SA Franchise Brands welcomes Sally J’Arlette-Joy, Founder and Franchisor for Sandwich Baron.
What inspired you to start the Sandwich Baron franchise?
The idea came from my days as an office worker in London. I used to buy sandwiches on a daily basis and take them in to work. My treat once a month was a crispy French bread filled with tuna mayonnaise and a crunchy salad.
What has been paramount to Sandwich Baron’s success since its inception in 1996?
I believe it has been the food quality.
What challenges were you faced with in the early years?
The lack of capital as I only started with R 5 000 and it took me a long time to build the franchise.
What challenges do you face at present?
I think the same as all franchisors in the food industry which is rising food costs. Since Sandwich Baron has a free delivery service we have the additional problem of rising fuel prices.
With more than 60 franchises nationwide, how has your franchise model worked in favour of the group?
Aside from our offering being quite a novel one that sees to a gap in the market (namely the need for fast food that is an alternative to the usual burgers and pizzas etc.) I think the model that we have adopted really provides a fair amount of support to the franchisee.
What are some of the attributes required from franchisees?
I believe that a franchisee should be hands on at the business, good with staff as you need to build a team and have some business background.
How would you describe the overall relationship between the group and its franchisees?
Currently the group is performing very well collectively and the majority of the franchisees are in high spirits. When the franchisees are doing well the relationship is always good. As in any business, we do also see a share of tough times – especially when consumers are a bit more strapped for cash – however – the group remains positive and always soldiers on together.
What kind of training and support can franchisees expect?
Training is one month at our head office store and when the franchisee opens we offer the support of a manager for the first month. We have a number of home grown field service managers who are able to assist the franchisees. Franchisees also have easy access to me and senior management.
Which factors are paramount for sustained future growth within the group with specific reference to its present and future franchisees?
I believe collaboration is the key element. It is imperative that all work together towards the same goal in the same direction to ensure cohesion in the group. The quality of the relationships in the group is the cement that holds everyone together, so a good fit is important for sustained growth
Where to from here and into the future?
We would like to help our franchisees to grow their businesses by offering service excellence which will attract more, new customers and sustain their growth. We know that it is our support in the franchise model that appealed to them to begin with and hope to enhance this support as we progress.