Franchisees and support staff honoured at VIC/TAS FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards


The Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) recognised franchising’s best in Victoria and Tasmania on Friday night at the final regional FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards for 2014.

Winners at the event included Rajinder Uppal from OPSM Wendouree who took home the Franchisee of the Year, two or more staff award and Rowan Prendergast from OPSM Waurn Ponds who was awarded Franchisee of the Year, less than two staff.

Matt and Brad Walker, Grill’d Camberwell, Knox Ozone and SouthlandIt was also a big night for Grill’d with Brent and Ann Howard who have stores in Elsternwick and Carnegie awarded Franchisee Community Responsibility and Contribution, and Matt and Brad Walker who have stores in Camberwell, Knox and Southland winning Multi-unit Franchisee of the Year for the fourth year running.

David Lacosegliaz from The Cheesecake Shop was awarded Field Manager of the Year.

David said the success of the brand had a lot to do with the family atmosphere created by the franchisees.

“We are a baked on premises product, and I think that generates a more family atmosphere. All the staff get involved and work together on site. I think that creates a really fun environment. It’s a product that’s made with love,” he said.

Rowan, who runs the optometry side of the business at OPSM Waurn Ponds also tutors in Optometry at Deakin University and writes about eye health for the local newspaper. He said his franchisor was instrumental in making the writing a success.

“The idea with the newspaper was that it would bring people into the store. OPSM was really supportive in terms of providing marketing material for that. They also offered me support with regard to actually getting the editorial into newspapers. It was a two way thing, they’ve been incredibly supportive,” Rowan said.

Brent and Ann Howard of Grill’d Elsternwick and Carnegie said their success came from being aligned with Grill’d’s values.

“We live in the area that our restaurants are located. Grill’d are very much a local burger expert and we live and breathe their values. We have a local matters program where we support three local community groups. Each month we donate money to those programs through our business.

“We support a lot of the local sporting clubs as well. Particularly in the junior ranks because we think it’s important for kids to be outdoors enjoying themselves,” the couple said.

Rajinder, who has been with OPSM since 2008 believes the strength of the network and customer focused service has had a major hand in her success.

“The OPSM brand is very well respected throughout Australia. Because of that it makes it easier for us to attract customers into the store. From there it comes down to our policies. A big part of what we do is focus on the OPSM customer journey, to make sure everything we do is customer centric,” she said.

Following their success, all winners have all qualified as finalists for the MYOB FCA National Excellence in Franchising Awards. The Gala Dinner will be held at Allphones Arena in Sydney on Tuesday 28 October at the culmination of the National Franchise Convention.


Multi-Unit Franchisee of the Year

Matt and Brad Walker, Grill’d Camberwell, Knox Ozone and Southland

Franchisee of the Year, two or more staff

Rajinder Uppal, OPSM Wendouree

Franchisee of the Year, less than two staff

Rowan Prendergast, OPSM Waurn Ponds

Field Manager of the Year

David Lacosegliaz, The Cheesecake Shop

Franchisee Community Responsibility and Contribution

Brent and Ann Howard, Grill’d Carnegie and Elsternwick

Rowan Prendergast, OPSM Waurn Ponds