JUMPING THROUGH HOOPS FOR FRANCHISE SUCCESS
So many factors contribute to the success of a franchise business, but one of the most important is location. That’s where Mark Hooper, otherwise known as “Hoops”, comes in.
As *Craveable Brands’ National Manager for Property and Leasing, it’s Hoops’ job to look out for new and existing properties for potential businesses. He leaves no street corner, food court or main drag unturned.
“As you can imagine, we can’t just put restaurants in any location – numerous factors need to be taken into account including residential and commercial developments, industrial locations, traffic both vehicular and pedestrian, future development and competitors – just to name a few” he says.
For the existing stable of almost 600 properties, it’s up to Mark to engage early landlords and strengthen relationships with them.
“Respectful relationships with landlords is vital. The bulk of our landlords are mum and dad operators who want secure, good tenants” he explains “I really enjoy building these relationships, it’s imperative that we work together to achieve an outcome and ultimately win together. A healthy landlord-tenant relationship can reap benefits for everyone.”
Regarding the growth and acquisition side of the business, Mark hit the ground running when he started his role last year with a good old fashioned stock take – by going through all of Craveable’s restaurants to understand what was bringing in the best sales results.
“I really studied the surrounding factors,” he says of his steady, consistent approach. “For example, we’ve found that if a drive thru outlet sits near a McDonalds, a four-way intersection, Coles and/or Woolworths, then often the businesses perform better. It’s all about the volume of traffic. Having that knowledge helps in predicting the success of a business.”
Built his own business at the age of 11
The affable father of two says working in business has always been in his blood. Hoops started out as a baker, holds a real estate agent’s license and has worked at senior levels for the likes of Bakers Delight, Optus, Aussie Home Loans, Grill’d Healthy Burgers. Hoops was also a Director of the McCredie Group. However, it was his very first job running his own lawn mowing business at the tender age of just 11, which really gave him an early and influential taste of success. “I built up the business over 10 years and eventually sold it to Jim’s Mowing.”
Admitting that he’s incredibly persistent “like a dog with a bone”, Mark says one key piece of advice from his old boss has stood him in good stead throughout the career. “He just said to me, ‘Mark you can’t have everyone like you, but you can have everyone respect you.’ I’ve never forgotten that.”
Describing himself as a “mad water-skier and surfer to the point of craziness”, Mark says working for Craveable has been incredibly rewarding.
“There’s been plenty of challenges, but if you have a good plan and can articulate it, you get the support of the executives. That’s what I really like about the business, you have the ability to just get on with things and get them done. That doesn’t always happen in every organisation, so I’m pleased that Craveable are always so open to listening and acting.”
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* Craveable Brands is the owner operator of Red Rooster, Oporto and Chicken Treat