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Melbourne, Australia

More than just bucks in the recipe for success

An Australian Franchisee Case Study


Name: Graham Carrington
Location: Lakeside Joondalup
Franchise: Bucking Bull

Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose Snooze franchise?
We had just moved to Perth from the country and were actively looking for a food franchise business. We were told by the experts that it was a lot safer and smarter to go down the franchising path as the casualty rate was typically much lower. Our foray into franchising really began when we met Stuart Beechen, who is now Managing Director at Aktiv Brands. Stuart had always been very knowledgeable in all areas of retail, so when he was told us he was launching the Bucking Bull brand, we had full confidence that it would be a success.

What did you do before taking up your Snooze franchise?
Prior to moving to Perth, I had been a Parts Manager in an agricultural dealership and Sue had experience running local cafés and supermarket delis. We had always dabbled in food and knew it was an area we were passionate in.

How did you raise the finance?
With the help of a bank loan.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
As well as the traditional class-room training, we also spent 2 weeks working in an existing Bucking Bull store. It’s one thing understanding the theory, but it doesn’t get any more hands-on than basting beef, roasting vegetables and being behind the counter. It’s here where you really get to learn your business and what can make or break it.

Having been with Bucking Bull from the beginning, we’ve sort of grown with the franchise. We’ve always had support from our franchisor, whether it’s new product development, marketing initiatives, or the development of new resources.

What is a typical day for you as a Snooze franchisee?
In the early days there was a lot of hard work and hours spent in the store, but it definitely gets easier over time as you get to know your business and develop a great team. Back then there was no such thing as a ‘typical day’ as we balanced raising two teenagers and managing the business. Nowadays we have become semi-retired, so we are able to do most of our paperwork at home.

What challenges have you faced?
The major challenge we’ve had as a store has been the size of our tenancy. We’re constantly looking at ways of increasing our turnover, but unfortunately you can’t just increase the size of your store as you increase the sales. We’ve had to constantly evaluate ways in which we can alter processes, equipment and staffing to accommodate for sales growth. It’s become more important than ever to have a really efficient team to ensure we’re still reaching our goals in the size of shop front we have.

Has becoming a Snooze franchisee changed your life, if so, how?
Becoming a franchisee has certainly changed our lives and has definitely allowed us to be more independent. Obviously there are many factors that attract people to franchising, lifestyle included, but ultimately it really comes down to what you put into your business. We worked extremely hard at the beginning and have done things differently to achieve the lifestyle we’re enjoying at the moment.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Firstly, really make sure franchising is for you. A lot of people go into franchising with the allure of being their own boss, but you’ve got to realise that you’re not on your own. Be willing to take advice and guidance and be willing to listen to the expertise of your franchise group- otherwise you’re just wasting your time and money.

Secondly, know your business and know your customers. You really have to have a passion for what you do. Both Sue and I have always had a real thing for food and we naturally transfer that into our business. Nothing goes out to our customers that we’re not prepared to eat ourselves. Your customers can sense the passion, and it also gives your team a sense of pride in what they are creating.

What are your plans for the future?
I’m 67 now, so after 15 years in the store and close to 20 years in franchising, it’s probably time I look to retire soon. I know it will be hard to step away from the business completely, so I’m really adamant that I will only sell when I find someone who has the same amount of passion and drive for the store as myself and Sue.

Would you do it again?
If we were 20 years younger- absolutely! We have been with Bucking Bull since the beginning and wouldn’t still be involved if we weren’t happy.

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