Topfranchise Awards winners announced today

New trend data from market research house 10 THOUSAND FEET into the Australian franchise sector shows heritage brands are having a revival in their success and franchisee satisfaction.

10 THOUSAND FEET’s latest Topfranchise Awards have seen a number of heritage brands climb the ranks as they innovate and reinvent their businesses from the inside out, including 100 year old bakery and café Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses entering the top ten list for the first time and taking out fourth position.

Head of Intelligence at 10 THOUSAND FEET, Ian Krawitz, said the study of over 1000 Australian franchisees showed brands with significant history, including number two on the topfranchise list Mister Minit (est. 1957) and first-time topfranchise V.I.P. Home Services (est. 1972), were embracing the ‘adapt and thrive’ mentality resulting in more satisfied franchisees and impressive business growth.

“With age comes experience and established Australian franchises know they have to adapt to new technologies and to new business and management practices to survive. We’ve heard a lot about this in terms of businesses changing to meet customer needs but it’s just as important to understand what needs to change to keep franchisees happy and successful,” he said.

Part of the fifth generation of the family business, Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses CEO Steve Plarre said the company had recently gone through a cultural evolution to reinvigorate its relevance with franchisees. 

“It is important to have franchisee buy in to any cultural change.  When we spoke about our new vision for the business we shared with our franchisees that We’re going to love you more than ever before but we’re also going to ask a lot more of you than ever before and if you don’t like it, that's OK too, just put your hand up and we will do our very best to help you exit the business elegantly'.

“No franchisee exited the business and just one year on we will open six more stores before Christmas, we have plans to double to 120 stores in Victoria, we’ve opened four stores in QLD and we’ll expand into NSW in the next six months.  Franchisee satisfaction levels across our 58 locations soared,” Plarre said.

Second placed Mister Minit CEO Mark Rusbatch, said listening to their customers and franchisees allows them to adapt and keep up to date with the latest trends and demands.

“We survey our franchisees every 6 months across a set of key areas and are constantly in contact to get ideas on how we can improve and service them and our customers better.  One area that we have recently responded to is creating an online stock and logistics system.  The system has been designed to improve the levels of internal service and assist our franchisees to deliver an outstanding offer to our customers,” he said.

At seventh place and with over 40 years operating, V.I.P. Home Services CEO Paul Robinson said “Staying relevant is about regularly revisiting the best way to approach any process.  It may sound simple but we recently decided to create a franchisee hotline for all internal communications to be channelled.  Our franchisees now get a more rapid response to quick questions and our state managers have freed up time for more in depth one-on-one sessions with franchisees.”

 Other 2013 topfranchise award winners included Mortgage Broking firm Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers, taking out the top award for the sixth year running.  Design and Print franchise Kwik Kopy impressed again at third place.  Anytime Fitness, now with over 300 gyms took out fifth place.  Snap-On Tools, with over 170 trucks selling tools to mechanics, took out sixth place.  Eighth place went to bedding, mattress and accessories chain Snooze.  Ninth place went to PoolWerx and Mrs. Fields took out tenth place. Top 10, October 2013


Company name


in Australia

Units/ Locations

in Australia*


Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers




Mister Minit




Kwik Kopy




Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses




Anytime Fitness




Snap-On Tools




V.I.P. Home Services












Mrs. Fields



*This refers to the combined number of business units owned and operated by the company and its franchisees. is a free resource initiated by 10 THOUSAND FEET in 2008 for potential franchisees to review the best performers in key franchise categories.