An Australian Franchisee Case Study
Planet Chocolate is the brain child of brothers Greg and Darren Factor. For 18 months, they worked extremely hard on taste testing binges (if you can call that work) drizzling liquid chocolate on waffles, crepes, strawberries and marshmallows.
It was 2005 when the idea finally came to life and dessert bar Planet Chocolate was born. With help from franchise consultants DC Strategy, Planet Chocolate has five stores in Victoria, three franchised and two company-owned, and can be found in shopping centre food courts at Southland, Highpoint, Westfield Doncaster, Westfield Geelong and Werribee Plaza.The focus for now is developing the network in Victoria, with plans to go national in 2012.
Both self-confessed sweet tooths, Darren and Greg bring different attributes to the family business. While Greg has the business strategy in mind, Darren is the creative chef and focuses on the Planet Chocolate customer experience. Both saw the demand for a place to have dessert, have something sweet to eat, sit back and relax and all importantly at an affordable price.
The brothers attribute their success to keeping it fun – from support office to store level – with mascot Mr Choco, in-store competitions and ongoing product innovation to maintain their competitive advantage.
With a metre high chocolate fountain in each store, customers can choose to dip strawberries, marshmallows and waffle sticks or even challenge a friend to see who can skull a chocolate shot the quickest. If this isn’t enough, customers can indulge in mini Dutch pancakes, waffles, crepes, ice breakers, coffee, various flavours of hot chocolates and milkshakes, cakes, mini tarts, slices, biscuits and Belgian chocolate.
Greg and Darren have lots of advice for those wanting to get involving in franchising:
- Be prepared to work double as hard, be prepared to sacrifice your lifestyle
- Be positive, keep fighting, pushing the boundaries.
- Be open to criticism. Be very humble. By being humble you learn.
- Every problem has solution, don’t sweat the small stuff.