Winning franchisees star in regional awards

Inside Franchise Business: Manish Gupta, Hog's Breath franchiseeFranchising success has been in the spotlight as the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) recognised  top performers at the FCA 2018 WA Excellence in Franchising Awards.

Winners at the event included Manish Gupta, franchisee of Hog’s Breath Cafe, Mandurah/Eaton, Hog’s Express, Mandurah, and Funky Mexican Cantina, Mandurah, who was named the WA Multi-Unit Franchisee of the Year; Kenneth Ting of Jamaica Blue, Waterford, who took home the award for WA Franchisee of the Year, two or more staff; and Aaron Gunthorpe of Pack & Send, Midland, who won the WA Single Unit Franchisee of the Year, less than two staff Award for 2018.

The Award for WA Franchise Woman of the Year was taken out by master franchisee Emily Slevin of Aussie Pooch Mobile.

Bendigo Bank, North Perth, won the award for WA Franchisee Community Responsibility and Contribution.

Manish Gupta came to Australia from India in 2010. With an extensive hotel and hospitality background, he was initially deemed overqualified for his first job at Hog’s, but after overcoming this early setback and getting his first job within the network, he eventually bought his first Hog’s store in Mandurah in 2014.

“My dream was to be a restaurant owner. Once I got into Hog’s I saw it’s a good company. They care about you as a franchisee. They want you to grow,”  said Gupta, who now has three franchise sites.

He cites hard work and determination, a supportive franchisor and his team of staff members as fundamental to his success.

“You are nothing without your staff. Look after your staff members and they will look after you,” he said. “At the same time, you have your values and goals set by the company. Without the support of Hog’s Australia, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.”

WA Franchisee of the Year, two or more staff Award winner, Kenneth Ting, grew up in Malaysia helping out in a small family-owned bakery, before moving to Australia in 2005, where his passion for retail and hospitality continued to develop.

“I like going out and eating at restaurants and that sets my standards. How I feel I want to be treated is how I treat my customers,” says Kenneth.

“For us as a cafe it’s very important to have great teamwork and everyone buying into that goal. I put 100 per cent in and ask my team to join me and create that great vibe in the cafe,” he says.

Aaron Gunthorpe brought 20 years’ experience as a franchisee at Harvey Norman with him when he purchased the Pack & Send Midland franchise in 2016.

“The franchise model always makes the path and the progress very easy,” Aaron says. “You don’t need to change anything, you just follow how it needs to be and that’s where you get your result.”

WA’s 2018 Franchise Woman of the Year, Emily Slevin of Aussie Pooch Mobile, started out as a franchisee but when the chance to become Western Australia’s regional master franchisee for the brand presented itself, it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

“I didn’t go into franchising with the ambition of becoming a Master Franchisee,” says Emily. “It was a progression of me finding something that I loved and being supported through it all. The personal growth that I’ve had through franchising has been huge.”

FCA WA winners

  • WA Multi-Unit Franchisee of the Year: Manish Gupta, Hog’s Breath Cafe Mandurah/Eaton, Hog’s Express Mandurah and Funky Mexican Cantina Mandurah
  • WA Single Unit Franchisee of the Year, two or more staff: Kenneth Ting, Jamaica Blue, Waterford
  • WA Single Unit Franchisee of the Year, less than two staff: Aaron Gunthorpe, Pack & Send, Midland
  • WA Franchise Woman of the Year: Emily Slevin, Aussie Pooch Mobile
  • WA Franchisee Community Responsibility and Contribution: Bendigo Bank, North Perth

All regional winners are finalists in the national FCA MYOB Excellence in Franchising awards in October 2018 in Melbourne.