Cover Story: Souvlakihut


This article appeared in Issue 3#2 (January/February 2009) of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand


Designed to help potential franchisees pick the best from the plethora of franchise systems operating in Australia, a new online resource lists Souvlakihut as the Number One choice.

Created by strategic marketing intelligence agency 10 THOUSAND FEET, has rated franchise systems according to the views of current franchisees, providing potential franchisees with an independent reference point and a true picture of the franchisee experience. was compiled using the results of 10 THOUSAND FEET’s annual Franchisee Satisfaction Survey; a comprehensive study of the franchise industry involving over 40 in depth interviews with franchisees, and survey responses from over 900 franchisees across more than 50 franchise systems in Australia.

Launching the results at the Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo in Melbourne last October, Souvlakihut rated number one franchise overall, as well as securing first place under the individual categories of Renewal, Rewards, Lifestyle and Support.

Ian Krawitz, Head of Intelligence at 10 THOUSAND FEET said that places emphasis on the factors that are important to franchisees: “It was a surprise for a relatively small franchise system to come out on top, but when we examined Souvlakihut’s success in more detail, it was clear that its focus on training and supporting its franchisees was the deciding factor.”

Bill and John Fotiadis founded Souvlakihut in 2004, realising their vision of an innovative and informal Greek dining experience, within the quick service restaurant trade.  The brothers have proved a lucrative partnership, thanks to Bill’s food industry experience and John’s banking and finance background, collectively spanning some 35 years.

Souvlakihut offers fresh, tasty and healthy authentic Greek cuisine made with grilled meats and seafood, and fresh vegetables.  The delicious menu includes souvlakia, meat platters, custom made pita bread burgers, home-style dips and salads.

The franchise system lends itself to three levels of stores, ranging from an express store focusing on takeaway and home delivery, to a main arterial store with a larger emphasis on dining-in.

Bruno Ceraso, Franchise Training Manager, explains:  “The flexibility of our concept lends itself to all three levels.  We’re able to basically shape ourselves to suit any particular market.”

The first Souvlakihut store opened in Hillside, Victoria and was sold a mere five months later to its first franchisee.  Today, there are 25 franchises across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania.  

Souvlakihut are now experiencing tremendous growth across Australia:  prior to Christmas 2008, new stores were opening at the rate of one per week!  By the end of the 2008/09 financial year, Souvlakihut anticipates having 40 stores trading.

Bruno insists the sensation of Souvlakihut is largely credited to listening to the needs of their customers beyond the provision of good food:  “We believe that success is not about doing something extraordinary – it’s about making sure that you do the ordinary things very well.  If you stick to the systems, focus on the basics, build a positive team culture and environment, you should achieve success.”

For further information about owning a Souvlakihut franchise, visit