3 future-proof heritage franchise brands

By Nick Hall | 03 May 2019 View comments

Franchising is an all-encompassing sector that has seen its fair share of fad ideas and market trends. Wade through the sea of bygone ventures and you’ll find the mark of tried and tested franchise model is longevity.

Whether it’s a brand that has celebrated a long stretch in the public eye or received a number of independent accolades, heritage franchises represent stability and support.

But don’t be fooled. A heritage brand with success overseas will not necessarily guarantee results in Australia.

It is imperative as a prospective franchisee; you research your desired franchise’s history in the domestic market. Brands born in Australia have built their networks according to the specific regulations that govern the country.

Here, Inside Franchise Business takes a look at three home-grown heritage franchise brands who are future=proofing their franchisees.

Hog’s Breath Café

Casual dining steakhouse Hog’s Breath Café has carved out a niche for quality fare in a family environment.

This year, the home-grown hospitality business celebrates 30 years of operation; no mean feat in today’s changing QSR landscape.

Ross Worth, Hog’s Breath CEO believes the key to continued success for the heritage franchise is its ability to embrace new technology.

“What we could have never anticipated 30 years ago is the massive shift in technology, consumer expectations, sustainability and marketing that have driven our industry,” Worth told Inside Franchise Business.

“Consumers these days demand more from their restaurants and food providers, which has forced the industry to up its game, which is a great thing. If you don’t adapt to what the market wants, you simply get left behind,” Worth said.

Over the past few years, Hog’s Breath has introduced a quick-service model, Hog’s Express as well as implemented a model food-truck business and strengthened its operating systems.

Muffin Break

Also celebrating its 30th birthday this year is QSR chain, Muffin Break. One of the country’s largest and most recognisable franchised chains, Muffin Break operates over 210 stores nationwide.

Recently, the franchise announced a partnership with fellow Aussie heritage brand Darrel Lea Confectionery, unveiling a new offering for excited consumers.

Natalie Brennan, Muffin Break GM said the milestone mark was a testament to the hard work of the entire network, franchisees and head office alike.

“Muffin Break is 30 years, so to be still relevant, to be so active in the community and so beloved, it means a lot to the whole team,” Brennan said.

Late last year, the heritage franchise also unveiled a network-first store in Alice Springs. Combined with bakery cafes in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, Muffin Break has a global network of over 300 outlets.

Ella Baché

While originally established in Paris by revolutionary cosmetic chemist Madame Baché in 1936, Ella Baché has since become an Australian franchising staple.

In 1954, Edith Hallas, the wife of Madame Baché’s cousin brought the business to Australia, where the brand found its creative home.

More than 60 years on, Ella Baché is still very much a family franchise, with Edith Hallas’ grand-daughter Pippa now steering the business into the 21st century.

Over the last 12 months, Hallas and the Ella Baché team have undertaken a full-services revamp, formulating a new development plan.

“Over 30 per cent of franchisees have made the change to the new services menu and the results are very positive.” Hallas told Inside Franchise Business in October.

“The business recorded an 8 per cent increase in total and service revenue, along with a 6 percent jump in retail turnover across the franchise.”

Hallas believes Ella Baché’s close ties to the local Australian market have placed it at the forefront of cosmetic franchising.

“We’re very mindful we have different sized businesses, from Bondi to Alice Springs and consumers have different demands and needs. It’s very much around customising the journey, so it’s right for the franchisee and the market and financially right for them,” she said.

The heritage franchise has also introduced a new CRM system to collate data in a more sophisticated way that leads to greater personalisation in customer offers.

Operating a heritage franchise

Considering a heritage franchise can be a positive step for a number of reasons. Historical data is regularly on-hand and prospective franchise have the benefit of an established model, structure and customer-base.

The modern Australian consumer has evolving demands however, so it is important to seek a heritage franchise with a commitment to innovation.

Got your eye on a heritage franchise? Do your research and consult a professional advisor.