A chat with the boss: David Jordan, General Manager, Baskin Robbins Australia

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 8th July 2015

David Jordan, Baskin RobbinsSometimes it is hard not to follow a trend.

Everyone else is on board, it’s new, it’s exciting and for businesses it can certainly be a way to earn a quick dollar.

The ice cream and dessert industry is filled with trend-based businesses. How many frozen yogurt shops popped up around Australia a few years ago?

But jumping on every trend is not Baskin-Robbins’ style.

The ice cream retailer has always had its famous ‘31 Flavours’ and customers are encouraged to explore the full range. Customer hospitality is what Baskin-Robbins likes to focus on, rather than following every trend, so says the chain’s Australian General Manager, David Jordan.

“What I see and what we have learnt as a brand over many, many years is that the most successful brands stay true to their core,” Jordan said in an interview with Australian Food News.

“For us our core is having our 31 flavours. For us it is not losing sight of what we believe we do better than everybody else, which is that we offer the world’s best ice cream.”

Baskin-Robbins is not afraid of trends, but Jordan says that the company tries to embrace the customers.

While Jordan says one should not be totally side-tracked when it come to trends, he says that innovation is the core of the company’s transformation philosophy.

Incremental innovation

“Innovation can be about evolving and making small, subtle changes. I think that’s where Baskin-Robbins has been going for many years, small, incremental steps,” said Jordan.

Commitment to thoughtful incremental innovation is evident under Jordan’s leadership.

Baskin-Robbins in the US last year decided to enter into supermarkets but Jordan is thinking carefully about the Australian market saying there is currently no plans to do the same locally with supermarkets already flooded with options. Jordan says Baskin-Robbins Australia has a strong focus on hospitality.

Customers and social media

“We are focused on creating good memories amongst our customers, we want our customers to be able to look back fondly on each visit to our stores,” said Jordan.

A tough task in a world where everyone is a food critic at the click of a button.

“We are certainly always thinking of the presence of social media today,” said Jordan. “What it does is really gets people talking about products.”

But he is adamant that concentrating on good ‘customer service’ goes far amongst internet reviewers.

Baskin-Robbins is a brand to trust and Jordan is now the key individual to drive Baskin-Robbins’ growth within Australia. He comes from a solid food-focused background having been the operations manager of Coles Supermarkets for almost five years prior to joining Baskin-Robbins in February 2014.

Hospitality also makes sense given his career that included important management roles at Accor Hotels and the Katarzyna Group, an Australian independent hospitality group.

One thing Jordan says he has brought to Baskin-Robbins from his time at Coles is a focus on building a great team culture.

As the trends keep rolling-by, Jordan says a good team-culture is a winning strategy, rather than searching for the next craze.