Quest Apartment Hotels boosts franchisee training
Quest Apartment Hotels is delivering training that gives newbie franchisees a head start. That’s according to franchisee Ben O’Sullivan who, with his partner Kylie, undertook intensive learning at the Quest Academy before taking over the Wagga Wagga business.
O’Sullivan was no stranger to the demands of business ownership; he had run two independent newsagencies in Tamworth.
But wanting to take the next step in his career the idea of overarching support provided by a franchise brought him to look at the Quest model.
O’Sullivan researched how the brand had grown over six years, put in an application for a franchise in September 2016 and found himself signed up at the Quest Academy in February this year.
“When we went for six weeks training it was really excellent. Quest is a lifestyle and we were relocating the family as well. They were excellent at talking through life techniques and the challenges of running a business as a family, pointing out there will be trials and tribulations on site.
“It was a great introduction to the approach we need to take in the role.”
That was the initial training phase which inculcated the couple into the techniques and processes of managing a 43 room serviced apartment business.
And it was only two months later when O’Sullivan was back, taking advantage of refresher training which included discussions about staffing.
“It was all about problem solving,” he explains.
Quest’s six-week foundation training program combines a mix of e-learning, systems training and hands-on learning at various Quest hotels, with franchisees learning all aspects of the business, from front desk duties to how to make beds and restock bathrooms.
O’Sullivan says the two weeks spent on-site also involved learning about shifts, managing the financial data and interacting with clients.
Specialist speakers in finance and marketing set the scene and trainee franchisees then complete modules of learning about how to translate the theory into a Quest structure.
Further training programs are scheduled nationally in key geographic hubs to enhance accessibility.
Quest CEO Zed Sanjana said “We created a bespoke comprehensive and supportive training program to ensure brand consistency and best practice is maintained for all guests regardless of the Quest location.”
This autumn the business has expanded its $7 million franchisee training program to meet unprecedented demand including the appointment of a director of learning and two new specialist trainers.
“The success of the program has exceeded even our high expectations. It’s been wonderful to see first-hand how the program has provided such a solid foundation for new franchisees, and how it is being tailored to meet the needs of experienced Quest franchisees and staff as well,” Sanjana says.
Since its October 2016 launch Quest Academy has engaged more than 140 participants, with 17 new franchisees completing the six-week foundation training program.
The academy has also assisted in opening nine new Quest hotels and completed 11 settlements involving the sale of established Quest franchise businesses, with a further three scheduled.
The latest venue to be unveiled is the Quest Innaloo site in Perth, which features an on-site gym and business lounge.
More than 750 franchisees and key staff are expected to register to undertake at least one of the available training programs in the coming year.
O’Sullivan is full of praise for the training.
“It was really engaging, and gave us the best possible chance to fly. We came in quite fast, Kylie gave up her job in mental health management, and this eased our anxieties. They really ramp up the training for franchisees and staff and it gives us the tools and techniques.
“The first six months are so hectic but the staff are brilliant. We couldn’t have asked for any more.”