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Melbourne, Australia

Interview with Leanne Fuller, Baskin-Robbins franchisee, Caloundra

An Australian Franchisee Case Study


Name: Leanne Fuller
Location: 2/86 Bulcock Street, Caloundra
Franchise: Baskin-Robbins

Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose Baskin-Robbins franchise?
I’d previously worked in finance and administration for a mining company but wanted a change so decided to look into becoming a small business owner. As this was something new to me professionally, I wanted to join an established brand with existing systems in place that could provide me with the support I needed. I also wanted a business that was easy to run, had minimal wastage and a good cash flow, and Baskin-Robbins ticked all of these boxes.

The Caloundra location was also perfect for my family – we have teenage children and I wanted the children and my partner to be part of the business. It also helps that Baskin-Robbins has the best tasting ice cream!

What did you do before taking up your Baskin-Robbins franchise?
I have a Diploma in Accounting, so as I mentioned above, previous to Baskin Robbins I worked for a large mining company in their finance and administration department.

How did you raise the finance?
I was lucky enough to have the support from my family to apply for a private loan to raise the funds for my Baskin-Robbins store.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
Our induction involved a three week training program at the Baskin-Robbins head office in Brisbane. During these three weeks we learnt a variety of key elements including managerial skills, product development, administration of running a business, marketing and even ice cream cake training.

The class size was small and compact which meant the franchisees were able to interact with one another – to this day we still keep in contact with one another!

I also spent a week with the previous owner of the Caloundra store which meant I was able to develop and grow confidence a lot quicker. The support from the brand has also been great – we receive regular visits from our Area Manager and are in contact via phone and email; should we have any problems I know I can always give them a call.

What is a typical day for you as a Baskin-Robbins franchisee?
There isn’t really a typical day – I currently work five days a week in store, which includes the weekend. I take on a mixture of day and night shifts which usually equates to 35 hours a week. During school holidays I can work six days a week and I work all public holidays. I also dedicate a chunk of time to the admin side of things including the paperwork, banking etc.

A normal day would be a 9.15am start to set up for opening at 10am. During the day I would make waffle cones, prepare condiments for the sundaes and, of course, serve lots of happy guests. I normally finish the day about 4pm.

What challenges have you faced?
The biggest challenge is having time out. Owning your own business means you work seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Owning your own business does provide you with an amount of freedom. It is great being my own boss and the flexible working hours also means my whole family can work together.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
1. Do your research
2. Understand the business
3. Choose the right location

What are your plans for the future?
We would love to continually grow the business, with a vision to even open another store down the track. We also want to keep enjoying what we are doing.

Would you do it again?
Absolutely! We are very proud to be part of the Baskin-Robbins brand.

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