The franchise sector continues to be a major player in the South African economy with steady growth shown even through tough trading conditions. “Despite the hard trading times over the past seven years, franchising has held its own, year on year, in every respect – from showing long-term sustainability to showing a high level of optimism for the future,” said Naas du Preez of Oasis Water and FASA’s current chairman. “This is borne out by the fact that the sector, which covers a wide range of industries, contributes a healthy 12.5% to the country’s GDP.”
FASA award winners recognisedEconomists agree that if the government is to achieve its target of 5 million jobs by 2020, 495,000 new businesses have to be established to create the targetted number of jobs. Franchising, which currently contributes 12.5% to the country’s GDP through its 625 franchised systems, 40,000 franchise outlets in 17 franchise business sectors employing close to 400,000 people, is in a position to contribute not only to job creation and skills transfer, but also to nurture entrepreneurship.
The Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) honoured the finalists and winners of its annual Awards for Excellence in Franchising, which were:
Franchisor of the Year
FASA’s most prestigious award, sponsored by Absa, celebrates the success of the franchisor that has made a significant impact in the marketplace and that has, through effective business management and marketing, achieved outstanding financial results and a significant growth in his sector.
The Winner: OBC Chicken & Meat
OBC Chicken & Meat, with over 60 franchised stores countrywide, enjoys a strong brand presence and continues to prove that success in retailing lies in building up a sustainable brand over the long term and winning customers’ support with range, quality and value. OBC reported close to 30% average growth for the group, including new stores with the average existing store growth at 15.7%. With an increase of over 2 million customers per annum, it proves that the right formula will bring success – even in challenging times.
Runner-up: Car Service City
Car Service City is a reputable network of over 60 workshops countrywide specialising in affordable service and repairs of all makes of cars and bakkies and is fast becoming one of South Africa’s leading car servicing groups. In an industry fraught with unreliability and unscrupulous operators, Car Service City presents an honest service with dedicated and talented franchisees who all maintain a culture of integrity and strong business principles.
Runner-up: Cash Converters
As the world’s largest and trusted specialist in the buying and selling of second-hand goods, Cash Converters has been represented in South Africa since 1994 and has over 75 stores employing 1208 people. Cash Converters offers consumers bright and modern stores where they can buy and sell quality second-hand household goods as well as offering a range of personal cash loans.
Franchisee of the Year
It is a known fact that the success rate of franchising is around 90% with only a 10% failure rate compared to independent businesses where the failure rate can often be as high as 90%. The 40,000 franchisees in South Africa who are testament to the success of franchising and the backbone of the sector.
The Winner: Madelein van Staden – Placecol Skin Care Clinic, Elardus, Park, Pretoria
Madelein van Staden is a passionate franchisee with an in-depth understanding of the beauty industry as well as a great sense for business. Through hard work she worked her way from being a salon manager to an area manager within the Imbalie Beauty Group, ultimately becoming the successful franchise owner of three Placecol skin-care clinics. Her main focus is always on improving people, systems, structures and procedures.
Runner-up: Susan Pheiffer, Perfect 10, Highveld Mall, Mpumalanga
Susan Pheiffer and her team are the epitome of the ideal franchise: passionate, energetic and positive. They have proven that through hard work, the right attitude, training and education, one can be successful. They always set an example to other franchisees through their work ethic and positive attitude and the Imbalie Beauty is proud to have franchisees of Susan’s calibre in their group.
Runner-up: Jonathan Barnard, Car Service City, Constantia Kloof, Gauteng
As franchise development manager of Car Service City, Jonathan Barnard saw how successful the franchisees in the group were and decided he wanted to go into business for himself. He purchased the Constantia Kloof franchise three years ago and now employs 18 people in this successful enterprise and won the brand’s Franchisee of the Year title for two years in a row.
Newcomer Franchisor of the Year
The Newcomer Franchisor of the Year category salutes the innovative entrepreneurship of newcomers to FASA – those ‘new kids on the block’ who have that next new concept that is going to take the world by storm!
The Winner: Burger Bistro
Since establishing the brand in 2012, Burger Bistro has grown to four outlets employing a total of 55 people. With an average growth in turnover of 20% per franchised outlet for the past 12 months, Burger Bistro is on the up and up, but one thing is certain: no matter how big it gets it will always remember why it’s in business: to make the best damn burgers in the world!
Runner-up: Sherpa Kids
An international brand with operations in New Zealand, Australia, England, Ireland and Canada, Sherpa Kids is fast becoming a leader in South Africa with 15 franchises opened in the last two years. It provides a safe and secure environment for the care of schoolchildren through a structured and well-balanced educational programme. Sherpa Kids offers the opportunity to build a successful business investment in a community-based service sector that truly adds value to families.
Runner-up: Choprop SA
Choprop SA is an international multiple-award winning Real Estate Advisory Group, specialising in property with the emerging and mainstream markets. The business has grown from a garage start-up to become a household name in property with an unbeatable record of success. Since signing up their first franchisee a year ago, the Choprop team of franchisor, six franchisees and their employees is at an impressive 110.
