Before joining the network, Graeme was a senior account manager at a research consultancy but he had always been attracted to the idea of one day running his own business. A few years and a lot of hard work later, he now owns two bakeries!
Graeme researched many Franchising opportunities, talking to their staff and Franchisees. He knew Bakers Delight was a well-known brand and had heard good things from friends who had worked in the network. However ultimately, his decision to join the network was solidified by three factors; financial return, stability of the product and the support the network offered.
Only 25 at the time, Graeme was nervous going from employee to business owner, however the extensive steps involved in the Bakers Delight recruitment process helped put many of his fears to rest.
“The Bakers Delight recruitment process ensures all potential Franchisees do their due diligence. As someone who was not familiar with running a business, going through such detailed information helped me gain a better understanding of what I was getting into and the more you know the less daunting it is,” said Graeme.
“I always felt supported, with plenty of avenues
to ask questions. There is an authentic sense of
collaboration and cooperation from within
the network and the head office.”
The support Graeme received when he joined the network has continued throughout his time with Bakers Delight. Most recently, he was given support through the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic. Having a bakery located in the city that was heavily impacted, Graeme leaned on head office support staff to manage lease negotiations and assist with financial analyse and government incentives.
“One of my bakeries daily sales had dropped by three quarters and only started to recover months later. I received royalty relief without even requesting it and my Area Manager gave me valuable advice on benchmarking my costs to my new sales level, which I really appreciated. I certainly felt the network had not only been generous but genuinely supportive of me when times had become tough.
The support is fantastic and one of the biggest reasons I would recommend the network to other interested business owners.”
Despite the challenges, Graeme has been able to achieve a great work/life balance which he particularly appreciates as a young father.
“I now get a lot of flexibility and time at home. With less hours physically in the bakery, it makes it easier to manage issues when they arise and gives me more time to improve product and upskill staff.
I did work hard to achieve this flexibility however. Running a bakery can have its tough moments and it is a very hands on business. I think incoming Franchisees need to be prepared that the business will need a lot from them to give it the best chance of succeeding. That all being said I find it very rewarding.”