La Porchetta CEO among Excellence in Franchising award winners

By Sarah Stowe | 06 Nov 2015 View comments

The Franchise Woman of the Year award has been scooped up by Sara Pantaleo, chief executive of Italian restaurant franchise La Porchetta.

Pantaleo has taken the business from 12 franchise outlets to 80 and told the assembled franchise crowd at the awards night "this award is dedicated to my mother and my brother. They were amazingly inspirational in my life and helped to make me who I am and achieve my goals."

Rocky Pantaleo, La Porchetta's co-founder who had been the face of the franchise business, died suddenly earlier this year. Sara Pantaleo said "It's been a difficult but amazing year, so I would really like to thank my team.

"I'm really proud to be part of this industry," she added.

This year saw the largest number of entries in the awards for franchising excellence.

Field Manager of the Year was named as Alan Fardon of the Rams Financial Group, who said his greatest satisfaction was helping franchisees reach the work life balance they were looking for.

The chief executive of Looksmart Alterations, Ray Bryant, took out the Franchising Executive of the Year award for his achievement in taking the network from 36 retail outlets to 94 in three years, and tripling turnover.

Young franchise brand Zambrero Fresh Mex Grill was given the Franchisor Social Responsibility award for its work in building IT centres in developing nations, while Gutter-Vac took away a Merit award in the same category.

Ten year old franchise business Boost Juice Bars was named the winner in the competitive International Franchising category. The juice bar network has 56 stores in 14 countries.

Two other food franchises were awarded Merits in this field: Gloria Jean's Coffees and the FoodCo Group which has Muffin Break, Jamaica Blue and Dreamy Donuts in its portfolio.

Gloria Jean's scooped the Excellence in Marketing award for its innovative integrated campaign with tv show Australia's Got Talent.

Donaldson Walsh Lawyers was named the Supplier of the Year; Professor Lorelle Frazer who heads up research at the Asica-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence at Griffith University was given the Contribution to Franchising Award.

This year's inductee into the Hall of Fame was John Brown of Franchise Alliance, who began his franchising career 30 years ago at Bedshed.

Read about the Franchisor of the Year, and the franchisee awards.