Monday 11th February 2008
While we were in the UK we met up with some people from Baskin Robbins the Ice Cream people with a view to possibly taking on one of their Franchises. This was a fact finding mission more than anything as we did not really know what was involved in running a Franchised Outlet.
The guy who had been seconded to the UK on their recruitment drive was a very affable fellow called John and it just so happened that he was on holiday back in Australia at the time we arrived over here. He rang us a couple of days ago to arrange a meeting to show us round a couple of prospective sites for a Baskin Robbins and Cookieman Outlet and today was the day.
We dumped the kids on Sharon again and she took them to Kings Park in Perth where she fed them with loads of junk food and then let them run her ragged.
We met John in Morley Shopping Centre at 11.00am and had a chat over a cup of coffee before walking round the Centre. Unfortunately the way these Franchise people seem to work is that they will only start talking to the Centre management team after you have crossed their palm with silver, needless to say we do not work like that and like to know what we are getting, where it is going to be and how much it will cost before we part with any money. John was unable to give us any of these details and could only supply us with rough ideas or best guess and this was not good enough for us so we walked around 2 Shopping Centres with him and then told him to get us some confirmed details and then we might be able to push ahead, knowing all the time that this was only a back up plan and that we would rather have our own business if we could.
In the afternoon we spent our time running round different businesses that we had been given details for doing incognito viewings, the only one that really caught the eye was a Café in a Shopping Centre not too far from where Sharon lives, it was trading very well and if we did buy it we felt that there were not a lot of opportunities for us to progress the business as it was running almost at capacity, but it was producing an unbelievable net profit.
Details for this Café were given to us by the man with the Expensive Office and that might have gone some way towards what the business had been valued at, it turns out that the Owner had lost a Cook and a Barista over a year ago (it’s only a small place so they can’t have gone far) and decided that he would cover their hours himself. It is open 7 days a week for 10 hours a day plus start up and shut down, he was looking tired but he had been earning loads of money because he didn’t have to pay these extra wages.
Now he wanted to sell the business based on his current net profit and although it was accepted that any new Owner would have to employ another Cook and Barista if the others don’t turn up the price is the price.
It’s a shame because it is in a good area with good housing and schools, it would enable us to employ some extra Australian staff and it is taking more than enough money which are the main criteria to satisfy our visa requirements.