As we get back to business following twelve months of COVID impacts on businesses and communities across Australia, franchising has emerged at the forefront of small business recovery.

We continue to remind all our stakeholders that in many instances both franchisors and franchisees are small businesses, subject to the same economic waves and regulatory burdens that make day to day operation and profitability a challenge, especially in dealing with COVID restrictions.




The FCA’s support for members and broader advocacy in the COVID pandemic has earned respect across business and politics, and we are seen to have taken a strong stand to support Australian small businesses.

The FCA continues to advocate strongly for franchising as the best model for small business, by promoting the needs and concerns of all small businesses, whether franchisors or franchisees, and by highlighting franchise network support for franchisees during COVID and on the path to recovery.

Instead of constantly responding to political or media ‘noise’, we now actively promote awareness of FCA at the centre of franchising in Australia and a source of commentary on the day-to-day issues that concern franchise businesses.

Apart from COVID impacts, the core issues for members are still commercial leasing and landlord issues, workforce management (especially WFH) and complex regulatory changes that create an unnecessary burden for small businesses. 

Sustainability has become a key focus for government, industry and consumers, and all levels of government are introducing bans and regulations with the food retail and hospitality sector most impacted.

With food retailing comprising around 40% of the $154b franchising sector, franchises in food and hospitality have been driving sustainability priorities as a key strategic and business imperative.

The FCA is providing a platform for FCA members and businesses in the food retailing and hospitality sectors to share knowledge in a Sustainable Food Leadership Forum, in Sydney on Tuesday 25 May 2021.

FCA members will have direct access to leaders in fresh foods, food and beverage manufacturing, recycling, food waste and packaging to share their learnings and activities in achieving best practice and minimisation of business impacts, as well as innovators in franchising such as McDonald’s and Muffin Break.

Leading demographer Bernard Salt will also provide insights and analysis of real-world trends and challenges including consumer behaviour change.

I hope you can join us for what will be a benchmark for franchising in the sustainability debate.

Please also put Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 August in your calendar as the dates for this year’s National Franchise Convention in Melbourne. With the theme of ‘A new world. A new direction’, this year’s NFC will look to position franchising to capitalise on the changed business environment.

While the last 12 months have brought with them unprecedented challenges, many franchise systems have also seized the opportunity to innovate, pivot their delivery and generate successful business outcomes.

The FCA’s Excellence in Franchising Awards have a proud tradition of celebrating the outstanding achievements of the people and networks that make the sector so resilient and successful.

Entries for the National Awards are closing shortly, and I encourage members to make a submission and take the opportunity to be recognised among the best of the best.

We look forward to working with you this year to ensure your business and the franchising sector maintains momentum across the year ahead.






Mary Aldred is the CEO of the Franchise Council of Australia, the peak body for the nation’s $184 billion franchise sector.
Mary commenced in the role in April 2018, bringing with her extensive experience across government, industry and the corporate sectors. As CEO, Mary has led the FCA in developing and delivering strategic priorities to strengthen the FCA’s role as an effective peak business organisation and advocate for a compliant, sustainable and profitable franchise sector.

Franchise Council of Australia
Phone: 03 9508 0888