Prospective franchisees were spoilt for choice at the Franchising and Business Opportunities Expo, recently held in Sydney, which highlighted several key trends in the franchising sector.
The expo enabled prospective franchisees to research and compare franchise opportunities, with investment levels ranging from under $10,000 to more than $500,000.
The Fair Work Ombudsman was also there, offering advice to franchisors and employers, including ways to ensure franchisees meet their obligations under workplace laws.
“We have a range of resources to assist franchisors to support compliance with workplace laws and make compliance easier for franchisees,” Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said.
The expo also offered insight into key trends in franchising. StartupSmart picks out three of the top trends that will shape the franchising sector in 2012.
1. More food
Fast food franchise McDonald’s headlined this year’s expo, showcasing its franchise offer for the first time at the event in at least a decade.
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According to franchising manager Bert Cotte, McDonald’s is determined to dispel the image of being “a big scary” company, and is looking for new franchisees to join the network.
“We’re searching for new talent. We’re looking for people with business capabilities,” he said.
Other food franchises participating in the expo included fellow fast food chain Oporto, gourmet burger brand Grill’d and steak restaurant Outback Jack’s Bar & Brill.
Some of the newer names were LeWrap, whose meals are made to order, and Taste of Europe, which offers freshly-baked bread along with a Europe-inspired menu.
2. More mobile
There were plenty of mobile service opportunities on show at the event, including Jim’s Building Maintenance and Jim’s Test and Tag, both of which operate under the Jim’s Group banner.
Other standouts included Appliance Tagging Services – which specialises in electrical safety testing and tagging, and reporting management – and new entertainment concept Games2U.
Chauffeured taxi service Town Cars was also on show, while the James Home Services Team unveiled its latest offer, Coffee with James, which is a mobile coffee van.
3. More acquisitions
While not related to the expo, Retail Food Group has flagged its intention to make further acquisitions in the future, following its acquisition of Pizza Capers last month.
RFG is the franchisor and property owner of Donut King, Michel’s Patisserie, Brumby’s Bakeries, bb’s café and Esquires Coffee Houses.
RFG has just increased its loan facility with NAB by $40 million to $135 million, and has extended the facility’s life by 12 months to the end of September 2014.
According to RFG chief executive Tony Alford, the increased facility provides “sufficient headroom” to position RFG for future acquisitive activity.
RFG has also restructured its business so that its divisions are now aligned to the brands it owns, improving efficiency.