Baskin-Robbins puts woes on ice

Baskin-Robbins’ Australian operation says it is on track for a revival under Dunkin’ Brands, after a new training centre was opened in Brisbane.


Based in the US, Baskin-Robbins’ Australian operations came under the direction of fellow US giant Dunkin’ Brands in 2010, following the collapse of former parent company Allied Brands.


There are already more than 90 Baskin-Robbins outlets across Australia. But in July last year, some 25 towns across Queensland, NSW and WA were earmarked for further expansion.


This week, Baskin-Robbins opened a new training centre in its Franchise Support Centre, located near Brisbane Airport.


The training centre is built to replicate a working restaurant. It will provide the company with a local centre of excellence to induct and coach new and existing franchise partners.


Ian Martin, general manger for Baskin-Robbins Australia, says the aim is to provide Baskin-Robbins’ Australian franchise partners with a world-class facility that can be utilised by all staff.


“[They will] gain realistic training in a practical but simulated environment,” Martin says.


Queensland franchisees comprise around 50% of Baskin-Robbins’ Australian franchise network.


“This training centre also complements our recently-launched online university, which is free for all Australian franchise partners and their team members,” Martin says.


These announcements are the latest in a series of initiatives introduced by Baskin-Robbins since Dunkin’ Brands took over the direct support role a year and a half ago.


Others include cost reductions for franchisees’ supplies, improving the supply chain, expanding product lines and marketing activities, and securing financial accreditation with a major bank.


Baskin-Robbins has also opened a number of new restaurants featuring its “Happy 1.0” design, while a number of existing restaurants are undergoing refurbishments to upgrade to the new global store design.


Dunkin’ Brands chief executive Nigel Travis told QSR Media that since assuming ownership of the Baskin-Robbins brand, Dunkin’ Brands has been guiding the brand “back to the basics”.


“This includes focusing on the supply chain and unit economics to ensure that our franchise partners have the tools necessary to thrive in the Australian marketplace,” Travis said.


“We consider Australia to be a key growth market for Baskin-Robbins, and expect to increase our presence significantly in the coming years.”


“The majority of our franchise partners are upbeat about the new direction.”


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