Franchisor: Leading Developer of Emerging Entrepreneurs
This category was developed by FASA to encourage the growth in BEE franchisors and franchisees. Although many brands cater to the emerging market in terms of their product offering and may have BEE franchisees, progress is slow in the development of emerging franchisors or even in growing the BEE franchisee base. But things are changing – with funding coming through from the Jobs Fund, the NEF and SEFA – this category will, in future, be a significant award category.
The Winner: Hot Dog Cafe
Known for its successful cadet training programmes whereby unemployed candidates from previously disadvantaged backgrounds are trained to work in the franchise industry and given the opportunity to become entrepreneurs, the Hot Dog Cafe continuous its pioneering work. A successful deal was recently concluded with BP to introduce a new concept wors/hot dog cart onto the BP forecourts.
Runner-up: Sherpa Kids
With education on the one hand such a crucial part of nation building and entrepreneurship on the other so critical to economic development and transformation, Sherpa Kids is making great inroads in both sectors. With 51% of its franchise outlets owned by black female franchisees, Sherpa Kids is playing its part in being a leading developer of emerging entrepreneurs.
Job Creator of the Year Award
The Job Creator of the Year Award recognises those franchisors that, through the expansion of their franchise brand through their network of franchisees, contribute extensively to job creation. In addition to assessing the number of jobs created, the criteria also take into account the skills training offered and the franchisors’ efforts to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation through enterprise development initiatives.
The Winner: Sorbet
The over 150 Sorbet stores across South Africa employ close to 1500 skilled and experienced therapists, hair stylists and nail technicians. They are given competitive and attractive remuneration packages with high commissions, as well as ongoing free training to build skills and earning capacity, Sorbet has also established the Sorbet Empowering Foundation aimed at training women from disadvantaged backgrounds as fully fledged manicure and pedicure technicians. Once qualified, they are employed within the Sorbet Group.
Runner-up: OBC Chicken & Meat
With 1222 people employed in the OBC network, the contribution to job creation is significant in that the majority of employees are BEE appointees. In addition to extensive franchisee training, OBC delivers training on site, which is a mix of structured and practical training with frequency and duration depending on need. Training for franchisees and staff in food handling and hygiene is conducted regularly.
Runner-up: Hot Dog Cafe
With job creation high on its list of priorities, Hot Dog Cafe takes a holistic approach and has pioneered development programmes that ensure job creation through nurturing entrepreneurship and promoting skills transfer.
Brand Builder of the Year
This award recognises the company that managed to elevate and grow its brand through the successful implementation of a sound marketing strategy. The focus is on innovation and the effective execution of marketing strategies rather than the size of the brand’s marketing budget.
The Winner: Roman’s Pizza
There is no question that Roman’s Pizza, with its 214 outlets and growing exponentially, has found its own unique niche in the competitive pizza market. From using the well-known comedian Barry Hilton and the company’s CEO in its memorable television ads to bucking the trend by promoting its ‘call and collect while its hot’ tagline, Roman’s Pizza has significantly increased the turnover and profitability of its franchisees.
As the leading Electro Muscle Stimulation fitness concept in South Africa with 25 studios operating in retail spaces, Bodytec challenges conventional ways of doing things and its marketing tactics reflect a very niche and targeted approach. Bodytec uses brand ambassadors to tell its success stories in its I Am Bodytec campaign, which is promoted in the media, but, more importantly, on social media with active engagement on six social media platforms.
Runner-up: Oasis Water
Oasis Water has been established as a health and wellness company through offering its target market a clean and affordable quality product that contributes to a healthy lifestyle and makes available safe drinking water. A new brand strategy and corporate identity challenged the conventional approach to corporate identity by promoting a ‘healthy lifestyle’ in store fronts, on billboards and in media adverts.
Hall of Fame Award
Fats Lazarides – founder of Ocean Basket
Each year FASA honours individuals who have, in some form or another, made a valuable contribution to the franchise industry. FASA’s Hall of Fame award for 2016 was awarded to Fats Lazarides, the founder of Ocean Basket. Like many young entrepreneurs at the time who went on to found some of our most iconic food and retail franchises, Fats Lazarides grew up in a close-knit Greek community of corner cafe and fast food owners with big dreams. As a true-blood entrepreneur, and through grit and sheer determination, he built a reputable brand that is not only a household name in South Africa, but is fast becoming an international success.
With only R800 in start-up capital, Lazarides turned his dream of owning the perfect restaurant into reality even with the odds stacked against him. Fats Lazarides has built a seafood empire on the back of sound franchise principles and a philosophy of serving great food at a great price. What is his entrepreneurial philosophy? ‘Anything great is worth fighting for; it’s not about feeling overwhelmed by the challenges, it’s the thrill of finding solutions, and making them work.”