Croc’s Playcentre’s “massive opportunity” for franchisees to improve profit
Croc’s Playcentre, an indoor children’s play centre, has an exclusive licence with cafe franchise Muffin Break.
Director Brett Aldons says Croc’s Playcentre defines its sites, either regional or metropolitan, through demographic analysis to gauge target market numbers.
“Regional sites are a target at present, where occupancy costs can be a lot lower than major cities, and competition not as strong as in major cities. The key for our franchisees to succeed is having a local area marketing (LAM) plan.”
As the target market is children up to nine years old, places such as schools, community centres and sporting clubs are ideal for advertising. “We also believe that exceptional customer service within the business is a major driver in traffic from year two onward.
“Our most successful franchisees set LAM targets and regularly discuss new ideas with our consultants.”
Aldons says wage costs are a challenge. Other overheads include occupancy costs (rent) and COGS (cost of goods). In order to achieve profit, consultants meet regularly with the franchisees to look at profit-and-loss statements and customer feedback, benchmark KPIs against group averages and discuss each store’s business plan, which is provided annually.
“The key focus of the business plan is to understand the franchisee’s targets in terms of sales, COGS, wages (as a percentage of sales) and birthday-party numbers,” he says.
“We have recently introduced a costed rostering system into the business as we have seen wages vary greatly among franchisees, and see this as a massive opportunity for our partners to improve profitability.
“We have also launched a website with a cloud-based booking system that lets customers devise their own party and pay the deposit, which goes directly into our franchisee’s account. This saves a lot of time in store trying to sell parties, and also takes away the complication of having some franchisees that are not confident in selling.”
Croc’s Playcentre is also moving toward having a 1800 number and employing staff members who can be trained to upsell and service customers.
“The partnership with Foodco allows our franchisees to effectively own and run two brands (Croc’s Playcentre and Muffin Break) in one system,” says Aldons. “We have one franchise agreement, one set of royalties and a team to help our franchisees grow and succeed.”
Depending on landlord incentives, a franchisee’s typical investment is between $650,000 and $750,000, plus GST. This includes total set-up costs, five weeks’ training, complete turnkey set-up, opening support and ongoing business and marketing support.
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