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Melbourne, Australia

From banking to Gloria Jean’s franchise

An Australian Franchisee Case Study


Name: John & Chris Giovas
Location: Gymea, Sydney
Franchise: Gloria Jean’s Coffees

Why did you choose franchising and Gloria Jean’s Coffee franchise?
Franchising was a natural fit for business novices like us. We needed the security and comfort of a proven formula with an excellent track record that worked in many geographies and formats, thus maximising our chances of success. In addition to the proven formula, we also wanted a franchise where we could inject our personalities to further enhance the rewards.

What did you do before taking up your Gloria Jean’s Coffee franchise?
Both Chris and I worked for ANZ in banking. Both of us have completed a degree in Finance and Accounting.

How did you raise the finance?
Having worked in a bank meant that we knew and understood what they were looking for in a franchise. The majority of the money came from loans from the bank, and then we supplemented this with our own savings. We made sure we had enough capital to acquire the franchise and then some, to account for any contingencies.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
We received five weeks of training which was detailed and thorough – it really set us up for success. These included the expected operational aspects and coffee excellence credentials, as well as hands-on, in-store training experiences. The support during these weeks was exceptional – you never felt alone. We were also assigned an operations manager who was available when you needed help. This support continued even after the training period. More recently, additional online training has been added to the system allowing for new team members to receive adequate training in a consistent manner.

What is a typical day for you as a Gloria Jean’s franchisee?
Depending on whether you are working in the coffee house or in the office, your day differs considerably. Some days you’re involved in the day-to-day running of the business, training team members or serving your guests. Other days, you’re working on community marketing strategies, people policies or processing paperwork/reports required to monitor and measure your business. The variety is definitely something I enjoy.

What challenges have you faced?
Our greatest challenge was finding and training the right staff that would create a dynamic and cooperative team, which would then lead to a successful business. It’s also important to build the business to a point where you can actually take some time away and enjoy yourself.

Has becoming a gloria Jean’s franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Most definitely! With the freedom of working for yourself also comes the added responsibility of making sure that every aspect of the business is operating and functioning as it should. This includes maintaining sales growth by focusing on your customer base, quality of service, beverages and food. However, even though we have been granted a great deal more freedom to spend with friends and family, our minds never wander too far from the business.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Owning a franchise business is not just another job, it’s a lifestyle decision that you live and breathe, so you must enjoy it. Like any business, it has its challenges and can be hard work at times.

Make sure you talk to existing franchise partners so you can understand the underlying drivers to success, such as location, quality product and service.

What are your plans for the future?
To continue to build and enjoy the business as we are doing now. We are even considering opening a second franchise, should the right opportunity come along.

Would you do it again?
Most definitely.

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Gloria Jean’s Coffees franchise