Former Huxtaburger CEO to drive new franchise concept

By Nick Hall | 08 Oct 2019 View comments

Fast-casual restaurant concept Motto Motto Japanese Kitchen has unveiled plans to enter the franchise sector, bolstering its executive team with a high-profile recruit.

The Brisbane-based chain was brought to life by William Liu, the owner of Australia’s most awarded Japanese restaurant, Sono. The mix of traditional and modern Japanese or Japanese-inspired dishes has resonated well within the Queensland marketplace, with the chain launching an inaugural interstate site in North Ryde.

That expansion now looks certain to grow.

At present, all six locations are company-owned, with the latest announcement marking Motto Motto’s first venture in the franchise space, however they won’t be without experience.

Motto Motto new additions

Leading the new growth is former Huxtaburger CEO Matt Fickling, who assumes the head of franchising role.

Fickling was instrumental in the development of the Huxtaburger franchise operation, growing the fast-casual chain from a small founder-led business to a nationally recognised entity. Just last year, Fickling penned a deal with NSW investment group Yesdac, promising to deliver 10 stores across the country.

Former Huxtaburger CEO Matt Fickling set to lead Motto Motto new franchise concept | Inside Franchise Business

Former Huxtaburger CEO Matt Fickling set to lead Motto Motto new franchise concept | Inside Franchise Business

Motto Motto Founder and Managing Director William Liu said Fickling’s appointment better positioned the fresh franchising concept for sustained growth.

“We are very pleased to have attracted someone of Matt’s experience and capability,” Liu said.

“He brings significant franchise and strategy experience coupled with his ability to contribute to our brand & marketing, supply chain & operations teams because of his multi-disciplined background as a successful chief executive. As an entrepreneurial and dynamic thinker Matt will be a powerful addition to an already high performing executive team.”

Current landscape

Fickling joins Motto Motto at an interesting time, for both the chain itself and the franchised dining sector as a whole.

Just last week, delivery platform Deliveroo unveiled a new initiative aimed at addressing the growing concerns over third-party aggregators and unit profitability.

With Motto Motto planning on launching nationally, and an additional store to come later this year, Fickling said developing a simple set of operation structures was key to the chain’s next growth phase.

“The opportunity to bring my executive experience and join an innovative and talented team at Motto Motto was too good to refuse. Motto Motto is joining a franchise market where we can solve some of the issues the sector is faced with through a compelling offer built on transparency, differentiation & unparalleled support,” he said.

“With everything produced in our state-of-the-art innovation kitchen that is led by our very own executive chef, we own taste and deliver simple operations for our stores and franchisees. It is stories like these I can’t wait to start sharing.”

Motto Motto currently has five stores across Queensland, along with one store in Sydney and an additional to come before year’s end.