What's happening at Eagle Boys?
Eagle Boys CEO Bruce Scott appointed Nick Vincent as the company’s general manager of retail in April, a move that signifies a period of change for the business.
Vincent's focus is around enhancing the customer experience. “We are working with our franchisees in order to find out: how do we do better retailing?” he says.
There is emphasis on product development, the brand’s online offering, expansion both within Australia and overseas, as well as a new manage to own initiative.
“New product development is a big focus, with a focus on new flavours,” says Vincent.
He adds Eagle Boys' regional footprint is “very strong” and for the most part the company’s attention will remain there.
“We are looking at Perth, Adelaide, regional New South Wales and South Australia.”
Eagle Boys has been operating in India with a wholly owned subsidiary for three years now, and it recently opened a sixth store in the country.
“We are looking to open 250 stores in India in the next five years, and they will be predominantly franchised,” says Scott.
When Eagle Boys first considered overseas expansion, India, Canada, Japan and Malaysia were explored, however India was identified as the most suitable market to begin with.
Eagle Boys’ Indian stores have generated interest in the brand among other overseas markets by way of word-of-mouth.
“There has been interest from people in the UK, Japan, Vietnam and the UAE – however we’ll keep our focus on India at the moment,” Scott explains.
He says the flagship model is not relevant for Eagle Boys in India, and the plan is to open profitable stores that are smaller in size.
“Getting the rent right is extremely important,” he adds.
Master franchisees with strong food retail experience will be appointed in the tier one and two cities and in Chennai, for instance, there will be about 25 stores. One is already signed up in Hyderabad.
MANAGE TO OWN
Back in Australia, Eagle Boys has developed a manage to own program, which is open to existing store managers or external candidates with prior management/business experience.
“We have store managers who have been with Eagle Boys for over 10 years, so it’s an opportunity for them to become franchisees, it offers them a career pathway,” says Vincent.
“We’d like to open half a dozen manage to own stores in a year.”
FRANCHISEES FROM OVERSEAS
Eagle Boys is open to recruiting franchisees that have immigrated to Australia, and has in fact been in conversation with immigration lawyers.
Vincent says the key challenge these franchisees face is not so much around language barriers, but cultural differences.
“Language is a challenge to a certain extent, however it’s more cultural and how they can work in with the local community.”
The company's Eagle Boys Happiness Fund, which encourages franchisees to get involved in the local community through the donation of pizza to local charities, schools, sporting groups and so on, is said to be a great way for franchisees to forge ties with the community in which their store operates.
Eagle Boys has focused its attention online of late – there is online ordering, and its EDMs are now tailored to suit customer interests.
“We’ve had a nine percent increase year on year in online sales, and we send out 16 different EDMs per week now,” says Scott.
The next stage of business technology will focus on store data, providing recording capabilities for international outlets as well as domestic stores to send information to the franchisor.