27/05/2010 - 00:00

Chooks’ strategy a winner

27/05/2010 - 00:00

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THE Chooks Fresh & Tasty concept began with ‘chief chook’ Steve Hansen, who started out in franchising 27 years ago when he invested in a Chicken World business with his father-in-law, Colin Manuel.

Chooks’ strategy a winner

THE Chooks Fresh & Tasty concept began with ‘chief chook’ Steve Hansen, who started out in franchising 27 years ago when he invested in a Chicken World business with his father-in-law, Colin Manuel.

In 1991, both men decided to become franchisors of their own system and created River Rooster, starting with two stores, in Busselton and Margaret River.

Five years after successfully launching the chicken franchise, Mr Hansen bought-out Mr Manuel and took on the role of managing director.

After seven years of growth, River Rooster in 2003 underwent a rebranding process to become Chooks Fresh & Tasty, a franchise system Mr Hansen said was unashamedly promoted as a low-cost operator that carefully examined “the most efficient and cost-effective way of doing everything”.

“Our aim is to provide quality barbecued and fried chicken products at affordable prices,” the franchise says on its website.

“Consequently you are more likely to find us paying reasonable rents in local shopping centres than in high rent stand-alone stores on main roads.

“The reason is simple. The average break-even cost of operating our stores is deliberately kept low in order to offer the best quality products at more competitive prices.

“This philosophy has saved our franchisees a small fortune in the past and it is an integral part of our culture.

“We are a country company that has come to the city, rather than the other way around, and we prefer to find practical solutions to any situation.”

Since the rebranding, Chooks’ profit and growth has increased steadily, with the number of stores growing from 15 in 2003 to 40 in 2010.

There are now 34 stores in WA, five outlets in Queensland and one in Tasmania.

Turnover has grown almost 40 per cent since 2006-07.

Mr Hansen attributes the growth and success of Chooks to its low-cost franchise model, as well as its clearly defined business strategy.

The strategy focuses on obtaining space in small community centres or small neighbourhood shopping complexes, to minimise overheads and maximise profit.

These locations, which must be fixed, have low rent and high foot traffic, are only taken after the franchise undertakes extensive market research to ensure any store will be sustainable.

Chooks has very strong processes and systems in place to ensure growth and consistency across the group.

Mr Hansen believes it is important to offer customers the same level of service, the same taste and quality of product in every store it opens.

To that end, Chooks has invested heavily into the corporate image, systems, marketing, and brand development to ensure each outlet is capable of sustaining further growth and brand recognition.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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