Retail Food Group searches for franchisees to fuel mining town strategy

Retail Food Group is looking for franchisees prepared to relocate to mining towns in Queensland and WA, with earmarked stores in at least nine locations, as it seeks to carve a slice of the boom.


RFG owns and operates multiple food franchises, including Donut King, Brumby’s Bakeries, Michel’s Patisserie, Esquires Coffee Houses, Big Dad’s Pies and Pizza Capers.


As part of its “mining town” strategy, RFG is now focused on identifying potential franchisees for earmarked stores, situated in major mining towns in Queensland and WA.


Queensland locations include Moranbah, Emerald and Mackay, while in WA locations include Kalgoorlie, South Hedland, Karratha, Newman, Carnarvon and Geraldton.


With regard to franchisees, RFG says it is looking for enthusiastic and motivated entrepreneurs who already live in these areas or are looking to relocate.


According to RFG, no previous business experience is required because all the necessary training is provided. 


Faith Manning, RFG national sales and leasing coordination manager, told StartupSmart the company is confident it can attract franchisees to operate businesses in these towns.


“RFG is committed to assisting franchisees into our businesses, and is able to enter into discussions with suitable candidates in that regard,” Manning says.


Manning says the primary staff in an RFG-owned franchise is usually the franchisee, with support from casual staff, so finding workers shouldn’t be a problem.


Many small businesses that operate in mining towns struggle to survive due to their inability to match the huge wages offered by mining companies. But Manning isn’t concerned.


“From our experience, franchisees in these areas generally have success sourcing staff by looking at groups such as students, and spouses of those employed by the mining companies,” she says.


“As the majority of staff employed are on a casual basis, they are targeting a different pool of workers than those seeking work with mining companies.”


According to Manning, RFG will not be considering fly-in, fly-out arrangements, whereby workers operate on a roster, doing “shifts” in town but living elsewhere.


“Fly-in and fly-out is not appropriate at this stage as we are looking for those who are committed to owning and working in a small business in these areas,” she says.


“Currently, there is an untapped resource of people in these mining towns as the population expands and opportunities become available.”


“Due to the demand for retail options in these areas, enthusiastic candidates may consider relocating for a change of lifestyle and to take control of their business future.”


Manning says job security is also top of mind for a lot of people at the moment, which could serve as another incentive to become a franchisee in a mining town.


“RFG receives leads regularly from candidates within metro areas that are looking to capitalise on the mining boom and potentially relocate,” she says.


“Not everyone is suitable though, and we have a strict recruitment and approval process. We consider applicants’ suitability on their merits and life experiences.”


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