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Interview with Bob and Astrid Orne-gliemann of Gelatissimo, Townsville

An Australian Franchisee Case Study


Name: Bob and Astrid Orne-gliemann

Location: Townsville

Franchise: Gelatissimo

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

We decided to look into franchising as Bob and I had become bored and tired of working for other people.

We finally decided upon a Gelatissimo franchise after I had been to an authentic Gelateria in Germany and believed Townsville people needed something new and exciting.

What did you do before taking up a franchise?

Before we became franchise owners, Bob was a Earthworks manager and I (Astrid) was a Retail and telecommunications account manager

How did you raise the finance?

In order to raise the finance for the Gelatissimo franchise and ongoing costs, we sold an investment property and borrowed a small amount from the bank.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?

After signing our franchise agreement, we initially received a few weeks training at head office in Sydney. I also flew to another store with a staff member for a week before we opened.

Gelatissino head-office have a fantastic team in place who provide franchisees with any type of ongoing training and also includes staff training – which is a bonus.

What is a typical day for you as Gelatissimo franchisees?

On a typical day at our Gelatissimo business, Bob handles all paperwork and BOH, whereas I manage the store by either working in the store myself, or over the phone with the shift manager every day.

What challenges have you faced?

The biggest challenge is keeping gelato cold in our hot weather.

Has becoming Gelatissimo franchisees changed your life, if so how?

Becoming Gelatissimo franchisees has certainly changed our life in many ways but in particular, I can say it has made us stronger and more positive people.

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

In marketing Gelatissimo, radio advertising works for us. However, indirect advertising is important – we sponsor schools, swimming clubs, donate to the Salvation Army and similar organisations on a regular basis. And we have a great marketing team that are always putting some promotion together.

What differentiates your Gelatissimo franchise from the competition?

The main thing that differentiates Gelatissimo from the competition is the way the Gelato is presented and the quality. We will often get comments that we are the best Ice cream shop in Townsville due to the flavour and presentation.

In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?

To become a successful franchisee, don’t expect to put a manager in and make a million dollars. Realise that for the first 2 years at least that the owner needs to be there 24/7. It can be hard work and you need to be dedicated.

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

If you are considering franchising, take your time to choose the correct franchise first and position second. Bob and I took 12 months to find the correct position and it’s been successful.

What are your plans for the future?

Our main plans, after 4 years of franchising, is a nice long holiday.

Would you do it again?

Yes, absolutely!

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