Becoming a franchisee

Coffee Club franchisee scoops FCA award

By Michelle Hammond
Friday, 14 October 2011

The Coffee Club franchisee Carolyn McManus has revealed her secrets to success for multi-unit franchising, after being named Multi-unit Franchisee of the Year by the peak industry body.


Earlier this week, the Franchise Council of Australia announced the winners of the 2011 Westpac FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards.


Hair and beauty franchise Hairhouse Warehouse was named Established Franchisor of the Year, while Appliance Tagging Services was recognised as Emerging Franchisor of the Year.


Queensland couple Carolyn and David McManus took out the title of Multi-unit Franchisee of the Year, having grown their network of The Coffee Club franchises from one to five in five years.


The husband-and-wife team owns and operates franchises in and around Townsville, employing more than 100 staff.


“I started to look around [for a business venture] when I was on maternity leave... We did some research on whether to go into a business by ourselves or enter a franchise,” Carolyn says.


“The Coffee Club had a really significant brand and a really strong structure. That was really important to me as I didn’t come from hospitality.”


“They had consultants, significant corporate training, and I could talk to any department head at any stage.”


Carolyn says she and her husband always knew they wanted to operate multiple franchises, particularly in a regional area such as theirs where it’s somewhat easier to build up a network.


“The biggest thing I learned is that by that fourth store mark, I needed to bring more people in that are heavily business focused.”


“[As a franchisee] you still have a lot of emotions attached to your stores... I needed someone to separate the emotion from the business.”


“It probably should have kicked in at store three – [the fact that] I needed to operate as CEO of a business now.”


“I always let the store managers recruit their own staff but I sat in the interviews with them to direct it. I was conscious that they didn’t employ a group of “mini me’s” – we need diversity in our teams and now they get that.”


According to Carolyn, it’s easier to recruit staff when you operate as a multi-unit franchisee.


“When you have two or three [stores], you can offer some sort of career progression or enrich their roles a lot more with training. Recruitment is easier in a multi-unit [operation],” she says.


However, Carolyn has some advice for other multi-unit franchisees.


“Every time they are looking for another roll [to fill] and what the business needs, make sure you’re clear what you’re looking for in the position description,” she says.


“For example, you may have a fantastic store manger but to have them step into an operations role – that is a huge jump. Either earmark them early in the process, and start training them, or recruit externally.”

Did you like this article? 

Sign up to the StartupSmart Newsletter to receive a daily news wrap-up straight to your inbox AND a free eBook!

Invalid Input

Comments (1)

Subscribe to this comment's feed
Ray Borradale
congratulations to The Coffee Club. It is unfortunate that amongst the FCA list of award recipients and those listed in second place we see some of the most questionable franchisors in Australia.
Ray Borradale , October 17, 2011
  • report abuse
  • +0
  • vote down
  • vote up

Write comment

smaller | bigger

Invalid Input
SmartCompany Smart Reads
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab hits big Australian retailers – can it challenge the iPad?
  • Meet the emotional robot
  • Microsoft releases new Zune HD player
  • Mandatory internet filter could become voluntary
  • Microsoft to release Windows 7 pricing soon
brought to you by Ultrabook[TM] Inspired by Intel

Follow us

StartupSmart on Twitter StartupSmart on Facebook StartupSmart on LinkedIn StartupSmart on Google+

Subscribe to StartupSmart RSS feeds


  • Programming Fundamentals for Non-Techies
    How much truth do you find in the statement "Speaking with developers is only slightly more difficult than speaking with the dead"? If you want to be part of...

  • Selling with Social Media
    How do you converts likes and followers into purchases? This class will provide strategy and guidelines on how to use social media to increase sales, and...

  • Financial Models for Startup’s
    This class is designed for business leaders who want to learn about financial modeling. No accounting background is necessary, but a basic working knowledge of...

  • How to Raise Seed Capital
    Money makes the world go around, and can also help you take your startup to the next level quicker. This session will provide a step-by-step, insider’s view of ...

Sponsored Links

Our Partners


Private Media Publications



Crikey Blogs


Smart Company


Property Observer


Leading Company