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Melbourne, Australia

Healthy Habits franchise appoints new Managing Director

Australian Franchise News – 06-12-11


Earlier this month, Merrill Pereyra was appointed as the new Managing Director of the Australian sandwich bar franchise Healthy Habits. The franchise chain has stores across Australia and have recently launched into the international market with their first store in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Healthy Habits sandwich bar franchise model is located in shopping centres, food courts, strip shops, commercial buildings and airports in New South Wales, Canberra, Victoria, Queensland, and New Zealand providing a healthy fast food alternative which includes sandwiches, wraps, Turkish breads, yoghurts, salads, roast rolls and coffee.

Mr Pereyra now heads the Healthy Habits franchise chain as Managing Director and is looking forward to taking the brand to the next level. “It’s been around nineteen years, so its time to refresh the brand to a more modernised, fresher version which I plan to launch in June 2012. The board is excited and supportive of the strategic plan and I have grown brands in new territories for the past sixteen years, so this will be a wonderfully exciting new challenge.” said Mr Pereyra

Mr Pereyra was born in Mumbai, India and has spent twenty-three years working his way up through the ranks of the well know Fortune 500 company, McDonalds. Most of his career he’s held senior positions with the McDonalds Corporation, a company he regards as having one of the most polarised brands in the world. He has dealt with currency devaluations, coups, natural disasters all in a days work, and sometime in countries as diverse as Saudi Arabia, Tahiti, America and Samoa.

In 2001 McDonald’s introduced the big and tasty burger and also gave Merrill the big and tasty “President’s Award” for the country’s highest achiever and performer. Fast forward nearly a decade, Merrill’s collaboration with McDonalds drew to a close as he wanted more time with his wife and children and time to realise his own dreams again. He used this time to write his first book, “Expand Your Brand – How to Supersize Any Brand Anywhere in the World”, which is a must read for all franchisees, retailers and those thinking of moving into the industry. It will assist managers and executives to groom their business as well as excite and motivate. In this turbulent financial era it’s wise to pay attention to those who have forged a long-standing and outstanding success story. In twenty-three bit-size chunks you will learn how to super-size your business and your bank balance.
Mr Pereyra has an impeccable and impressive track record, is dynamic and will bring positive change to the colourful and exciting Healthy Habits brand by motivating, educating and inspiring both his management team and franchisees. He will help them to realise their brand potential, improve and expand. He’s forged new frontiers for McDonald’s and opened that brand for the fist time in countries as diverse as Saudi Arabia, Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa, New Caledonia and American Samoa with his own unique methodology, relying upon a blend of intuition and street smarts, coupled with the conventional business practices. He’s also developed a robust program for fast tracking employees from functional leaders to Managing Directors and ensured the corporation had a robust Talent Management system in place to support the growth of Developmental Licensee’s across a number of countries.

His previous positions include Regional Manager at McDonald’s Greater Asia and Assistant Vice President at McDonald’s Pacific Islands. He attended Wharton University of Pennsylvania, INSEAD and the Thunderbird School of Global Management and has a successful track record in setting up new businesses in six countries, from the Middle East to the South Pacific. His sound knowledge, grass roots experience and hands on approach helped build the Pacific business from zero to $65 million in 10 years with a NET income in excess of 12%.

“As the Managing Director of Healthy Habits, my role sees me working strategically to manage and expand the brand of the Healthy Habits store network. The extensive experience I have in hospitality and brand expansion will be utilised wholly in building the Healthy Habits brand, further developing our healthy menu and in supporting the franchisees and our customers. I have developed corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies for countries in the Pacific and Asia enhancing the company’s social responsibility and generating positive press coverage. I also developed a 5-year strategic marketing plan in all new countries to ensure the brand was well established and successfully implemented; this including new product development, setting marketing budgets and approval of advertising agencies” Mr Pereyra explains.
The Healthy Habits strategy is a vision of soup, salads, smoothies and sandwiches with a new menu launch to take place in June which will be strategically integrated with a comprehensive migration plan. To assist in achieving this, a new chef, Leslie Bailey, has been appointed who has experience at Cathay Pacific and McDonald’s and will be creative with existing ingredients and create a new and innovative point of difference to the offering. “The reason I have chosen to lead Healthy Habits is that I see the need for more healthy options for consumers in Australia and an improved way in which we can deliver a healthy product that still provides a delicious taste. Australia enjoys a lot of brands from overseas, the Healthy Habits brand is a terrific franchise to develop to take overseas” Pereyra explains

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