Award-winning Zambrero Mexican cuisine franchise keeps getting bigger
Zambrero began as an idea of Dr Sam Prince, who was a medical student at the time and noticed a trend in Mexican cuisines in the United States.
Prince realised there was a niche in the Australian food market that wasn’t fulfilled by anyone and took the initiative to bring the Mexican fusion of flavours and delicacies into Australia. Zambrero began franchising in 2006 and currently has 17 outlets across Australia.
The Mexican cuisine franchise had also managed to rank in the top 5 of BRW Fast Franchises list in both 2011 and 2012. Franchise Business AU speaks with Zambrero’s Stuart Cook on the Mexican franchises unique success.
FBAU: What is so unique about your franchise model that makes it successful?
Stuart: I think it’s a mixture of not only the corporate social responsibility, where we’re moving towards with the backend infrastructure, but also Mexican food is something that Australians are really very receptive to. It’s a taste that hasn’t been done well in Australia 10 years ago, much like when McDonalds came in the 80s.
All of these companies have really picked up and provided the consumer with something new and I think that’s what Zambrero’s doing and the appeal of Zambrero.
FBAU: One thing that is really amazing about Zambreo is making it to the BRW Top 5 twice. How do you do it?
Stuart: We have a lot of fun but we have a lot of passion as well and we really believe in what we do. The philanthropic aspect of Zambrero is something that is bringing in a lot of investors and a lot of attraction to the brand.
So for every plate of food that we serve here in Australia, we actually feed a child overseas called ‘Plate for Plate’ but also we’re a strong business model.
We try and make it as easy as possible for franchisees to run the business and that’s why we’re doing things such as taking over the bookkeeping of franchisees, providing a lot of backend support so that the franchisees can focus on not only the marketing aspects of the business but running a great team because it’s the people within the organisation that will really provide the customers with the best experience.
FBAU: What makes your franchisees successful?
Stuart: Our perfect franchisee is somebody who has contagious energy that rubs off on others. Somebody that can lead a team, who can follow systems, be entrepreneurial but not to the point that they create their own systems without telling us. We want to encourage people to increase the systems in the brand but we want to work with them to do that. We really embrace the ideas that the franchisees and that’s why we work together as a team across the company.
FBAU: So what is Zambrero’s plans in the future?
Stuart: We’ve got a number of stores so we should hit between 40-50 stores by the end of the year, with a stretch target of 53 stores. We’re also starting to speak with people internationally. We got some deals that we’re in the start of negotiations with, for some people in different countries who will be a great partners to expand the brand in their countries that they live in.
FBAU: How are you going to find all these franchisees for Zambero’s global expansion?
Stuart: Go on heaps of planes, meet heaps of people, go to Expos and use FranchiseBusiness.com.au. But it’s also just continually holding true to our values, continue to develop our franchisees so that they become multi-unit franchisees – that’s a big thing.
Some of our interests from overseas have come as a result of relationships of family and friends that they believe that they could actually take it to another country. Or it is something that they see is missing in another country or existing customers move overseas from a different country.
Being based in Canberra originally meant that a lot of diplomats and a lot of people with all the embassies would come and be able to be exposed to our brand.
So when they return back home, they may have business partners, fathers in business, sons who may see this as a great business opportunity. It’s been a very organic growth, we haven’t driven it with marketing yet but that’s something down the track we’d do.
Zambrero is a lot of fun, we’ve got a great team who I think combine the naivety and enthusiasm and energy of youth with the right amount of wisdom and experience. With our executive team, so we do have a lot of people from different backgrounds including McDonalds, Sumo Salad, Gloria Jean’s, 20th Century Pictures and all of those people provide a great, well-rounded team which is really taking us forward.