Innovation of franchise sector recognised at annual Franchise Awards

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 21st October 2008

Innovation and continued technological improvements were the themes of the MYOB Excellence in Franchising Awards announced in Sydney on Saturday night, as a number of franchisors in the food and beverage sector walked away with major awards.

Bakers Delight, The Coffee Club, 7-Eleven and Gloria Jeans were all among the winners.

Bakers Delight received the ‘Media Campaign of the Year’ award for its Top Sports community engagement program.

The Top Sports campaign was entered as an example of a truly integrated marketing approach designed to make an impact at a local community level for Bakers Delight’s 630 Australian franchisees. Encompassing PR, online and print advertising and direct marketing, the campaign was supported by Australian Basketball legend and father of three, Andrew Gaze, and generated over 130,000 entries Australia-wide.

The Media Campaign of the Year Award was presented for the inaugural schools campaign, which in April awarded 20 schools across Australia with cash grants of $5,000 each.

Chris Caldwell, General Manager of Marketing & Operational Support for Bakers Delight, said the success of the campaign demonstrated the increasing importance of community engagement and the impact of the ‘triple bottom line’. “Through the Top Sports program Bakers Delight was able to tap into an unmet need for financial support in local communities, and make a contribution towards keeping kids healthy and actively involved in sports – a philosophy that is at the heart of the Bakers Delight brand,” he reported. “As a franchise business it’s important that we invest in programs which make a difference to our franchisees. The Top Sports program allowed each and every franchisee to make an impact within their local community.”

The pioneering internet-based communicator and trainer – aptly named “Gloria” – developed by Gloria Jean’s Coffees earned the company the award for Franchise Innovation of the Year. With master franchise partners in 35 countries Gloria Jean’s Coffees have addressed the need for a unified training and development program to deliver consistent results. In response to this they have created a world first in global communications that allows them to contact and train, one on one, every member in their team, worldwide. “Gloria” has tremendous functionality designed to facilitate communication, deliver consistent training and provide a 24 hour a day resource of manuals and tools to all team members globally. “Gloria” has fundamentally changed the way Gloria Jean’s Coffees communicates as an organisation driving consistency and best practice across the brand.

Convenience store operator 7-Eleven was another big winner on the night, with recognition as Franchisor of the Year and Retail Franchisor of the Year. The company, family-owned in Australia with sales of over $1 billion each year, is the largest franchisor of convenience stores in the world.

The fast-growing Coffee Club Group, which operates around 200 cafés, emerged as the winner in the Food Franchisor of the Year category.

The MYOB Excellence in Franchising Awards are the peak small business awards for the $130 billion franchising sector. Other category winners awarded on the night included:

* Franchisee of the Year – Mark Maumill and Jason Love of Banjos Corporation
* Franchise Woman of the Year – Deb Shugg, CEO of Award Group
* Emerging Franchise System of the Year – Mr Rental
* Service Franchisor of the Year – Hotondo Homes
* Supplier of the Year – Pacnet

“The annual Awards recognise and reward hard working Australians in the small to medium sized business sector and provide a platform for these companies to showcase their products and services on the national stage,” Steve Wright, Executive Director of the Franchise Council of Australia, said. “The robust state of franchising is clearly evident in the calibre and quantity of all submissions received. Nominations in all categories were up on last year’s figures with the Franchisee of the Year Award attracting the highest number of entries.”

“The Minister for Small Business, Dr Craig Emerson, awarded the franchising sector a mark of 8.5 out of 10 at Friday’s opening to NFC08 – this year’s national conference for the franchise sector. These awards are the outstanding examples that underpin such a strong endorsement and provide ongoing encouragement for the continuing high achievement of Australian franchise systems both here and abroad” Mr Wright concluded.