Australian customers want great tasting food to be part of their lifestyle and the franchising sector is giving them plenty of choice.
RED ROCK NOODLE BAR
Phil Colburn, managing director at Queensland based Red Rocksays customers today are definitely concerned with nutritional value.
“The consumer demand is going from strength to strength. The education level has improved. Customers used to ask us questions, now when we speak to them they have a lot more understanding about the issues,” he says.
For this Asian inspired franchise chain, signing on footballer Corey Parker has been a big part of highlighting healthier living choices. Parker has a social media contract that focuses on him blending the brand and healthy eating in to his lifestyle.
“It’s the first time we’ve had an ambassador. He’s well known up here, he puts in the extra hours before and after training,” says Colburn.
Corey’s Favourites is a new promotion that started early this year, showcasing on the menu the dishes he uses and eats regularly. A promotion in March and April picks up on the taste for satay – with Corey Parker’s dish included.
When it comes to the, Red Rock will continue to add more flavours, but finds customers like the traditional dishes, with teriyaki and satay becoming stronger on the menu. Serving up salads for summer and soup for winter seems a sensible approach adopted by the business.
There’s a new lunch time focus too and a fresh model for the predominantly dinner-based business, with new outlets to set up in service centres and food courts to target the high volume lunch trade.
“People are changing. We’re very strong in dinner in strip malls, about 75 percent, but we’re not in the middle of malls in city centres. We’re working with centres like Centro,” explains Colburn. “Expansion has been pretty good over the last two years, we’ve done double digits.”
The business development remains focused on Queensland for the next 12 months, areas such as the south east of the state, Gold Coast and Toowoomba. It’s Parker’s home territory, and makes greatest use of him as a brand ambassador.
Existing customers have proved fertile ground for growing the business through upselling, particularly through online and Facebook ordering. Colburn reports customers have increased the value of their order by up to 30 percent. “We’re getting more sides and extras, people are not feeling pressured, they are more relaxed and can take their time [online]. Customers are grabbing larger box sizes.”
And an affiliation with Ben & Jerry’s is also paying off with every third order including an ice cream treat, even in the lower demographic regions.