Sydney vegan chain Soul Burger turns to franchising

By Sarah Stowe | 15 Jul 2020 View comments

Sydney fledgling vegan restaurant chain Soul Burger is franchising. 

Founder Dr Amit Tewari said “Franchising is our avenue to getting more stores around Australia open, multiplying our impact, ensuring passion in store through owner-operators and forever changing the comfort food in the Aussie food scene.”

There are three company-owned  outlets in Glebe, Newtown and Randwick.

Soul Burger is working with DC Strategy to grow the business and has committed to develop a franchise model that avoids any rebate fees.

There is a lot of heat on franchise models and there’s good reason for it. We’re seeing many franchise models forget about focussing on increasing revenue through constant innovation, and instead get stagnant with bloated head offices and make their money through collecting rebates from goods sold to franchisees instead,” said Tewari.

“Ours is a positive sum model because our franchise model will succeed only where our franchisees open stores and grow revenue. We won’t be making money any other way.”

Soul Burger is adding new revenue streams, partnering with Loke to develop a loyalty customer app.

This app features a new internal online delivery platform – cutting out commission costs charged by third party delivery options.

Soul Burger has over 14,000 loyalty app users and more than 20,000 members of the  loyalty program “Beyond the Buns”.

Tewari said there is plenty of potential in the plant-based food marketplace.

“This is much more than a trend, it’s a burgeoning sector that will only grow further as more people incorporate more plant-based food in their diet.”

After just a year of trading, Soul Burger won PETAs Best Vegan Burger in Australia Award in 2016.

The hospitality firm works with leading plant-based brands including V2 Foods, Beyond Meat, Alternative Meat Company, Fable Meats and Pana Chocolate. Its menu includes gourmet plant-based burgers, fries, shakes and snags. 

Soul Burger’s environmentally-conscious initiatives include working to reduce plastic use in restaurants, introducing a BYOP (bring your own packaging) discount initiative, partnering with green energy providers to offset carbon use, and recycling cooking oil.