FCA awards winners in VIC/TAS

By Sarah Stowe | 02 Nov 2015 View comments

The Franchise Council of Australia recognised franchising’s best in Victoria and Tasmania on Friday night at the final regional FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards for 2014.

Optical retail chain OPSM scooped two awards at the event while casual dining franchise Grill'd was also a double award winner.

Brent and Ann Howard of Grill’d Elsternwick and Carnegie were awarded for their Franchisee Community Responsibility and Contribution. The couple said their success came from being aligned with Grill’d’s values.

“We live in the area that our restaurants are located. Grill’d are very much a local burger expert and we live and breathe their values. We have a local matters program where we support three local community groups. Each month we donate money to those programs through our business.

"We support a lot of the local sporting clubs as well. Particularly in the junior ranks because we think it’s important for kids to be outdoors enjoying themselves,” the couple said.

Rajinder Uppal from OPSM Wendouree took home the Franchisee of the Year, two or more staff award and Rowan Prendergast from OPSM Waurn Ponds was awarded Franchisee of the Year, less than two staff.

Prendergast, who runs the optometry side of the business at OPSM Waurn Ponds also tutors in Optometry at Deakin University and writes about eye health for the local newspaper. He said his franchisor was instrumental in making the writing a success.

“The idea with the newspaper was that it would bring people into the store. OPSM was really supportive in terms of providing marketing material for that. They also offered me support with regard to actually getting the editorial into newspapers. It was a two way thing, they’ve been incredibly supportive,” Prendergast said.

Uppal, who has been with OPSM since 2008 believes the strength of the network and customer focused service has had a major hand in her success.

“The OPSM brand is very well respected throughout Australia. Because of that it makes it easier for us to attract customers into the store. From there it comes down to our policies. A big part of what we do is focus on the OPSM customer journey, to make sure everything we do is customer centric,” she said.

The Multi-unit Franchisee of the Year for the fourth year running was Matt and Brad Walker who have stores in Camberwell, Knox and Southland.

David Lacosegliaz from The Cheesecake Shop was awarded Field Manager of the Year

Following their success, all winners have all qualified as finalists for the MYOB FCA National Excellence in Franchising Awards. The Gala Dinner will be held at Allphones Arena in Sydney on Tuesday 28 October at the culmination of the National Franchise Convention.