- Player: Greg Mommsen
- Franchise: Col’Cacchio
- Established: 1992
- Visit: colcacchio.co.za
What are your daily challenges and advantages, as a franchisor, in both corporate and franchisee stores?
With the ownership of corporate stores we have the opportunity to test and trial new products, IT upgrades and new innovations within our corporate structure upfront. This way we can gauge the success of these initiatives without disrupting the franchisees.
Due to the hands-on nature of Col’Cacchio restaurants, it’s proven to be successful when restaurants are owner-operated. This becomes a challenge with the corporate stores where reliance is placed on managers to run the restaurant.
Catering to the individual needs of corporate and franchisee stores from an operational support point of view can also be challenging.
What contributes to the success of Col’Cacchio as an iconic Italian franchise?
We have taken our time to expand the brand and have rolled out new stores at a slow and steady pace. Choosing the right franchisee partners and the right sites has been key to our success and sustainability. It always remains a major focus for the brand to produce products that are best in its class, and we take great pride in having a hand-crafted and exclusive product offering.
How do you continue to stay relevant in a niche market?
To ensure that we are on trend with the market, we constantly reinvent ourselves through innovation. Our menu items are updated every six months and we continually broaden our offering to ensure that we evolve to stay ahead of the curve. We strive to be the consumer favourite in Italian food and offer a premium product that is of the best quality, value and overall experience.
Col’Cacchio has a great application-based loyalty programme that puts us at the forefront of change. On-demand purchases and deliveries have become a major trend in the market and we are currently evolving our online ordering solution to accommodate this need.
Related: Col’Cacchio Launches Mio
What qualities do you require your franchisees to have?
Our franchisees have to be resilient entrepreneurs with good business acumen. However, too much entrepreneurial flair is not ideal, as franchisees need to understand and be willing to work within the brand’s guidelines and standards.
To be a restaurateur, you have to be comfortable with non-traditional trading hours and be customer service focused.
With ample new pizza brands entering the South African market, how has this affected your business?
In general, the food industry has been active with the development of new brands in South Africa. We embraced this as an opportunity to develop a smaller Col’Cacchio offering with a slightly limited menu and more focused on takeout and delivery in order to cater for this segment of the market.
We continue to focus on leveraging off the strength of our existing brand by offering the best quality handcrafted products.
The menu has expanded to include light meals and breakfast in a wide range of healthy options, including gluten- and wheat-free bases and pastas, as well as carb conscious, low calorie and vegan-friendly dishes. We’re also in the process of revamping many of our restaurants, to ensure that our stores have an updated, fresh look to increase our appeal to a wider audience across the various parts of the day.
Why is it important for successful franchises to have a strong relationship with their banking partners?
Funding is critical to the development of new restaurants. Having a great banking partner that understands your business, the industry as well as its risks is pertinent. This plays a big role when it comes to specialised funding solutions and ensuring the application process is quick and easy.