Chooks move up the pecking order

06/04/2004 - 22:00

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IF Chooks Fresh and Tasty franchise co-owner Steve Hansen had followed his first instinct he’d still be fronting a River Rooster outlet.

IF Chooks Fresh and Tasty franchise co-owner Steve Hansen had followed his first instinct he’d still be fronting a River Rooster outlet.

Thankfully, however, he took a second look at some convincing consumer research and recognised the need for a branding make over.

Changing the business’s corporate name, colours and image from River Rooster to Chooks has paid off handsomely.

A 14 per cent increase in revenue and positive feedback from staff and customers has proved that the $750,000 makeover of its 15 stores was worth the effort.

Mr Hansen now wants to expand Chooks’ reach by opening six more stores in the metropolitan area over the next two years and boosting its television advertising.

“We have had extremely good growth and now we have to sustain that, and we need to do that with whatever marketing we can,” Mr Hansen said.

Adding a further six stores to the business’s portfolio would boost revenue enough to enable high-frequency television advertising during the lunch and dinner periods, he told WA Business News.

“People make a decision within 20 seconds. They are driving down the road and they see the signs and they go in,” Mr Hansen said.

“No matter what anyone tells you, how you build your brand and your name is from TV and advertising.”

Mr Hansen’s planning a new store for Byford and is looking for franchisees to operate stores in Kalamunda and Wanneroo.

“We are in the neighbourhood shopping centres. Our core demographic is mums with kids and we have to get to those areas,” he said.

Consumer research that prompted the change from River Rooster to Chooks Fresh and Tasty has also resulted in a new product, which is delivering good sales.

“From the research we noted that the customer was seeking more healthy products like wraps, baguettes and fillet burgers,” Mr Hansen said.

“We’ve put a fillet burger on the menu and that’s been very successful. We’re trialling wraps and baguettes at our Kingsley store and it’s going a bit slow but it is seen as healthy.”

The consumer research was the result of a friend telling Mr Hansen his company needed a revamp.

“He said we should change our name and I told him that would never happen,” Mr Hansen said.

“I agreed that the stores look tired but getting franchisees to spend money … they need a good reason for it.

“We embarked on a project and surveyed customers and got a good sample. The results showed us that people thought we were aligned with Red Rooster.

“That was because of the word rooster and the colour. They thought we were a second cousin. We got thousands of those comments. We thought there was confusion in the market so we set about changing it.”

Six advertising agencies were consulted about the project and Baynham Ross was selected to deliver a new name and new look.

“We didn’t have much money and we did all the fit-outs and TV advertising with $750,000,” Mr Hansen said.

And the work was completed in half the time that projects this size command, he said.

“We’d made the decision in February and I wanted to have it done by the summer. So I said by the end of September I want it finished. We actually achieved that by October 22,” Mr Hansen said.

“I wanted to have it done by the summer otherwise we might as well waited for the next summer.”

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