To make the process of becoming a franchise partner easier, the company behind some of Australia’s most recognised household names has transformed the way it connects potential franchise partners to new opportunities.
Retail Food Group is the driving force behind brands like Donut King, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, Crust Gourmet Pizza, Pizza Capers, Brumby’s Bakery and Michel’s Patisserie. It has built up a thriving retail network, with close to 1,800 food and beverage franchise outlets across Australia and almost 800 internationally.
Retail Food Group sought a technology platform that would provide complete visibility on pipeline leasing and recruitment, so that franchise partners could establish themselves faster.
Given the complexity of the franchise industry, and Retail Food Group’s unique span across many Brand Systems, customisation was important. It’s a 13-stage process to secure franchise partners, and there are strict rules around how and when each step can occur. With this in mind, the technology platform would need to be easily adapted to suit the franchise partner application process.
Scalability was key, too. Retail Food Group had 20 employees ready to use the platform at the outset, but planned to roll it out across the business as the technology proved itself.
The experience of applying for and becoming a franchise partner has improved significantly with Salesforce. Those with a genuine interest in becoming a franchise partner are identified much earlier in the pipeline, which means that any questions or concerns they have can be answered much earlier, too.
“Rather than leaving new candidates with any uncertainty, we are much more proactive about responding to genuine leads and making the whole onboarding process much faster,” Mike Gilbert, Chief Franchise Officer said.
From the moment a potential franchise partner submits their details on the Retail Food Group website, the lead is nurtured on Salesforce. It’s easier to identify genuine leads, and a chain of events ensures the sales team keeps up the pace of conversation with interested candidates.
The platform is designed to get these candidates up and running fast—with assurance that Retail Food Group is there to support them at every step of the way. Retail Food Group has reduced the time it takes to bring new franchise partners on board by about 20 per cent.
Retail Food Group has close to 800 franchise outlets in over 70 territories around the world. Instead of signing up individual franchise partners for each outlet in these territories, it works with Master Franchise Partners who manage the franchise process in their local areas. The company has been using Salesforce from day one of its global expansion.
“Salesforce has transformed the way we operate internally. In the past, we lacked visibility and consequently it was much harder to have our finger on the pulse. With Salesforce, we have stepped it up a mile with onboarding and engagement, and have an unrivalled level of business intelligence,” said Gilbert.
For example, field-based employees can now access all the right documentation to conduct face-to-face interviews with potential candidates in remote areas. Previously, this wasn’t possible. The operations team uses Salesforce when out with existing franchise partners to pull up the latest quality assurance and compliance programs. The platform has become the go-to resource for understanding and solving the latest issues that franchise partners face.
“Our time is freed up for nurturing relationships and business development. We are getting on with the job of building our business and more importantly helping our franchise partners build their business,” Gilbert said.