How this Red Rooster franchisee has made his successful business a family affair

By Sarah Stowe | 15 Mar 2019 View comments

Three generations of the Humphreys family are embracing the best of a fast food franchise. Red Rooster franchisee Tim takes up the story…

“Mum works full time, Dad works at Bribie Island full time. Our eldest son is 14 and he’s just started at the Narangba store. He works a couple of hours and every week is putting away half his wages.

“Our other son is chewing at the bit to get in – he likes to be there for a day in the holidays.”

The youngest generation is taking inspiration from Tim’s example – by the age of 18 he was already the manager of a Lenard’s store. He moved to the bigger network of Red Rooster stores, notched up experience as district manager, married at a young age and had a family on the way.

Becoming a Red Rooster franchisee made perfect sense.

“It was familiar, nothing was hidden. I bought a store I had opened and managed. The biggest thing I could see for growth was delivery. When the Red Rooster business was purchased by the Archer Group I could see great things.”

Buying a franchise was a bit daunting

Tim’s confidence was countered by natural anxiety about the size of his investment in the brand.

“I had three kids and it was a  big investment, I was only 28. It was a bit daunting and I was scared of the borrowing potential. But I was super excited to get into it.”

Suddenly everything Tim had worked so hard for was on the line, and he took drastic action.

“I did a lot of hours. I was so nervous about the loan, so I did some big hours in the store. I enjoyed being back in the store after I had been district manager, and spending quality time coaching. I like to keep my finger on the pulse.”

Now in control of his future, and his very own business, Tim turned to family for extra support. And not just after-hours problem solving, he wanted his parents right there with him.

Three generations at work

“Mum worked at Lifeline for 12 years – I asked Mum if she wanted to work full time in the business. Mum and Dad have a great work ethic, I don’t believe we’ve had an issue. They take it a bit personal about getting it right so it’s gelled quite well. Dad has been a truck driver – this was a big change for him.”

There’s no doubt that working with a different generation brought its own challenges and required a lot of discussion. The benefits are obvious to Tim, though.

“Their heart is in it almost as much as yours – they have your back if you’re not there. It’s a relief to know they are there. You can believe them. They come up with great ideas, as do the staff, which I encourage.”

Tim has learned through management courses and experience the vital role empowered staff can play, and he’s adamant that it is crucial to keep staff informed about processes, financial costs and how small actions have an impact on the overall business.

“We generally ran above average, up about 20 per cent on the previous year, the year before about 15 per cent. I was spending a lot of time in business getting it right. I’m a big believer in local store marketing.”

Red Rooster franchisee has big dreams

The success of the first store allowed him to buy a second outlet. This proved a significant challenge, despite his experience.

“It was very hard, I put a lot of hours into the Bribie Island store. We had huge growth within the business, but all the percentages stayed the same.

“I spent the first four years reducing debt and now I am back where I was, so even though it’s great to get a second store it takes you back to the beginning financially.

“But it’s long term, and we will probably want up to five stores.”

Key to franchisee success

The key to success is twofold, he suggests: great employees and a nice home environment will bring in great results.

“The biggest thing is having your home life right. I have to put a lot of time and effort, so I have to make time with family. I have a very supportive wife, we had our kids young, bought our first house young, learned about resilience, love each other, have fun, and are agile in business. We’ve learned a lot of lessons.”

Are you inspired by Tim’s story to check out a Red Rooster franchise for yourself?

You can find other fast food options too.