Franchise News – Issue 2#3


This article appeared in Issue 2#3 (Mar/Apr 2008) of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand


Over 300 staff, franchisees and suppliers gathered at the Melbourne Sofitel recently for the annual Autobarn awards black tie event.

“It is the night of nights for our suppliers and franchisees,” said Diana Ntounias, executive administrator at Autobarn.

Autobarn Mackay took out the 2006/2007 National Franchisee Award and also the State Franchisee of the Year Award in Queensland. Other State Award Winners were Autobarn Preston in Victoria and Autobarn Maitland in NSW.

“We are both surprised and humbled by winning the Autobarn National and State Franchisee of the Year Awards,” said Roy Brownsey of Autobarn Mackay. “We thank our staff and suppliers along with the Autobarn National Office and our fellow Autobarn franchisees. We must also acknowledge the fantastic Autobarn franchise system — it works!”

Top suppliers included Clarion Australia who was awarded gold in the National Supplier of the Year Category and the company’s sales representative Ben Bickerstaff who was awarded the Sales Representative of the Year in the VIC/TAS/SA/NT category.


South Australia’s State Economic and Finance Committee is to hold an inquiry into the laws regulating the franchise industry.

The committee has decided to investigate whether the existing laws ensure that sufficient and accurate information is disclosed to potential franchisees and whether franchisees have an effective mechanism for resolving disputes with access to appropriate legal remedies.

The inquiry was initiated by the Member for Light, Tony Piccolo.

“I have received a number of complaints from local franchisees which suggest that existing laws work to the advantage of franchisors,” said Piccolo. “The reality is that mum and dad franchisees borrow money to establish themselves so are unable to access the legal system because of cost.”

Piccolo said the inquiry is not about people who make bad business decisions but rather where franchisors have clearly broken the law with apparent impunity.


Cash-rich, time-poor Aussies have pushed domestic cleaning into one of the country’s fastest growing industries.

The demand for professional domestic cleaners in Australia is starting to exceed supply in certain areas, with some cleaning companies forced to turn away business.

Paul Mitchell, director of Houseproud Cleaning, based at Sydney’s northern beaches, receives an average of 250 enquiries for domestic cleaners per month. Of these, he turns away more than 60 enquirers as he simply does not have the resources to meet such demand.

“More and more households are asking: why should we spend so long at our paid job, only to come home to more work?” says Mitchell.

According to Phil Rutheven, founder of IBISWorld Business Information, this year Australian households will spend about $130 billion paying other people to do the things they once did for themselves. In fact, IBISWorld estimates a further $370 billion worth of household services will be outsourced over the next one or two generations.


Contours won the HP Fastest Growth Award at the SmartCompany Awards and the Imagine Award for the Fastest Growing Small Business at the My Business Awards late last year.

The awards aim to discover Australia’s smartest entrepreneurs who are changing the business landscape.

Contours has experienced 782% growth over the last three years. Their success is based on a simple, effective marketing message: Get fit in 29 minutes, three times a week, and their simple franchising model which is Australian-based and easy to manage with monthly training sessions in sales and equipment.

Contours’ fitness program is particularly popular among the 25-65 year-old age group as women who are pressed for time due to family and work commitments can fit the short workout in to their busy schedule and still achieve results.

Contours has 120 operating studios and more than 155 franchisees across Australia. Their strategic goal is to have 300 studios with more than 300 members each.


Australian donut chain Donut King celebrated building the world’s biggest donut – a sixmetre giant pink sprinkled monstrosity – in Sydney, December last year.

The event marked the release of The Simpsons Movie DVD and was inspired by Homer’s love for pink sprinkled donuts.

The donut was made from 80,000 individual donuts and weighed 3.5 tonnes – the size of two rhinoceroses – and used half a ton of pink icing and 30kg of rainbow-coloured sprinkles.

Tracey Catterall, Donut Kings Marketing Manager, was proud of the accomplishment. “It was an amazing feat of engineering, skill and teamwork that allowed us to create the biggest event in Donut King’s history,” she said.

The donut was donated to Oz Harvest, a Sydney-based charity that collects excess food and delivers it, free of charge, to organisations that feed disadvantaged men, women and children in the community. The event was supported by Kerry Pinnacle, Allied Mills, Beston Uniforms, Projects 1 Group, Kay Bee Trading and Mackies.


