What drives this Oporto state manager?
How does a regional manager help build a brand and develop a strong franchisee network? Julie Pateman, Oporto state manager in Queensland, gives Inside Franchise Business Executive a peek inside her busy day.
1. What are your responsibilities?
“Most importantly I’m responsible for the success of every franchisee in Queensland. When I first started in this role, Oporto CEO Craig Tozer and I set a five year plan to double the Oporto footprint in the state. To achieve that goal, all our current franchisees need to be successful and every future restaurant needs to be in the best position to succeed.
In addition we have recently rolled out a new customer experience model which has taken our restaurants from a traditional fast food model to a truly casual dining experience. I have led the retraining program for the state.”
2. What do you enjoy most about this role?
“I love working with people and mentoring franchisees and my team to be the best they can be. As Queensland is a developing market, I have the ability to push the boundaries, not only in marketing but also in-restaurant offerings. For instance, 50 per cent of our restaurants now offer alcoholic beverages with instore dining. Queensland is successfully leading the charge in this area which is another revenue stream for our franchisees.”
3. What are the biggest challenges in this job?
“Oporto is a growing brand here so we face challenges with brand awareness and consumer consideration. I come from Sydney where Oporto is entrenched and it still surprises me when customers aren’t aware of our famous Bondi Burger or Flame Grilled Chicken. This is a challenge that we overcoming through targeted marketing, social media, PR, events, sponsorship and our fabulous mini food truck ‘Sobre Rodas’.”
4. What’s the biggest motivator for you on a daily basis?
“There are two key motivators.
- Working with our franchisees to improve their businesses and increase their weekly sales. Since moving here and working with franchisees I have seen a distinct change in motivation, enthusiasm, engagement and results – what a great motivator!
- Though I’m based in Queensland we are an amazing national team – both head office team and franchisees alike. We all understand and support the brand goals, we work cohesively as a team and we are there to support each other always.”
5. What time do you finish working for the day?
“Usually I arrive home about 7pm. Oporto restaurants are open for dinner and late night so sometimes I’m out checking on dinner operations or doing mystery shops. When you love what you do, sometimes there are no boundaries of time.”
Read the full Day in the Life interview with Oporto state manager Julie Pateman in the May-July edition of Inside Franchise Business magazine out soon.