Bakers Delight Franchise Review – Recently, Australian franchises had the opportunity to interview Gabby Kelly from Bakers Delight. As the company’s chief growth officer, we were happy to find out what challenges the retail industry is currently facing and how international expansion compares to the franchise’s initial growth in its home market.
Being a baker requires years of apprenticeship. How does this affect Bakers Delight franchisee recruitment strategy? and what tips would you have for other industries that require minimum qualifications?
Bakers Delight Franchise Review
Although becoming a baker requires structured training, you do not need to have baking experience to become a Bakers Delight franchisee. Regardless of your background or financial situation, the most important criteria for a successful franchisee are drive and ambition.
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All our potential franchisees go through a comprehensive Bakers Delight franchise training program to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to run a bakery. 16 The 20-week competency-based training includes extensive practical on-the-job training from baking, production management, marketing, purchasing and warehousing to accounting and management practice.
We cannot advise on other industries that require a minimum qualification as this is not required to become a Bakers Delight franchisee.
Finding the right location is essential to the success of any retail store. What tips do you have for franchisees who may be looking at multiple locations?
Bakers Delight’s experienced real estate team uses its expertise in property selection to find viable retail areas and also negotiates leases directly with landlords on behalf of its franchise network.
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Keeping franchisees happy is vital to your business. What tips do you have for franchisors and franchisees to resolve the occasional disputes that arise?
Regional managers are assigned to each bakery, who act as a business partner and provide guidance on how to run the business. Conferences, marketing forums, baking competitions and territory-based meetings also give franchisees the opportunity to share their progress and discuss challenges with peers and headquarters. This ongoing support is a key driver in maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with our franchisees.
The ability to network with other franchisees and benchmark results provides an invaluable support system for the 700 strong network of bakeries.
Many retail businesses are still suffering post-GFC, but Bakers Delight is growing stronger and expanding its global operations. Looking back at when the GFC first hit the headlines, how did Bakers Delight respond to protect themselves and their franchisees, and would you do it the exact same way again?
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With bread being a staple and consumer demand for freshly baked bread increasing, Bakers Delight is weathering the tough times well. When the GFC hit, Bakers Delight was in the process of rebranding and invested heavily in advertising to further strengthen this positioning.
Bakers Delight continues to expand despite a slump in retail sales and forecasts a strong financial performance for FY12, expecting to reach $587 million in global sales.
You mention on your website that 10% of your outlets are company owned. What are the advantages of keeping stores owned and not franchising them all?
Company owned bakeries are an important asset as they not only provide a source of profit for the Bakers Delight network (and COBS Bread in Canada) but also provide an excellent training environment for our employees and new franchisees .
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In the past, people were very particular about their bakers. It was a very personal choice. How did you manage to create a national franchise without losing the “local baker” character?
Despite being Australia’s largest bakery franchise, Bakers Delight has maintained strong community ties. Connections with local communities confirm that Bakers Delight is not a faceless brand. Bakeries are run by real people from real communities.
Participating in the community means our franchisees can build meaningful relationships with their customers. Personal service makes a big difference. Bakery employees also get a lot of satisfaction from giving back to the local communities they serve. It feels like we are making a real difference in the lives of many and brings employees, the franchise network, our customers and communities closer together.
Community, social and environmental initiatives demonstrate Bakers Delight’s commitment to triple bottom line. This commitment contributes to the long-term sustainability of the organization. Over the years, Bakers Delight has developed a number of initiatives that contribute to its leadership in the industry, including Bundraiser Day at Easter, long-term support of the Australian Breast Cancer Network which raised $5.5 million raising and sponsoring local communities.
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Bakers Delight has expanded to Canada and New Zealand. What are the main challenges you have to overcome when setting up your overseas operations?
Global expansion has not been without its challenges. Bridging and learning across government, industry, and cultural differences has led to an in-depth study of foreign markets. However, the real challenges are not unlike those in the Australian market.
Bakers Delight prides itself on baking everything fresh in every store every day. Does it create problems to meet customer expectations in terms of quality and product availability?
Bakers Delight bread is baked daily from scratch with real ingredients and that’s why our customers love our products. This is a significant difference from many prepackaged supermarket breads that can sit on the shelf for days before consumption.
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At Bakers Delight, we keep abreast of consumer trends to ensure the best product quality for our customers. Currently, consumer demand for healthier options is increasing. Bakers Delight offers a wide range of products to support this trend, from our healthy traditional white block bread to our whole grain range, including the ever popular nine grain and seeded Cape Seed bread, high fiber Chia Bread and a source of Omega 3 ALA. and our Hi-Fibre Lo-GI white bread, the highest fiber and lowest GI of Australia’s fresh baked breads.
As part of the company’s commitment to health, Bakers Delight’s range of traditional and continental breads is made from unbleached flour and does not contain preservatives, added sugar or artificial colors or flavors. Bakers Delight has launched 25 wholemeal or wholemeal products in the last 10 years and sales have increased significantly due to customer demand for wholemeal and wholemeal breads that contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Bakers Delight TV commercials have become an Aussie icon. What challenges does a “local” store face in national marketing?
Bakers Delight has a strong brand name. It is important for a local association to be active in the local community.
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Bakers have access to local marketing support available through local initiatives, press ads, local PR, community sponsorship and more.
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With many franchisees looking to expand their franchises internationally, we thought it was time to revisit the pan-Asian franchise… Read more It is a national brand with almost 600 outlets across the country, but d’ r was a time when Bakers Delight operated out of a neighborhood bakery. And Brad Peatling remembers those days.
Once an apprentice at the original store in Melbourne’s Hawthorn with brand founders Roger and Lesley Gillespie, he has been with the company for 34 years and has been a franchisee for more than two decades.
The Gillespies were closely involved in the running of their two stores – still on hand and visiting the stores, despite stepping down last year to allow daughter Elise and son-in-law David Christie to take the reins.
So what was it like working with the founders? “You knew where you stood,” Peatling says. “They’ve always had direction. They love bread; no pies, no cakes, just bread. They’re really passionate about it.”
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By the time Peatling had worked 2 hours a day at the Hawthorn store for three-and-a-half years, Bakers Delight had become a 35-strong bakery chain with major expansion plans.
When Gillespies went to the United States to open bakeries in San Francisco, he was given responsibility for the staff of the bakeries of the entire chain.
“I had to make sure that every store had a baker at two in the morning,” he says.
Over the years of running bakeries, Peatling has acquired one of 18 business store management skills.
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“What it taught me was managing people. One of my biggest strengths now is people. I can turn around negativity. I love to see people succeed.
He is a regular mentor to incoming franchisees and has just helped an IT professional in his mid-50s take on a Bakers Delight franchise and open the doors to his own business.
“It’s full of manual labor, it’s full of customer service. See this inexperienced guy come in, he doesn’t understand the business and he’s changed