Baskin-Robbins Australia’s General Manager Ben Flintoff has claimed second spot at “Top 30 Franchise Executives” announcement, presented by Inside Franchise Business.

The event launched the Top 30 Franchise Executives Report 2021 to highlight Australia’s best franchise professionals. Key to the search was looking for “individuals whose actions have had direct impact on franchisees” with 2020 a great test with the pandemic.

Flintoff’s bold statement at the beginning of 2020 and the onset of COVID-19 drove the franchise network through the challenging year: “Baskin-Robbins Australia is taking the early decision to not be victims as this global pandemic unfolds.”

Baskin-Robbins, whose Master Licensee in Australia is Palm Oasis Ventures, rose to the occasion with Flintoff at the helm.

He led communications to keep the network focused on key issues, from state-based trade restrictions and enhanced health and hygiene standards, plus training initiatives to maintain store compliance and deliver consumer confidence.

“COVID was new to everyone, and we wanted to help our franchise business partners navigate it as best as possible,” Flintoff said. “This included supporting them with education on government stimulus packages and helping them negotiate rent-free periods with their landlords.”

At the height of the pandemic 15 stores closed, but within two months five stores had reopened, with almost all back trading by October.