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Melbourne, Australia

Interview with Rohan Davis, SumoSalad, Robina

An Australian Franchisee Case Study


Name: Rohan Davis
Location: Robina, Queensland
Franchise: SumoSalad

Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose SumoSalad franchise?
I decided to go down the franchise route after I was made redundant during the global financial crisis. After much research, I came to the conclusion that a pre existing franchise would be the safest option for a new business owner like myself. I was drawn to SumoSalad’s point of difference – healthy fast food. I knew that the franchise had a successful business model that delivers results, so I felt comfortable with the idea of owning my own store. SumoSalad was also the perfect sized franchise to offer intensive support for a start-up, without my franchise becoming just another number.

What did you do before taking up your SumoSalad franchise?
I have always been in the hospitality industry. I spent 11 years in hotels, as well as seven years in a management capacity in consumer finance for a holiday timeshare business.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
SumoSalad provide amazing support and training, especially in the initial stages. The initial training and support both in store and over the phone, was great and it went on for six weeks until I felt confident enough to begin standing on my own. After that, SumoSalad continue to offer a wide support network from marketing, great new initiatives and in particular product development. Over the years, SumoSalad has always ensured that we are introducing new products during seasonal lows such as winter, where sales typically drop. They are always looking forward and have their franchisees top of mind.

What is a typical day for you as a SumoSalad franchisee?
I am very involved in store activity on a day-to-day basis. An average day includes opening the store, preparing the food, ordering stock, banking, and serving customers alongside my employees at lunch. Once the lunchtime rush is over, I often head home to wrap up admin work for the day.

What challenges have you faced?
The most significant challenge that I’ve faced as a franchisee was the effect of the GFC. This saw a huge decrease in foot traffic to the shopping centre we are located in, so it had a huge impact on our store cash flow.

To help control the situation during this difficult time, I had to really focus on where I could effectively control costs. Controlling costs was a great way to ensure the store was operating as effectively and efficiently as it could be. In turn, once customer spending started to improve again, we were operating at an ideal level.

Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
It has changed my life significantly. There is no greater feeling than being in control of your own financial wellbeing, while at the same time being able to access the support of a dedicated and specialised team when needed.

What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?
The beauty of being a franchisee is that we receive a lot of support from HQ. SumoSalad devote a lot of time to marketing, as a result we see a lot of benefit locally. To support this, we focus on delivering amazing food and customer service to ensure return customers and strong referrals.

In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
A successful franchisee is someone who is constantly striving to better all aspects of their store.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Do your research! It’s important to choose a franchise that will set you up for success but will also be there to support you during the difficult times.

What are your plans for the future?
I plan to continue to make my store as successful as it can possibly be, and hope to add a few more SumoSalad stores to my franchisee resume.

Would you do it again?
In a heartbeat!