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National Franchise Operations Conference

Thursday 12 May 2016, Pullman Hotel, Albert Park, Melbourne

Conference Wrap-Up

This year’s National Franchise Operations Conference was one of the most value packed events FRI has ever conducted. Starting with pre-conference Masterclasses on Financial Literacy, Change Management and Facilitation Skills, which received rave reviews from participants, the vibe was focused and friendly for the whole two days.

Conference program held in hand

One unique feature of FRI’s conferences is that almost 100% of attendees are franchisor operations executives. This created a unique learning culture for the 130 franchisor executives from the 54 brands attending . As people registered and networked for the conference, they were treated to the original sounds of blues-roots musician, Nick Ferretti. At 9am sharp the formal program began with a briefing by our amazing MC, Jewli Turier, who kept us organised and engaged for the rest of the day.

Jewli Turier, MC for the day
Jewli Turier

The first formal presentation was a cutting edge research update on FRI’s latest study into how franchisors can best support mature franchisees. FRI’s Founder, Greg Nathan, blended statistics and practical advice in his usual pragmatic style, challenging members of the audience to maintain a humble but confident approach in how they serve their franchisees and maintain a learning mindset.

Greg Nathan delivering an address to the audience
Greg Nathan

Harcourt’s CEO, Sadhana Smiles, then blew everyone away with a step-by-step insight into the systems, strategies and leadership culture that has led her region to have the highest profitability and fastest growth in her industry, and the most satisfied franchisees in Australia. FRI are proud to support Sadhana’s charity, Links Fiji, with $2,000 from the conference proceedings. This will support the charity’s work with 400 patients.

Sadhana Smiles at the lectern
Sadhana Smiles

Geoff Goodman, CEO of USA Orange Leaf Yogurt, then inspired us with his leadership tips on how to make a difference by being yourself — what he calls “Being Orange”. Geoff, decked out in his orange shoes, provided insights into the company’s business turnaround strategy and introduced us to the Orange Unicorn who is leading an impressive, cost effective social and digital media campaign! We are grateful to Geoff who made a special trip to Australia to support the conference.

Geoff Goodman and his shoes
Geoff Goodman

We were then educated in the true sense of the word by a panel of outstanding franchisees — Suzanne McLoughlin from Home Instead, Mohammad Shamim from Subway, David Luskan from Pandora and David Griffin from Clark Rubber. This impressive group provided excellent insights on what franchisors can do to support franchisees of different sizes and at different stages of their business journey. This panel was definitely one of the most popular sessions of the day.

Franchisee Panel
Franchisee Panel

After a nutritious lunch and more serenading from Nick Ferretti, participants had the opportunity to sit in smaller groups with a choice of high calibre franchisor mentors who shared their insights on how to be an effective franchise leader and deliver higher levels of performance. Participants have told us they found these sessions empowering, educational and inspiring.

Small Group Small Group
Small group discussions

Our deepest gratitude goes to the following people who generously shared their time experience:

  • John O’Brien CEO of Poolwerx and Hall of Fame member
  • Nicole Howlett Commercial Manager, Bakers Delight
  • Brett Spinks Vice President of Sales, Pandora
  • Mark Van Der Zypp Regional Manager, Boost Juice Bars
  • Julie O’Shea Founder, Colour Me Happy
  • Chris Caldwell CEO, Lenard’s Chicken
  • Bridget Blake National Franchise Operations Manager, endota spa

The action then continued with an upbeat address by the new Executive Chairman of the FCA, The Honorable Bruce Billson, who spoke about the importance of ongoing professional development and the value of the CFE qualification. The room then got to work in 15 Hot Topic Round Tables addressing topics identified through a pre-conference survey. Thanks to the Round Table Facilitators for their excellent facilitation of these sessions.

Bruce Billson
Bruce Billson

The bar continued to get higher as Rachael Robertson stepped onstage to deliver the final presentation of the day where she shared her journey as a leader in the world’s toughest workplace — Antarctica. Rachael’s message of straight-talking and courage was highly relevant to all participants who rated her the best best speaker of the day.

Rachael Robertson
Rachael Robertson

One measure of an excellent event is the proportion of people who stay on to continue talking when the official proceedings are over. It was thus refreshing to witness dynamic conversations continuing for another two hours as everyone shared their insights, made new friends and enjoyed each other’s company.

Thanks again to our presenters for so openly sharing their knowledge and experience, and to our Event Partners for helping us to make the day such a success. And thanks to all the participants for contributing to an amazing day of camaraderie and learning.

Room filled with people
Looking forward to more great FRI events

“I wanted to congratulate the FRI team on delivering an excellent NFOC. I am thoroughly enlightened, revitalised and focused after attending…thank you.”
Mark Sifonis, Hudsons Coffee

“Thank you Greg, to you and your team for putting on an excellent couple of days”
Chris Forbes, Franchise Architex

“No other event (still!) immerses franchise operations people in current and relevant issues which impact franchising.”
Rob Camm, The Groove Train

“I’m leaving feeling energised!”
Leo De Bartolo, Nando’s

“Anyone in Operations would get something out of this Conference.”
Loretta Ierado, Choice Hotels Asia Pacific

“This conference is an absolute must attend!”
Nicole Nanninga, helloworld

“This conference provides a fabulous opportunity to question, re-evaluate and have an objective view at your business.”
Stacey Fall, Weeding Women

“The FRI National Franchise Operations Conference is jam-packed with real insights and real strategies to deal with real life situations in the field.”
Darryn McAuliffe, FRANdata

“Great variety of sessions to choose from.”
Steve Brady, helloworld

“The presenters were absolutely spot on with great variation and very open on their processes.”
David Lindsay, Salts of the Earth

Conference Resources for Download

Adding Value to Mature Franchisees — Greg Nathan

In this Research Update, Greg presented findings on how best to support and add value to mature franchisees.

Download findings here (PDF 333kB).

No Triangles — Rachael Robertson

Rachael was one of our most popular presenters at the Conference. One of the concepts she talked about was “No Triangles” — and Rachael has provided the following outline and a link for more information.

Download outline here (PDF 337kB).

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