly.”
Gordon said international franchises need to be aware that local consumers are discerning, and will spend their money elsewhere if a brand doesn’t meet their expectations.
FFC owns popular food brands including Cold Rock Ice Creamery, Nutshack, Pretzel World and Mr Whippy.