Chairman of Franchise Council of Australia Releases 2008 Prediction

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John O'Brien, Chairman of the Franchise Council of Australia, has given his forecast to the press on what 2008 has in store and his thoughts on Asia growth in the food and beverage industry.

John O'Brien has today released the following statement for the Franchise Council of Australia and his 2008 industry predictions. His exclusive interview with Bean Media Group, based in Sydney, was commissioned for release today.

"With the explosive economic growth in Asia, most of our media seems obsessed with mining companies and their ability to fill ore carriers and feed the ravenous appetite for raw materials in China.

"But the resources sector is not the only one struggling to keep up with demand. For many employers in food and beverage, satisfying the hungry masses (or thirsty hordes) can be just as challenging. These days, it is not difficult for customers to find a good café, bar or restaurant (all three on a good day!), but running these kinds of businesses can be more difficult than people think -- even in boom times.

"You need good people to maintain quality service when consumers are keeping you very very busy -- and jobs are easier to find than coffee shops.

"This is when the backing of a strong franchise brand, with its proven operating systems, staff training and support network, can really help.

"Just as the customers know what to expect when they go to a Gloria Jean's Coffees café -- quality products, good service, relaxed but efficient -- so do the people who work there. Look at the Boost Juice staff and you see people who like to have fun at work and are happy to get the customers to join in. These businesses work because the concepts work for the customers and the people who work in them.

"This is one of the key reasons why food and beverage franchising is on a big growth spurt in Australia and overseas. Gloria Jean's Coffees and Boost Juice are examples of Australian franchises that have worked so well here, they are being exported overseas (20 countries for Gloria Jean's Coffees).

"At 17.5 percent of all Australian franchising, food and beverage is the biggest category (by volume of sales) after car and petrol retailing.

"Recent independent statistics showed that food and beverage was the No. 1 area of interest for prospective new franchisees, at 21 percent of inquiries to franchising groups. We are seeing this in the Franchise Council of Australia, where membership has grown over 10 percent for the past several years, a large amount of it in food and beverage.

"As FCA chairman, and somebody who has been a manager, a franchisee and a franchisor, my message to industry people is this: If you are contemplating starting your own business or expanding an existing one, in what is a highly competitive industry, think seriously about the possibilities of franchising -- you might find it works for you, and your customers."

Key companies offering franchise opportunities within the food and beverage opportunities include VanGo Coffee, XPressoDelight, Mrs.Fields and San Churro.

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