Ballajura Macca’s a little bit fancy

14/09/2015 - 10:45


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This innovative fast-food outlet is testament to how passion can drive business growth.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Ayman Haydar at the recently redeveloped McDonald’s in Ballajura. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Ayman Haydar has been involved with McDonald’s since he was 14, when he started work at a store part time.

More than three decades later, Mr Haydar was nominated for EY entrepreneur of the year 2015, as a franchisee with four stores and a staff of around 500.

One of those stores, in Ballajura, has been renovated at a cost of around $2 million, and now has the biggest playground of any Australian store in the chain – the first cube-style playground of its kind in Australia.

The 25-year-old building has had a thoroughly modern makeover, complete with touch screen tables that allow kids to play games while they eat. There’s also a McCafé, which provides something for parents, making it a family venue in high demand.

“We’ve run out of seats,” Mr Haydar said. “You can’t move in here on a weekend.

“You can’t move in here on Thursday or Friday night.”

Another outlet, in Mirrabooka, was also refitted under Mr Haydar’s stewardship, and now has two storeys.

Both stores now carry a halal food line, which he said brought additional business.

The success story puts paid to the contention that the McDonald’s chain is past its prime, with a substantial jump in sales at the refitted venues.

More broadly, McDonald’s Australia has doubled the number of its franchises in Western Australia, from 30 to 60 in the past 10 years, putting it in 10th place in the BNiQ franchises list.

“You’ve got to continually reinvent yourself … I think (that’s) what McDonald’s does best, we continually reinvent ourselves,” Mr Haydar said.

“So far we’ve seen a 25 per cent positive (sales jump) on last year. Investment is always risky, but I work for the best brand in the world.

“I work for a system that provides us great leadership, great direction, we spend a lot of money on promoting our business.

“I love what I do, I’m a believer in our brand; I’m a believer of where we’re moving forward.”

Special relationship

Retail food and drink and home services are the two most popular industries for franchise businesses, according to BNiQ research.

More than 70 per cent of franchises in WA fall into one of those two categories, while the majority within home services is involved in cleaning.

Three of the five largest franchises operate within the home services cohort, with Jim’s Group the largest, followed by Jani-King Australasia and CleanTastic Perth.

Food and drink outlets, which are more expensive to purchase per franchise, then dominate the top 20, led by Bakers Delight and Red Rooster.

The two main Quick Service Restaurant Holdings brands – Chicken Treat and Domino's Pizza Enterprises – feature in ninth and 13th places respectively.

Since 2005, the growth in many franchises has been parallel to that of the state economy.

In that time, the number of franchisees within the top 20 franchisors has increased 77 per cent.

Jim’s Group grew by 42 per cent while Bakers Delight has expanded less rapidly.

A number of chains shrunk in that 10-year period, too. These include Retravision, Brumby’s Bakeries and Civic Video store franchises.

Mr Haydar emphasised the importance of a good relationship between the franchisee and the franchisor, adding that he and McDonald’s jointly gained financing for the store redevelopments through a bank loan.

“(They’re) passionate about seeing licensees grow,” he said.

“They need you to succeed so they can succeed.”

Mr Haydar said it was important to look closely at the franchisor’s strategy, how it would support a franchisee when things didn’t go to plan, and to make sure they aligned with a franchisee’s values.

But franchisees would ultimately need to work hard and make their own luck, he said.

That means getting the right people, the right location, even the right signage.

“It’s your money that you’ve invested into the business, you need to work at it,” Mr Haydar said.


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