Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence

Grow your franchise and make a difference – the Zambrero story shows you how

By Centre Contributor

Grow your franchise and make a difference – the Zambrero story shows you how

Making money and making a difference can often be seen as non-compatible goals. However, establishing a social purpose at the heart of a business does not have to come at the expense of sacrificing ambitions for rapid commercial expansion and success.

In fact, a social mission can actively assist in driving high-level franchise growth. One only needs to look at the impressive trajectory of Mexican food chain Zambrero, one of Australia’s fastest growing QSR franchises, for proof of that.

We are delighted to have Karim Messih, CEO of Zambrero, as one of the keynote speakers at the 2017 Franchise Management Forum, to be held in Brisbane on Friday 23 June.

His address on the topic of ‘How to build a major food brand with a social purpose’ is sure to be one of the highlights of this year’s Forum as it traces the Zambrero story and the defining role of its strong humanitarian ethos.

Zambrero, which prides itself as being ‘Mexican with a Mission’, was founded by Dr Sam Prince with a single outlet in Canberra in 2005 and now has a franchise network spanning more than 160 restaurants across Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Ireland.

The business has succeeded not only as a healthy food franchise in the highly-competitive Mexican category but also as a humanitarian organisation committed to tackling world hunger. These dual drivers not only co-exist but thrive side-by-side to create a unique market identity, culture and customer connection.

Zambrero’s innovative Plate 4 Plate program is its social mission and its way of making a difference. For every burrito or bowl a customer purchases at Zambrero, a plate of food is donated to someone in need in the developing world. To date, Zambrero has donated more than 14 million meals to communities in need all over the world.

It has also extended the program to its packaged range of muesli bars and black rice. When these retail items are purchased in-store by a customer, Zambrero donates a breakfast meal to an underprivileged Australian community.

In a recent rare media profile, Zambrero founder Dr Prince described how he started the business as a 21-year-old medical student, deciding early on that he wanted to build philanthropy into his business model. An immigrant of Sri Lankan heritage, he drew inspiration from his parents who pulled themselves out of poverty and brought him to Australia as a young child.

“I think there was a baton of kindness that was passed onto me,” Dr Prince is quoted in the news.com.au feature.

He explained how the social purpose of Plate 4 Plate is central to the Zambero business, but also made the point that having a heartfelt mission does not alone guarantee success in the rough-and-tumble world of Australian retail.

The balance is in demonstrating the brand’s ‘personality’ while allowing the food to speak for itself. “In a free market it’s innovate or perish, and I think you just need to compete on your product, frankly, and not ask to be sanctioned by a good vibe.”

At the upcoming Franchise Management Forum, Zambrero CEO Karim Messih will expand on the founding origins of this franchise success story and its humanitarian philosophy.

He will also explain just how Zambrero has managed its rapid franchise growth and developed systems quickly enough to keep up, the role of innovation in driving its sales and store performance, and its early steps and key lessons in international expansion.

Zambrero is a unique story on the Australia franchise landscape and the presentation by Karim Messih to the Franchise Management Forum provides a unique behind-the scene insight into its social mission, internal systems and ongoing growth and success.

This is just one of the highly-anticipated keynote presentations at this year’s Franchise Management Forum.

Other prominent franchise leaders and brands to be featured at this year’s event also include: Serge Infanti, Managing Director of Foodco (Muffin Break & Jamaica Blue); Melanie Gleeson, Founder & CEO of Endota Spa; Peter Camphin, CEO (QLD) of real estate franchise Ray White; and Tom Potter, Franchise Entrepreneur & Founder, Eagle Boys Pizza.

This impressive line-up, along with the popular Open Exchange session on the hottest issues in franchising and a special panel discussion on the proposed Fair Work changes relating to franchise businesses, ensures a full day of high-level learning, sharing of experiences and ideas, problem solving and networking for senior franchise executives.

The annual Franchise Management Forum, jointly organised by the Franchise Advisory Centre and Griffith University’s Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence, has been running every year since 2009 and this year’s event promises to be one of the best ever.

Secure your spot today.

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