An Australian Franchisee Case Study
Name: Michael Sarracini
Location: Success and Thornlie, WA
Franchise: Eagle Boys
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your franchise?
I’d long been thinking about owning my own business, but was hesitant about setting up an entity as a sole trader. The franchise route allowed me to own and invest in my own venture, with the added advantage and support that learning from an established brand brings.
We had looked at various retail businesses and saw an opportunity to build our Eagle Boys stores into what they are today, based on their location and growth prospects.
I’d previously worked in food retailing, so the idea of buying into a 100% Australian owned and operated brand was appealing. And with Eagle Boys’ trusted network of stores, it’s like working in one big family. Not only does their “Real” differentiation distinguish them from other pizza players, but their commitment to innovation across all business areas convinced me of the growth that was to come.
What did you do before taking up a franchise?
I’ve had an extensive career in retail covering more than 17 years, with stints in retail management roles spanning 10 years.
My father owned a supermarket and most of my family own small businesses that I was a part of in my early years, learning the ropes. My first food retailing job was during high school and I’ve since moved on to work for a number of large retail companies. It seemed natural to move into owning my own franchise.
How did you raise the finance?
Raising finance to open my own Eagle Boys store was realised through the combination of a business loan and a collection of savings I had already accumulated.
To open our first store at Success in December 2008, we combined a business loan from one of the big four banks and sold a percentage of shares to raise capital. To open Eagle Boys Thornlie in May 2011, we combined another business loan with savings generated from the success of our first store.
I enjoy a challenge and thought another Eagle Boys store would provide an opportunity to branch out and extend the brand, and so far it has.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
Eagle Boys provides comprehensive training and support for all new franchisees entering the company. Franchisees undertake a detailed five-week training course prior to becoming a store owner, which includes face-to-face training with the Eagle Boys Support Office staff, and in-store training at a designated training store in Western Australia.
Our first week in-store also involved the support of a dedicated Franchise Business Manager (FBM) to guide us through our first days. Our FBM is always on call for anything we need, along with a dedicated Regional Marketing Specialist, and Eagle Boys provide ongoing support to assist in day-to-day business operations.
Eagle Boys’ commitment to innovation has seen various tools introduced to help track and plan our business, including the Marketing Ecosystem, an online end to end strategic marketing, brand management, advertising, logistics and distribution system customised with store-specific sales and marketing advice, information and measurement tools.
What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?
There is no typical day as an Eagle Boys franchisee, as every day has something new and different to offer.
I generally work across both my stores 6 days a week with hours dependent on the day’s trade. I do everything in my store that I expect my staff to do from taking orders and serving customers, to making pizza, to delivering and cleaning. My day-to-day duties may also include anything from prepping the pizza making area, to sourcing local produce from local suppliers, monitoring stock supplies, and paperwork.
What challenges have you faced?
Owning your own business is a test of your determination and I’ve faced many challenges in my time. They’re usually the challenges that go hand-in-hand with owning your own business including staffing issues, equipment breakdowns, stock and supplier problems. But you wouldn’t achieve success without overcoming a challenge!
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Owning an Eagle Boys franchise has definitely changed my life for the better. I’ve learnt so much since becoming an Eagle Boys franchisee including the importance of being a team player. Even though Eagle Boys has a network of more than 340 franchised stores, we’re all working together to grow the network. I’ve always been a motivated person and I wouldn’t have two stores if I wasn’t, and Eagle Boys is very quick to support that drive and determination.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Passion – you need to be passionate about your business to succeed. You also need to be willing to experience all parts of the business. It’s important not to forget to work on your business as well as in your business.
What are your plans for the future?
My immediate plans involve continuing to grow with the Eagle Boys brand, and seeking opportunities to strengthen my existing stores at Success and Thornlie.
Eagle Boys has a reputation for being a market leader, and if they continue to bolster their network with viable store opportunities, I’d love the challenge of opening an additional store. But it’s off for a holiday first!
Would you do it again?
Definitely. Being a franchisee not only teaches you a lot about owning your own business, but also a lot about yourself.
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Eagle Boys Pizza franchise