San Churro: a dessert business that doesn’t rely on trends

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Known for its chocolate and churros, Spanish chocolateria San Churro is headed up by co-founder Giro Maurici who says the concept of desserts and drinks in a Spanish-inspired fit-out appeals to a wide audience. Inside Franchise Business: For San Churro, trends are a bonus.

“However, our core target market is 18- to 35-year-old females who are social instigators - these are the women who organise the catch-ups and are aware of places to go and form the social glue in their circles,” he explains.

“They desire to feel connected and indulged, and are keen for a variety of experiences that are not the standard coffee catch-up.”

While experience is a key aspect of the model, San Churro is mindful of trends, aiming to ensure it competes by staying true to its core offering while being flexible enough to adapt to flavour trends.

“At our heart, we are an accessible brand so we don't alienate consumers the way some of the more ‘on trend’ concepts do,” says Maurici.

“While our churros and chocolate are classic Spanish desserts, we do offer innovative desserts to appeal to a range of customers. Our menu is quite broad and always changing around our core products.

“We do jump onboard some dessert trends, but we are more about putting our own slant on them. The beauty of what we do is that we don’t rely on trends to make our business work. They work as a bonus for our sales,” he adds.

And tech is definitely key.

“We place great emphasis on the use of technology for the smooth and efficient running of our stores. Our integrated POS system ensures our franchise partners benefit from the most up-to-date technology on the market, tailored to our specific requirements,” he says.

“It also incorporates integrations across other platforms such as our accounting, rostering and payroll systems.

“With the increased emphasis on customer loyalty through our app, we are able to target marketing campaigns to our already extensive customer base, and to continue to grow this via direct communication and personalised offers.”

For franchisees, San Churro’s initial investment includes the franchise fee, store design and build, training, set-up and support. Depending on the location, the average startup cost can range from about $600,000 to $850,000. Franchisees also benefit from ongoing support and an open-door culture.

Help with financing the business is available through San Churro’s accreditation status with three major banks, ANZ, CBA and Westpac.

Buying power is also a plus. “As a national franchisor with more than 50 stores across seven Australian states and territories, we have gradually, over our 11 years, developed excellent relationships with key suppliers,” says Maurici.

“We have maintained and developed these relationships in order to deliver a high standard of quality products and services to our franchisees.

“Within our supply chain, there can be external factors we face from time to time, and our team is committed to aligning with the best suppliers who are not only cost effective but are reliable and have similar core values to ours.”

However, Maurici says the most challenging aspect of any franchise business is sourcing, training and retaining quality staff.

“At San Churro our training team helps our franchisees with the selection and training of new staff members, and is always on hand to help with ongoing development,” he says.

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