Roll’d on innovation, setbacks and going global

Tin Ly and Bao Hoang, co-founders of Roll’d, discuss challenges, innovation and overseas expansion. 

FranchiseBusiness caught up with Tin Ly, who is also the head of Roll’d product development, who says a master franchise agreement has been signed in the Philippines with The Cravings Group, a business with 15 restaurant brands across different cuisines.  

“We want to be a globally recognised brand in all major cities, like Boost Juice but in the Vietnamese space,” says Ly.

“This is a dense population and they love branded food. Great place to take our brand. We thought the US or London but they are very tough markets.”

In an interview with Inside Retail, Hoang admitted that a massive challenge faced by the brand is finding the right quality people to join the business. Developing this has been a big focus for the franchise business in the last six to 12 months.

Also, as Roll’d runs many company owned stores, another setback is maintaining cash flow and ensuring there is enough capital required to do so.

In a report by QSR Media, the co-founder and CEO also says that another key challenge is the increased demand for Australian products in global markets and its role in increased costs. Hoang mentions items such as beef which have become more expensive for businesses.

“Fluctuations in prices for raw product obviously affects the bottom line, and makes it more difficult for future-planning of the network as a whole,” he says.

This is why innovation has been an integral part the future strategy for Roll’d, by reinventing a couple of products on the menu and altering the fitout to ensure that the “food is the hero”.

“Like any business I think you've got to keep evolving and changing to keep people interested,” he explains.

“For us it might be our current product with different and new flavours – might be a dessert rice paper roll.”

And the Vietnamese fast food brand has been chasing opportunities in tech, too.

“There is definitely plenty of opportunity in the technology space that I'm very excited about, such Geo-targeting and Geo-fencing,” says Hoang.

“We're always looking at different ways to refine our business model to find that perfect balance between technology and automation, and 'the human touch', as we believe this is key to winning loyalty with our most influential consumers – Millennials.”

And it doesn’t end there.

Roll’d will be focusing on New South Wales and Queensland for FY17, as well as regional areas.

The brand is also launching its first international store in the Philippines at the end of the year. Hoang explains that franchised brands need grow a little quickly otherwise they can become limiting in terms of market share.

“The Roll’d family has big dreams, and we're not just hoping to wake up with success in our laps. We understand that it takes a village (a big village!) to raise the bar in this industry, so one major focus for us now is getting the absolute best to join us.”