Which are the 10 best Franchise Systems in Australia?

By Ian Krawitz founder and Head of Intelligence at research house 10 THOUSAND FEET and franchise rankings website topfranchise.com.au

topfranchise.com.au Top 10 Franchise Systems in Australia

  1. Smartline 
  2. Mortgage Choice 
  3. Mrs Fields 
  4. Signwave 
  5. Mr Rental
  6. Snap-on Tools
  7. Xpresso Delight 
  8. Chooks Fresh & Tasty 
  9. Bakers Delight
  10. Snooze 

Selecting the right franchise should not be an overnight snap decision. Prospective franchisees will take an average of nine months researching to find the franchise system that fits their needs. What is right for one person will not necessarily be for another, so if you are thinking of buying a franchise, be prepared to embark on a journey of self assessment and research on the 1000 plus franchise systems in Australia.

To make your job of sifting through the opportunities easier, 10 THOUSAND FEET, an independent research firm, have been studying what is important to prospective franchisees and existing franchisees for seven years now, and it is these works that lead us to start our Topfranchise.com.au Awards project in 2008.

Topfranchise.com.au is designed to encourage and promote best practice in franchisee satisfaction, and give you, as prospective franchisees, an insight into what some of the best franchise systems are in Australia and what to look for in all franchise systems you are considering.

Now into its second year and having surveyed more than 2000 franchisees (from over 65 systems) Topfranchise.com.au rates franchise systems according to how satisfied their franchisees are on a number of key criteria. In order for a franchise company to feature in the Topfranchise.com.au Awards they need to take the step of showing they care about their franchisee relationship by doing a survey of their franchisees satisfaction.

For a franchise system to be considered for our Topfranchise.com.au Award they must have at least 10 franchisees. For franchise systems of over 10 franchisees and up to 50 franchisees to ensure we attain a representative look at a franchise system, we require a minimum 50 per cent franchisee participation rate. For franchise systems with over 50 franchisees we require a minimum 35 per cent participation rate.

10 THOUSAND FEET independently administer a survey via email of all franchisees in the participating franchise companies. In turn we assess each participating franchise company on 35 key characteristics which filter into seven major areas of importance.

No matter your background, our research shows there is little doubt that one of these seven major areas will be of importance to you as a prospective franchisee. For some it will be the lifestyle and work life balance you will achieve out of owning your own business, for others it is the support you will receive from a franchise organisation and for many of you it will be the opportunity to gain a greater financial reward than you would be able to get in your current employment situation. How passionate you can get about the business and what opportunities for expanding to two, three or more locations may also be important to you. For most prospective franchisees it is a combination of these different attributes, and for franchisors, performing well in the seven major areas, leads into performing well in the overall Topfranchise.com.au Awards ratings.

The seven major areas include:

  1. Renewal: intention of franchisees to renew their agreement beyond the current term.
  2. Recommendation: willingness to recommend a franchise to friends and colleagues.
  3. Rewards: level of financial & social rewards franchisees feel they receive.
  4. Lifestyle: whether franchisees are satisfied with the lifestyle their franchise affords them.
  5. Support: examining levels of support offered by the franchisor.
  6. Passion: how passionate franchisees are about their customers, brand, product or service they offer.
  7. Opportunities: whether franchisees feel there are opportunities to expand their business within the system.

*to find out who rated best in each of these categories visit the topfranchise website.

All the companies that have made the Top 10 overall most satisfied franchisees in the Topfranchise.com.au ratings will have excelled in one or all of these areas of importance.

On the next page you will get a greater insight into why some of these top franchise companies excelled, but no matter which franchise system you are considering, be sure to ask them how they stack up in the seven key areas of importance.

Best of luck in your research!

Ian Krawitz is the founder and Head of Intelligence at research house 10 THOUSAND FEET and franchise rankings website topfranchise.com.au . A desire to more intimately connect businesses with their customers sparked 10 THOUSAND FEET’s creation 7 years ago and since then the company has assisted hundreds of companies have more profitable relationships with their customers and internal stakeholders.

