Banjo’s Bakery hits milestone mark

By Nick Hall | 18 Oct 2018 View comments

Heritage brand Banjo’s Bakery has just opened its 40th store with long term baker Shannon Davis at the helm.

A baker with a passion for his craft has taken on a brand new franchise opportunity thanks to an internal training program at Banjo’s Bakery.

Store number 40 in the chain has just been opened at Sippy Downs in Queensland, with baker Shannon Davis and business man Rod Saxby heading up the business in partnership.

Davis has been with Banjo’s for 16 years and has backed up his love of baking with a talent for good operations, winning Banjo’s Bakery of the Year award for the previous store he managed in Tasmania.

“I just love this industry, it’s been good to me,” says Davis. Right now he’s taken the leap from not just operating a store but driving the business and he’s already got an eye on extending his skills into multi-site franchising.

“It was exciting opening a new store and I look forward to more in the future. I’d like to expand and have two or three bakeries,” he says.

Davis stepped up to business ownership after completing the company’s Self Raising Program which trains existing employees to become franchisees.

Potential participants are identified by the franchisor or may nominate themselves to take part. The program consists of training modules covering all aspects of ‘front of house’ retailing and management and ‘back of house’ production and operations. Throughout the program Banjo’s is able to determine the skills and aptitude for business and the baking industry.

Once the program is completed successfully, graduates of the program are provided with the opportunity to become an owner or a partner in their own bakery.

“I’m excited to be partnered with Rod,” says Davis. “He’s been with Banjo’s for over 20 years and has interests in a number of Banjo’s bakeries.  He brings with him extensive knowledge and expertise which he is happy to pass on.”

Thirty five years ago the Banjo’s Bakery brand was born in Tasmania with a mission to bring customers a relaxed environment to sit down and enjoy freshly baked breads and cakes or handmade treats for breakfast, lunch or a snack with a perfectly made coffee.

Today more than 11 million customers visit a Banjo’s store each year. The bakery chain has experienced solid growth over the past 12 months – out performing the previous year in key areas of sales, profitability, transaction numbers and average customer spend.

Store growth has been slow and measured over the last 12 months with three new outlets opening: Claremont Tasmania, Traralgon Victoria and Sippy Downs Queensland.

But the pace is already picking up: there are 10 sites currently in negotiation and the franchisor has plans to open another store before the end of the year. While there is a focus on Queensland and Victoria other sites in other states are also being considered.

Managing director Jessica Saxby reports that business is strong. “Our strategy is to stick to our plan, which is to have 85 stores by 2025. Our focus is on IT and utilising technology to create efficiencies across the business and communications. This will help us to remain relevant to our everchanging customer base. We are also very excited to soon be launching our first drive through.”