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Exclusive Interview: “Benefiting from a playful and energetic brand”

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An Australian Franchisee Case Study


Name: Cindy Chen | Location: Chullora | Franchise: Donut King

Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your franchise?

I always knew that one day I wanted to run my own business within the retail food industry, and made the decision at the age of 26 to make my dream come true. I chose Donut King because I love coffee and donuts and think the brand is playful and energetic just like me.

What did you do before taking up a franchise?

I worked in the retail food industry for a few years and loved serving customers and learning great communication skills.

How did you raise the finance?

I worked very hard to raise the finance for my business and also received some financial support from my family.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?

“When I started the business, I had no relevant experience running a franchise. I learnt a lot from the initial training at head office and through their ongoing support.”

To further my knowledge I put myself through a latte art barista course and business leadership program.

What is a typical day for you as a Donut King franchisee?

Running a franchised business is very busy. Every day varies, as I look after a range of key accountabilities, from financial responsibilities and the running of the business to physically working in the store making coffee and donuts.

What challenges have you faced?

When I started the business there was a lot to learn, so that was the first thing I had to overcome. The other ongoing challenge that I am constantly faced with is the high levels of competition in the local market. I have learned to be confident when it comes to my competitors.

I know we have a great product and provide fantastic service on a consistent basis so I am confident that our customers will continue to come to us over our competitors. I have also learnt about the importance of making a budget and strictly following it to overcome financial difficulties. I also signed myself up for a business course and read relevant business books to improve my knowledge of the landscape and ensure that I am prepared for any future obstacles I may face as a business owner.

Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?

It has made it a lot busier but not different. I love my job and enjoy running the business, also my staff are great and work well together as a team, which helps balance our work and personal lives.

What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?

We donate regularly to HeartKids and try to get involved in various aspects of the local community. Our head office marketing team run a lot of marketing promotions that we also support in store at a local level.

What differentiates Donut King from the competition?

“I always serve my customers a winning cup of coffee. I am really passionate about making coffee and really enjoy competing in barista competitions where I can highlight my barista skills. My achievements are definitely a differentiation.”

I won first place in NSW in Retail Food Group’s Espresso Perfecto Barista Championships in 2013 before going on to take out third place overall in the competition’s finals that same year. I also competed in last year’s DaVinci Gourmet Australian Coffee Chain Championship, where my team made it to the finals.

In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?

A successful franchisee is someone who is committed to their business and their staff, passionate about their product and cares about their customers.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?

Do your research and partner with a brand that you feel passionate about and that you love to be around.

What are your plans for the future?

For now I am really happy doing what I’m doing!

Would you do it again?

Yes, absolutely!

To find out more about Donut King and receive their FREE franchisee prospectus, click here.

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