GF: What are the key skills of a successful franchise leader?
JZ: The key skills would be to understand your brand, product, and company to the core. No one else should know or love the brand as much as you do personally; that way, you can always transfer it with the same passion to your next partner.
Besides knowing the business, it’s also about knowing yourself, your team, your company culture, and your needs. Finding the right fit and connection with your franchisees is as important as operational excellence and delivering on your promise and services. In the end, this is a people business, so finding that connection and communication on top of trust and drive is a must.
GF: What does success look like to you?
JZ: Success to me looks like a vision well executed. The details of the plan might change along the way, but the vision should stay the same and if you direct focus and energy the right way, it should help you achieve your goals.
In our case, success would be to fulfil our mission of bringing joy to avocado lovers across the globe, making it easier for anyone to access ’Pretty Healthy Food’, being an amazing place to work and visit, and of course making sure the future is green.
GF: What’s the biggest challenge facing the F&B industry right now?
JZ: This would have to be finding the right staff to build excellent teams. Most challenges actually get better with time, like technology updates, sustainability goals, interior building, recipes and production, speed, packaging you name it.
Finding the right people, that share our positive, fun and talented DNA and are equipped with the right skills in each market, will always be a challenge. That’s why we decide to invest even more time and effort in recruiting and retaining our teams.
GF: How important is sustainability to consumers today?
JZ: It’s slowly but surely becoming a standard for the modern consumer. The new generation of consumers really focus on it, but luckily so do we. They look for smart choices when it comes to packaging, zero waste, reusable items, sourcing, transport, and more.
Social media makes it possible to ask a lot of direct questions too, so we see some real interest every day too. That’s why we hope to lead the way with sharing our story and choices, like the documentary we made. It’s called The Future is Green and can be found on our website for anyone to see and learn.
GF: What’s your favorite part of being a franchisor?
JZ: The best part about being a franchisor is to see your idea connect all around the world. Getting the chance to share your concept, brand, vision, food, fun and more with people and partners in other countries and cities.
It’s about building great teams, partnerships, friendships and memories as much as it is learning from every new adventure you embark on. Good food always connects people and not just in social life, but in business too. It feels great to see people as excited as you are to work with your brand. To see them enjoy every dish, every moment and every challenge too.