The Franchise Association of South Africa’s (FASA) Awards for Excellence in Franchising held recently, saw health food brand Kauai walk off with multiple awards including the coveted title of Franchisor of the Year. The annual awards, sponsored by Sanlam, recognise the industry’s top franchisors and franchisees, and their vital contribution towards job creation in the country.
The results and winners reflect trends identified by the Nielsen Consumer 360 survey, which looks at the key drivers that will shape consumer opportunities until 2025. It shows that as South Africa’s population becomes more urbanised, with different product and service needs for the Generation X and Y’s, there will be a keen focus on the health and wellness sectors.
HEALTH AND FITNESS THE TRENDS TO WATCH
The FASA Awards this year clearly reflected those worldwide consumer trends in health and wellness in the two top awards:
– Kauai as Franchisor of the Year – who continue to ride the trend wave in the health food revolution are reaping the rewards for their innovativeness.
“We are thrilled to be judged ahead of the curve both in consumer trends and in brand strategy, says Guy Le Ray Cook, Franchising Executive for Kauai. “Not only have we had our best year in 22 years of trading with 25% year on year growth and 4% improvement on Net Profit percentage, but we have upped our game in introducing innovative communication strategies. From being the first to market with our new app that includes order ahead, loyalty and cashless payments adding a minimum of 5% additional overall sales in loyalty transactions – to introducing our K Konnect platform that allows everyone – from kitchen staff to franchisees to get information and share day-to-day experiences on a live cell phone platform.”
– Body20 with their Brooklyn, Pretoria branch taking the Franchisee of the Year Award – who’s 20-minute EMS (Electro Muscle Stimulation) training per week, has revolutionized how we keep in shape.
So confident are Body20 that their revolutionary EMS Studios will become one of the most influential fitness franchise companies in the world – they are opening new studios in South Africa at a rate of almost one a month and have already broken into the USA market with great success. Says Bertus Albertse, CEO of Body20; “The combination of state of the art EMS Technology, modern personal training and rapid fitness results make Body20 the most exciting franchise opportunity in fitness this decade. It’s a low-staffing business model, with fast break-evens and impressive returns – our 36 outlets in just over three years attests to that.”
COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS
What has shown up quite clearly in the 2018 FASA Awards is the franchisor’s commitment to assisting franchisees weather the economic hard times through innovative communication strategies – whether through their field service monitoring or reaching their markets through the latest customer loyalty apps.
– Kauai who took a second award in Brand Builder of the Year is leading the way by establishing successful customer loyalty apps with key partners such as through the 93 Virgin Active Health Clubs and through Discover Vitality and Discovery Insure – building their customer base, raising their brand awareness and boosting their bottom line.
– Kauai’s field service consultant Lawrence Lindeque won Field Service Consultant of the Year through the effective business monitoring and mentoring of the franchisees in his area resulting in double digit growths in all his stores.
CONTRIBUTING TO JOB CREATION
Job creation is on everyone’s lips since President Cyril Ramaphosa set a goal of creating half a million jobs in the next year. A tall order, one might argue, but with franchising’s duplication model, this is the one sector that can make a meaningful contribution – the sector’s 845 franchise systems, 40 500 outlets employing close to 400 000 people and contributing 13.3% to the country’s GDP – is testament to that.
– KFC took the Job Creator of the Year Award – with their 20 500 employees across 1 053 outlets since they opened their first outlet forty years ago, they take the lead in making an incredible contribution to job creation. If one adds the indirect jobs they create through their supplier network and partners, their contribution is compounded and to be lauded.
HALL OF FAME AWARD SALUTES IAN FUHR, THE MAN BEHIND THE SORBET BRAND OF BEAUTY SALONS
Behind every successful brand is an entrepreneur with the vision to take a concept and build it into a household name. This year the Franchise Association have honoured Ian Fuhr, entrepreneur extraordinaire, who revolutionized the franchising model with his Sorbet brands by redefining customers as ‘guests’ and staff as ‘citizens’ – putting service and support ahead of sales and profit. The culture he installed in his businesses is that, ‘if the service is excellent and the citizens feel validated and cared for… the money will automatically follow.”
Sanlam, sponsor of the FASA Franchise Awards is proud to be associated with the Franchise Association of South Africa, the body representing the franchise industry in South Africa. “South Africa is in dire need of economic growth” says Kobus Engelbrecht, Marketing Head, Sanlam Business Market. “Franchising is an effective way to create new businesses as well as new employment opportunities that will stimulate this much needed economic growth. By recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance in the franchise industry, we are building and promoting franchising as a business concept as well as an excellent career option.”
Vera Valasis, Executive Director of FASA, who has just returned from representing South Africa at the World Franchise Council reports that, whilst the effects of global economic turbulence is affecting some countries more than others, almost all report that franchising is still alive and well and making huge contributions in their respective economies and to franchising globally. “As a global phenomenon, franchising remains one of the drivers of entrepreneurship, small business development and job creation.”