Business Franchise Australia


Free seminars to inspire & inform at Brisbane Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo

Industry experts agree there is no such thing as too much research when it comes to starting or growing a franchise business. So whether you are taking the first steps, or well on your way on a franchising journey, it’s worth attending the free seminars at the Brisbane Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo this weekend.

“Hearing from the speakers at the ‘Is Franchising Right for You?’ presentation at 11am on Saturday and Sunday is a great way to start the day,” advises Event Manager Fiona Stacey. “They might throw up some issues you had not thought of before, that you can discuss with exhibitors on the stands. Another presentation on this topic is also held at 2pm if you miss the morning session.”

This year’s keynote presentations are by Sara Pantaleo, CEO of La Porchetta and Lenard Poulter CEO and founder of Lenard’s, and the seminar program also includes specialist industry consultants such as Brian Keen from How to Franchise Simply, The Franchise Shop’s Grant Garraway, Elizabeth Gillam from Franchisee Success, Suzanne Jarzabkowska from DC Strategy, and Darryn McAuliffe from FRANdata. 

In addition the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) will be presenting daily panel sessions featuring a range of fascinating and diverse franchisees.

“Great speakers do more than just share information – they can be motivating and inspiring, or even life-changing,” says Stacey. “I encourage all visitors to take advantage of these free sessions at the show.”

Sara Pantaleo, CEO of La Porchetta A former Franchise Woman of the Year, Sara Pantaleo’s keynote session will take attendees on a journey of the past and future for La Porchetta, and share her story as a businesswoman. Pantaleo is a passionate advocate for franchising as a business model and she has served on the FCA Board at a state and national level and as a member of the FCA CEO Group. She is also a member of the Family Business Association Victorian Committee.

Lenard Poulter is one of the pioneers of value-added food retailing in Australia, with 30 years at the helm of Lenard’s and over 50 years as a retailer. Poulter has won multiple awards including Entrepreneur of the Year and is an inductee in the Franchise Hall of Fame. His mantra is that you must change to stay ahead, which has seen him reinvent the humble chicken numerous times and successfully turn around the business three times in its 30 year history – a rare feat for any business.

Elizabeth Gillam’s presentation is titled ‘How to buy a franchise – making the right decision’ based on her wide experience with clients of her consultancy Franchisee Success. Gillam will be launching her new book, Upsize your Profit – 6 Steps to Running a Profitable Food Franchise at the Business Soapbox her stand on Saturday and will be offering complimentary copies of her booklet, Do your Due Diligence – THE PROCESS.

Fiona Stacey says one thing all the experts have in common is the emphasis they place on thorough research before investing in a franchise, or franchising an existing concept.

“Attending the Expo means you can investigate all the ins and outs and meet all the right people under one roof,” she says. “It really is a one-stop-shop, wherever you are in your franchising journey.”

A full seminar program is available at The Brisbane Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo will be on Saturday 18 July – Sunday 19 July, 10am-5pm, at the Brisbane Exhibition Centre at South Bank.

Entry at the door is $20, or pre-register for half-price tickets at

The next Franchising & Business Opportunities Expos are:

Melbourne 21-23 August 2015 at Melbourne Exhibition Centre, South Wharf

Sydney 18-20 March 2016 at the Royal Hall of Industries, Moore Park.


Grant Garraway is The Franchise Shop’s senior consultant, with over 25 years experience within the franchise industry, both as an employee of major franchisors and as a consultant to the franchise sector. Garraway is a post-graduate qualified accountant and has held senior management positions with several multi-national and Australian and International Franchisors, including Midas and Kleins. He has assisted more than 30 clients to become successful franchisors including Keen to Clean, which has made BRW’s fastest growing list for the past two years, and has sold master franchises in South Africa, Malaysia, New Zealand and China.

Elizabeth Gillam is a leading franchisee mentor, award winning multi-franchise owner and the founder of Franchisee Success. Having owned and operated three franchised food businesses; Boost, Healthy Habits and Bucking Bull; she knows what it takes to operate a profitable food franchise. This multi award winning businesswoman, author, speaker and mentor, thrives on showing fellow franchisees how to do the same.

Suzanne Jarzabkowska, CEO of DC Strategy, has 30 years experience both as an entrepreneur in the private sector and in the international NGO sector. Drawing on her extensive background in the social sciences and public health, she delivered crisis management services and sustainable aid programs in South-East Asia prior to joining DC Strategy. She also has hands on experience as the major shareholder and Managing Director setting up and operating her own successful cruise ship business in the south Pacific.

Brian Keen has 40 years experience nationally and overseas as a business owner and company director. Born in Uxbridge on the outskirts of London, Keen lived in Malawi before moving to Perth, Australia in 1975. In the early 1980s, he joined the franchising sector as a franchisee with the then new Bedshed group, opening and operating seven stores in five years. Next he established a national franchise consultancy and sales group, the Franchise Alliance, developing franchise business systems and sales strategies for over 40 businesses including household names such as Ultratune, Jim’s Mowing and Donut King. Within the first five years, Keen also built six franchise groups with over 120 outlets. Today he has a new business, ‘How To Franchise Simply,’ which delivers a step-by-step franchising system.

Darryn McAuliffe, CEO of FRANdata Australia, oversees the provision of independent reviews, accreditations and information reporting on franchise systems to assist various stakeholders with their key strategic decision-making. With over thirty years experience in the banking and finance sector, McAuliffe is a CPA and experienced former bank executive across business banking, risk management and industry specialisation. The four years prior to joining FRANdata he ran the NAB’s franchising strategy, which included the accreditation and portfolio management of major Australian franchise brands.

Sara Pantaleo is CEO of La Porchetta, Australasia’s largest, franchised, licensed, à-la-carte restaurant group. Pantaleo was instrumental in driving La Porchetta’s growth from 12 restaurants when she joined in 1996, to more than 70 across Australia and New Zealand today. She achieved this by building corporate systems and process that enabled the company to expand without compromising its core family values and culture. A passionate advocate for franchising as a business model, Pantaleo has served on the FCA Board at a state and national level and as a member of the FCA CEO Group, and she is also a member of the Family Business Association Victorian Committee. She was national Franchise Woman of the Year in 2010 and this year was among the first group of Australian franchise executives to be awarded the prestigious Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) accreditation.

Len Poulter first discovered his passion for food half a century ago, amid the smells and sounds of the Victoria Markets in Melbourne. After an early career as a butcher there, Poulter decided to travel and further his education in general food retail, and worked in London on the meat displays in Harrods. On his return, Poulter saw that the Australian market had not taken advantage of an emerging trend in value-added meals, and began adding sauces and marinades to products in his own store. He subsequently opened and franchised his first value-added poultry store in Sunnybank Hills, Brisbane in 1987. Today, Lenard’s employs more than 2,000 staff in nearly 300 franchises, supermarkets and butchers across Australia and remains one of the great success stories of Australian food retailing.