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SA Franchise Brands welcomes Rodos Ioannides, Franchisor of Caramello’s.

What has been paramount to Caramello’s success?

The business is well established and has operated successfully for twelve years. The founders and franchisors are still involved and are very hands-on with the day-to-day operations. This makes it a very powerful brand with strong capacity as a Franchise, creating great opportunities for potential Franchisees. Furthermore the success of Caramello’s can be attributed to the current and continued strong foundation of well established and profitable stores.

We have an exclusive Frozen Retail Offering with a FTO (Frozen to Oven) in-store baking process ensuring 100% availability of baked goods with a quality guarantee a 100% of the time, currently an unparalleled product offering in the market.

We pride ourselves that our initial investment required by a potential owner operator for a new store is approximately 50% less than that of our peers without compromising our store setup or quality of product. This, in itself, reduces the period required to retrieve ones initial capital outlay and increases return on investment. The on-going franchise fees are extremely well positioned at 6% management services fee and a 3% marketing fee contribution.

Our central kitchen and distribution centre allows us to supply all confectionery, specialised bakery products, coffee supply and recipe items to our exclusive store network. This ensures that we remain exclusive, very responsive to quality, price, changing markets and keeping product innovation as part of our DNA.

What challenges do you face at present?

The greatest challenge is identifying and securing good locations, with good terms, conditions and rates. Thereafter it is identifying a good owner operator and brand custodian to champion a new outlet.

What are some of the attributes required from franchisees?

Franchisees must:

  • Be passionate
  • Be driven
  • Be hands-on operators
  • Have a desire for growth
  • Have a desire for profit
  • Be commitment towards excellence and service

How would you describe the overall relationship between Caramello’s and its franchisees?

We are very involved in our relationship with our franchisees and believe that to be a successful franchise; each stakeholder within the brand should be treated as a partner in the business. We believe a healthy relationship between franchisor and franchisee is built on a foundation of strong communication which we greatly encourage and place a high value on franchisee feedback, suggestions and overall communication.

What kind of training and support can franchisees expect?

We are very committed to support our franchisees and all our owner operators undergo a two month in-store training programme prior opening their business. There is also a hand holding period once the business opens; thereafter we are just a phone call away. Regular store visits and follow ups are conducted by our support staff.

Which factors are paramount for sustained future growth within Caramello’s with specific reference to its present and future franchisees?

It is critical that every store that opens has a passionate, well trained, driven, hands-on operator that will champion their business daily.

Where to from here and into the future?

We have gained great interest for our brand nationally and even internationally and our aim is to grow it into a national brand. Our short term objective is to award a minimum of three franchise outlets during 2014. We believe that this is possible due to our current well established profitable stores, strong systems, procedures and hands-on franchising approach.

We are also very excited for the launch of our new niche market offering whereby frozen deli and confectionery items will be retailed directly to walk-in customers whilst providing (FTO) Freezer to Oven deli and confectionery items to our coffee shop clientele. Details and a virtual store tour are available on our website.

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