Future looks fine for Aussie franchisees

Topfranchise.com.au’s bi-annual review into the satisfaction levels of Australia’s franchisees has revealed that being part of a franchise group has paid dividends over the course of the last year with a five per cent increase in franchisees’ belief that they will be able to sell their business for a good return on investment.

Now into its second year, Topfranchise.com.au has surveyed over 2,000 franchisees (from over 65 systems) across Australia in the last two years. The big winner was Smartline personal mortgage advisors. Smartline took out the No.1 position for the second survey running. With 200 plus franchisees Smartline’s achievement should receive special mention. Smartline grew their network from 140 advisors to in excess of 200 advisors by acquiring West Australia’s Mortgage Force in the last 12 months and managed to successfully integrate the two businesses to still have the most satisfied franchisees in Australia. The second big mover was also from the mortgage industry. Mortgage Choice with over 300 franchisees has undergone a range of improvements since its last survey to move into the No.2 position, their focus in improving in key areas has been reflected in the popularity of their system with seven times the number of new franchisees starting with the business this financial year in comparison to last financial year and their overall satisfaction rating increasing by 22 per cent.

In accepting the top award Chris Acret, the managing director and founder of Smartline said “The great thing about the Topfranchise.com.au award, is that the result comes straight from the mouths of our franchisees and is validation for the great team work that exits between our support team and franchisees.”

New entrants to the Top 10 were fast food company Chooks Fresh and Tasty, an established West Australian brand with 34 outlets, now moving into the east coast with six stores in Queensland and Tasmania. Chooks performed well in delivering financial returns to their franchisees, as did fellow first-timer, bedding company Snooze, with 70 outlets, part of the Steinhoff Asia Pacific Group.

Snooze has seen a 72 per cent increase in their franchisees willingness to recommend the business over the last 12 months, and that is a testimony to new managing director Simon Beaty and his team at Snooze who have focused on improving their franchisees financial returns through better financial guidance.

Snooze’s remarkable improvement in the last 12 months was off the back of a 35 per cent improvement in franchisees’ rating of their ability to get a good return on investment and a 50 per cent increase in their rating of Snooze providing ongoing financial guidance to help franchisees operate profitably.

Financials are not the only area of consideration in franchisee satisfaction. The Topfranchise.com.au survey takes into account seven different indicators of franchisee satisfaction. Some of the stand out franchisors in key categories were Xpresso Delight, with 111 franchisees in the mobile coffee business in Australia and New Zealand, enjoying the second highest rating for ‘lifestyle’, second only to Smartline. Snap-on Tools a 150 strong group of franchisees in Australia, part of a global 4,000, had the second most passionate franchisees in the area of ‘passion’, and Mortgage Choice who improved their support of their franchisees significantly to take out second place in the area of ‘franchisee support’.

Other quality systems to make the overall Top 10 by performing consistently well across key categories were food businesses Bakers Delight, with over 600 outlets, Australia’s biggest franchise group to make the Top 10 and Mrs Fields an up and coming group with 25 outlets in Australia, part of a wider network of 500 globally. Other non food-based businesses to score consistently well across all key categories were Signwave, a custom sign design business with 19 local Australian franchisees part of a 500 strong network globally and Mr Rental, another home-grown Australian success story to benefit from an economic downturn growing to over 80 retail outlets in Australia and New Zealand as the demand for renting computers, whitegoods, electrical and now furniture has boomed thanks to a slower economy.

topfranchise.com.au is a free consumer service powered by research house 10 THOUSAND FEET. Topfranchise.com.au is supported by subscription fees paid by franchisors for surveying their franchisees. It allows users to benchmark franchisors against average industry performance across seven categories and provides links to franchisor websites, news articles, video profiles & testimonials. Ratings in each category are updated bi-annually, based on the results of 10 THOUSAND FEET’s ongoing Franchisee Satisfaction Surveys.