Eagle Boys Pizza has invested over $50,000 in developing their new online ordering system. Managing director Todd Clayton said the introduction of the system had already improved sales in trial areas.

“We have seen the average order expenditure increase, on average, by 50 percent. We have also seen the ratio of deliveries-to pick-up evening out to 50/50 as opposed to the current 70/30 share through traditional phone or in-store ordering.”

Another attraction of the system is more competitive pricing. “Buying our pizzas online will be the most cost effective option outside of a coupon offer with pizzas from $6.95 for a standard large pizza. This is unique in the market place as some other chains charge full price for online orders.”

Eagle Boys Pizza currently has about 200 stores across Australia and the company is implementing a number of new business strategies including a strong focus on product development and new store models. Clayton expects to see the company reach 400 stores in the next three years.


Mortgage Choice has appointed to the newly created, national recruitment manager role.

Kelvin has extensive experience in the franchising industry as a franchise recruitment manager and as a franchise owner. His role is to drive the growth of the national franchise network in numbers of productive business writers i.e. franchisees and loan consultants.

“I understand it is our primary responsibility to protect the system and brand integrity whilst supporting the entrepreneurship and flexibility of the network,” said Kevin. “It is also paramount that the network continues to attract and retain the highest quality small business owners in the market. I am dedicated to ensuring this happens”.

Mortgage Choice provides professional home loan advice on, and choice of, products offered by a panel of 31 of Australia’s leading lending institutions and its accredited loan consultants do not charge customers for their services. Through its national network of over 445 franchises and over 663 loan consultants supported by group and state offices, Mortgage Choice writes almost 1 in every 20 Australian residential loans.


Aussie brand, SumoSalad, is taking its innovative healthy fast food offerings to New Zealand.

From humble beginnings in 2003 with just one store in Sydney, SumoSalad currently has 47 stores trading throughout Australia. There are five international stores in Dubai and the UK and now SumoSalad franchises are available for purchase in Auckland and other areas of NZ.

“SumoSalad is all about living and eating well which our franchisees love, as they can combine a personal lifestyle choice with a profitable business that they own and manage themselves,” said Luke Baylis, Director for SumoSalad. “This and the fact that SumoSalad is an Australian brand and not one of the large overseas junkfood giants, I feel will appeal greatly to New Zealand franchisees.”

The menu items available from SumoSalad include freshly made to order warm and cold express salads, hearty soups in winter, delicious long rolls and toasties, hot pasta salads, organic coffee and healthy breakfast options, plus a great range of traditional Vietnamese spring rolls.

SumoSalad prides itself on being a young, fun and unique company.


Forty Winks won the prestigious Australian National Retailer of the Year award for 2007 in the awards held by the Furnishing Industry Association of Australia (FIAA).

The awards have been an annual event for over twelve years and they highlight and acknowledge excellence, innovation and success in the Australian furnishing industry.

In announcing the award to Forty Winks, Ian Heard the CEO of the FIAA said, “Forty Winks has demonstrated Australia wide that they support Australian manufacturers and value them in their product offer to the Australian consumer. Forty Winks also appreciate the important role that Australian manufacturers have to play in the success of their business.”

Roger Wilson, general manager of Forty Winks, said he was thrilled to accept the award. “We are an Australian company and proudly support the furniture industry in Australia. We enjoy working with Australian manufacturers to give our customers the best possible choice and quality they seek.”

Forty Winks has over 90 stores in Australia.


Leading owner, operator and developer of franchises Allied Brands Limited is targeting Western Australia for a major expansion of its three brands Baskin Robbins, Cookie Man and Kenny’s Cardiology.

The move, fuelled by a recently completed $10 million capital raising to fund further growth, will see a significant boost to store numbers in WA over the next year.

As part of its aggressive expansion strategy, Allied Brands is obtaining sites first rather than waiting to secure eligible franchisee owners.

Allied Brands managing director Peter Graham said the company believed the continuing strong WA economy provided exceptional prospects for its brands.

“Previously these brands have been focused far more on the eastern seaboard but the recent capital raising has provided the company with the capacity to take advantage of the opportunities in the West,” Graham said.

Allied Brands will focus on shopping centres both in Perth and to the north and south for franchisee sites.

Across Australia Baskin Robbins has 81 stores, Cookie Man 51 stores and Kenny’s Cardiology 33 stores.