Wilma Lombard Maree - McDonald's

 McDonald’s Development Director, Wilma Lombard-Maree gives us insight into the Franchisee/franchisor/landlord model

A panelist at the FNB Franchise Leadership Summit, Lombard-Maree discussed “the relationship between Landlords, franchisors and ultimately franchisees.” As a teaser to the main event – 23 & 24 October – she shared how McDonald’s manages this vital relationship:

“In our model, we follow a three pillar approach where the franchisor enters into an agreement with the landlord. We enter into a long-term agreement (the lease agreement) which we then sublease to the franchisee – who is then the sub-tenant.” With a mutual understanding, Lombard-Maree and her team ensure that the relationship between them and the landlord is healthy.

[VIDEO interview]


Carlo Gonzaga - Taste Holdings A panelist at the FNB Franchise Leadership Summit, Carlo Gonzaga, Taste Holdings CEO, discusses the symbiotic relationship between Landlords and Franchises

Gonzaga explains, “Landlords are important to the growth of any business. Similarly, Landlords rely on new businesses and franchisors to grow and fill their space with new developments…”

The problem is that, very often, the Franchises give the relationship over to the control of middle management in their organisations. Gonzaga insists that the relationship must be handled at the highest level – on both side – for meaningful collaboration and mutual success to occur.

[VIDEO interview]

Ian Fuhr - Sorbet Ian Fuhr, Sorbet CEO, tells us about the failures he experienced and lessons learnt on his journey to becoming a well-known and established franchise owner…

Ian Fuhr started his entrepreneurial journey in 1976 when was 22 years old. Since then, he has been involved in quite a few business ventures that taught him about “start-ups and close-ups”, as he says. “I learnt many lessons during that time and eventually by 2004/2005, I decided to give it one last entrepreneurial fling” … and thus Sorbet was established.

[VIDEO interview]



Ian Fuhr - Sorbet GroupIan Fuhr, Sorbet CEO ran down his memory lane and told his fascinating  life story of success

Ian does not believe in the value of a tertiary education. He is a true serial entrepreneur, having founded the retail chain Super Mart, a record company, a race relations consultancy and finally Sorbet. He is also a co-owner of the Lion Park, a tourist venture located in Johannesburg. Most importantly, Ian is one of these rare speakers who have the ability to keep their audience entertained while communicating a very profound message.

Ian started his presentation with a summary of his early life which included a sheltered childhood in a protective Jewish community, army service, working with bands and a university career that was prematurely terminated by choice. Early on, his somewhat flippant appearance belied a strong sense of community involvement and being of service to people of all races and creeds. A series of power lessons that he formulated over the years bear witness to this.


Jacques Celliers - FNBInnovation as a pillar of success, says Jacques Celliers, FNB's CEO Designate

Jacques presented the keynote address and dealt with innovation. In his view, innovation has become the catalyst that drives business success. He should know because his bank was named Most Innovative Bank of the Year 2012. This is a coveted award given for creating a culture of innovation and the advancement of retail banking. It is noteworthy that FNB’s entry was chosen from over 150 entries originating from more than 30 countries.

Jacques explained that innovation is not about the bank, it’s about people and their needs. That’s why FNB constantly challenges customers and other stakeholders to hold them to account – what the bank says it will do must actually happen.

Doug Smart - KFCGlobal postcards from KFC – adapting a global brand to local conditions, Doug Smart, MD of KFC South Africa explains

KFC is an iconic global brand with extremely strong South African roots. The brand is owned by Yum, a Fortune 500 company that also owns the Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands. Doug provided some fascinating insights into the workings of a large franchisor: Internationally, KFC have currently more than 15,000 outlets spread over 105 countries. They are well aware that unless their franchisees remain profitable, their future as a franchisor would be bleak. For this reason, they focus on the continued development of the brand in the widest sense of the word and expect franchisees to represent the brand with pride and take care of operations.

Burt Gunning - KFC Franchisee of the year 2012How Doug Smart and Burt Gunning (KFC Franchisee of the year 2012) make multi-unit ownership work
Burt Gunning, founder and MD of Gunret Foods (Pty) Ltd. Burt is a KFC multi-unit franchisee. He has won several awards, the most recent one being KFC Franchisee of the Year 2012. His personal background is covered in a separate article headed How to become a positive and compliant franchisee where details about Burt’s company, Gunret Foods (Pty) Ltd., are also given.
Although being a multi-unit operator does not result in fee discounts or similar financial benefits offered by the franchisor, it has distinct advantages. For example, Head Office overheads are allocated over a larger number of stores and the development of marginal sites becomes possible. In this context, Burt cautions that if an individual with limited resources would be permitted to open a KFC restaurant that initially performs below par, the financial consequences could be disastrous.

Brian Coppin - Fruit & Veg City
Brian Coppin, Co-Founder of Fruit & Veg City tells the story behind the success of the huge fresh produce retailer
Fruit & Veg City Holdings is the lasrgest fresh produce retailer in southern Africa. It serves customers in South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Zambia and Mauritius.

Brian founded Fruit and Veg City with his brother Mike. He related how they took the business from one relatively modest store in Kenilworth to a multi-brand giant in its sector within less than two decades. His modesty shone through when he stressed that while the period since the first store opened had been rewarding, not everything the brothers had touched ended in success. “But,” he added philosophically, “the occasional failure keeps you grounded.”

Sean Leas - SmollanHow do you engage with you customers in retail? Do it within the first 50 metres says Sean Leas, Executive Director of Smollan
Sean opened his presentation with the statement that the current economic difficulties notwithstanding, business continues and money can still be made but only if the right approach is taken. In his view, the old-style retailer is dead. The future lies in a multi-channel distribution system, with brick-and-mortar stores co-existing with web-based sales channels.

Consumers are looking for experiences. As they walk into a store, it’s the first 50 metres that count. This has resulted in the emergence of retail theatre. Sales people are the custodians of the brand and “out-of-stock” situations must be avoided at all cost. Indeed, Sean compares half-empty display shelving to a broken front tooth – ugly and impossible to miss.

Louis van der Watt - Atterbury PropertiesHow franchisors and landlords can collaborate to encourage small business growth

This important topic was debated by a panel made up of leading property developers and franchisors and was, to the best of our knowledge, the first such forum ever presented in South Africa.

Hildegarde Riphagen, Divisional Director, Retail Leasing: Zenprop Property Holdings.
Jeff Zidel, Chairman: Fortress Income Fund Ltd
Louis van der Walt, Group CEO: Atterbury Property Holdings
Carlo Gonzaga, CEO: Taste Holdings
Wilma Lombard-Maree, Development Director: McDonald’s South Africa.

Aaron Van Schaik - Lighthouse Digital
Digital Media trends and best practises for franchisors

• Ricardo Rocha, Founder and Creative Director: Etiket Brand Design
• Brent Tollman, Senior Strategic Planner: Metropolitan Republic
• Aaron Van Schaik, Senior Stretegic Manager: Lighthouse Digital
• Pete Case, Founder and Creative Director: Gloo Digital Agency
• Steven Terblanche, Head of Digital Media and Marketing: FNB Business Banking

There was consensus among members of the panel that although digital marketing and the impact of the social media explosion are no longer new concepts, they remain scary for some marketers, especially smaller entrepreneurs. We selected the following nuggets from the presentations and the ensuing discussion.