Follow the system: franchisee advice

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

Why invest in a franchise model then try to do things differently? That's the question Shingle Inn Mt Ommaney franchisees April Carnie and Nicki Nesbitt suggest new franchisees ask themselves.

The pair are urging all franchisees to follow to a T the system of the business model they buy into after finding out the hard way that compliance is core to franchising.

“We’re the first to admit we’ve learnt a lot in the past three and a half years,” says April Carnie, one half of the dynamic duo recently named the Franchise Council of Australia’s Queensland Franchisee of the Year 2013 .

“All the way through our six week training program with Shingle Inn we were thinking about things we would do differently when we opened the store. Our thought process was that we wanted to help our customers and that since the business was ours we could make decisions as we saw fit, rather than worrying about involving the franchisor.”

With a burning desire to own a business together, April and Nicki were drawn to the franchise for slightly different reasons; April for its family culture and Nicki for its strong commitment to superior quality products, especially its gluten-free range. 

Since opening in December 2009, the best friends have come to fully understand the importance of not only the brand, but the system behind it.

“We make a point of talking to prospect Shingle Inn franchisees now and telling them not to do anything new without speaking with their area manager first,” says Nicki. 

“Within our first week of opening we bought latte glasses with handles, thinking we were helping our customers, and not realising we were burning our coffee. A quick phone call to head office would have saved us a lot of hassle, but we laugh about it now.”


Shingle Inn co-director Andrew Bellchambers says Shingle Inn Mt Ommaney is a great example of what’s possible when franchisees follow the system.

“April and Nicki continue to increase their sales and have achieved so many of their personal and financial goals as a result of following the system,” says Andrew. “Their experience is not unusual for new franchisees, however, so their advice is well worth taking onboard.”

Andrew says their announcement as the Franchise Council of Australia’s Queensland Franchisee of the Year (2 or more staff) is evidence they know what they’re talking about.

“They’ve been one of our top performing stores for internal awards so it’s great to see them get recognition from a respected industry body.”