Degani’s double win in Top 30 Franchise Executives

By Sarah Stowe | 10 Mar 2020 View comments

Brilliant franchisor performance has delivered cafe chain Degani a double entry in the recently published Top 30 Franchise Executives 2020 report.

CEO Darren Lane hit a top 10 ranking, listed at number seven. Andrew Baldry scooped a slot in the top 20 in his role as business development manager.

The pair proved themselves dedicated to the cause of boosting franchisee performance as revealed in the report, which was sponsored by BlueRock.

Darren Lane, CEO, Degani

Darren Lane, CEO, Degani | Inside Franchise Business

Darren Lane, CEO, Degani | Inside Franchise Business

Creating a positive franchisee culture is one objective Degani CEO Darren Lane takes very seriously. “Our cafe owners have entrusted us to help build their life savings into something bigger and we know that this will only happen if they can trust us and love what they do,” he says.

But moreover, the CEO also knows that’s something that only happens when franchisees are making a profit as well. 

Over the past 12 months, Darren has worked tirelessly to reduce the operating burden on franchisees and improve individual unit profitability, ensuring all partners have the tools they need to achieve their goals.

Starting first with the mission of having every customer walk out happy, Darren looked at how technology could help create a more efficient and personalised process.

“The Degani app was introduced to allow customers to find their Degani, review the menu, order and pay, all from their phone, while allowing our cafes to send them personalised offers and messages,” he says.

“Positive franchising for us is about tailoring each cafe to the local community and working together to create a profitable, successful business.”

From there, the CEO went on to spearhead an extensive supply chain review that identified opportunities to not only boost franchisees’ bottom lines, but also improve the quality of the product offering. A 7 per cent reduction in the cost of goods sold led to a 2 per cent rise in profits across all stores.

“Through coaching, innovation, fresh tailored menus in all locations and award winning coffee, our same-store sales growth sat at 8.5 per cent for the FY18–19 year,” Darren says.

“We believe this is important with increased competition in the market and rising costs such as occupancy and labour.”

Andrew Baldry, business development manager, Degani

Andrew Baldry, business development manager, Degani | Inside Franchise Business

Andrew Baldry, business development manager, Degani | Inside Franchise Business

My role involves supporting franchisees from initial induction training, through to opening day and beyond – seeing them and their families grow and achieve their goals is the key driver for me to improve and succeed in my role,” says Andrew.

To enable franchisees to achieve their personal wealth goals, Andrew has led a number of initiatives that have had a positive impact on franchisees.

First up is the introduction of a drive-through concept, streamlining the customer ordering journey, and increasing revenue through added convenience and upselling opportunities.

He created a training program to upskill franchisees in social media, wearing a social media manager hat, and implemented a drinks innovation program allowing franchisees flexibility to adopt national campaigns as they choose.

Franchising is all about mutual success – as a franchisor we can’t be successful unless our network is successful, so being able to reason, be reasonable and work to achieve mutual goals is key,” he says.

Read the full stories in the report, available for download.