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The Cheesecake Shop does away with master franchisors

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

The Cheesecake Shop has finalised the restructure of its franchise group following the expiry of its master franchise agreement in New Zealand, which means all franchisees now deal directly with the franchisor.

 

Now in its 21st year, TCS has 198 franchised bakeries throughout Australia and New Zealand.

 

Over the past four years, the company’s master franchise arrangements have progressively expired. They have been replaced by a field team of franchise support executives employed directly by TCS.

 

Following the expiry of the company’s master franchise agreement in New Zealand, TCS has finalised the restructure of its franchise group.

 

All franchised bakeries throughout Australia and New Zealand now deal directly with the franchisor.

 

“In the early years of rapid expansion and limited head office resources, the master franchise structure made sense,” TCS managing director Warwick Konopacki said in a statement.

 

“However, now that we are a mature and experienced franchisor, we can achieve improved standards, efficiency and better marketing through a direct relationship with our franchisees.”

 

The company’s 16 New Zealand-based bakeries will now be managed by general manager Colin Mellar, who is based in Auckland, and assisted by former TCS franchisee David Reid.

 

According to Konopacki, New Zealand is an important growth area for the company, which has expansion plans for new venues in Wellington, Christchurch and other regional centres.

 

“We are excited by this new structure, and certainly see it as the way forward for both the brand and our franchisee network,” Konopacki said.

 

It’s been a bumpy ride for The Cheesecake Shop, which was forced to reach a settlement with a disgruntled franchisee last year after he set up a website called cheesecakeshoplies.com.

 

The website accused the company of mistreating its franchisees.

 

The franchisee, Brad Skuse, was forced to deregister the website, and agreed not to register the same or any similar website in the future.

 

But six months later, Skuse set up another website called cheesecakeshoplie.com, thus breaching the agreement. The site has since been taken down.

 

At the time, TCS general manager Ken Rosebery admitted “not everyone is completely happy” with the company.

 

“It’s an evolving and vital business with change programs underway in a number of areas, so a lot is going on,” Rosebery told StartupSmart.