Australasian restaurant chain Oporto is refurbishing its nine New Zealand outlets and is seeking franchisees to operate an additional seven.
Oporto New Zealand's Master Franchisor, Lawrence Pereira, who has lifted the quick-service restaurant chain's sales performance more than 30 per cent in less than 12 months, is now enhancing the menu, outlet designs and marketing programme.
He has begun the search for a committed team of franchisees.
"Due to the quality of the brand, this opportunity, being marketed by business broker Ivan Tava, is likely to draw strong interest," he says.
Oporto's first store was opened at Bondi, Sydney, in 1986 by a Portuguese immigrant to Australia, Antonio Cerqueira, whose shop became an immediate success based on the preparation methods still used today.
Fresh-not-frozen chicken is cooked in the traditional Portuguese-style: marinated, laid flat and flame-grilled, accompanied by Cerqueira's original secret chilli sauce.
Thanks to public appetite for the distinctive cuisine, Oporto has grown into a successful franchise over the past 30 years, with almost 150 stores in Australia and New Zealand.
Pereira has embarked on an extensive review of New Zealand operation, refurbishing New Zealand stores using a "streetscape re-imaging strategy".
He is poised to open the additional stores (including two drive-through outlets) in the coming year - all on proven high-performance sites.
"We have seen a significant lift in performance through simple changes such as the re-introduction of the original chilli sauce and ensuring more careful adherence to standards," he says.
"Based on results witnessed in Australia, changes we're about to introduce should see performance soar."
When franchisees purchase an Oporto franchise, they will be in business for themselves - but not by themselves, he says.
"Owners do not need to have owned a business before but success depends very much on the commitment of the operator to work in the store among the staff."
Pereira says he is keenly aware that the future of the business depends on the dedication, creativity and co-operation of franchise owners so he places a high value on the selection of the right people who can share his passion for growing Oporto in New Zealand.
"This is perfect time to join Oporto at a stage in its evolution when it has a firm foothold in New Zealand but is set to begin expansion into high-performance sites. We provide all the tools and support for success based on a proven and tested model for the right owner prepared to seize this opportunity."
He says that, in the competitive quick service restaurant market, Oporto stands out for its intense, complex flavours combined with the comforting familiarity of a burger and grilled chicken while also catering for the fact that people increasingly care about food being fresh, less processed and with fewer artificial ingredients.
"The chicken is guaranteed high quality, with a stable price thanks to an exclusive supply agreement with local chicken producer, Ex-Quiz-Eat."
Oporto also has supply partnerships with Tegel, Heinz Watties, Detpak, McCain, George Weston Foods, Alba Oil, North Harbour Cool Foods, Coca-Cola and Fonterra.
Oporto oversees the construction and fit-out of all stores using approved independent contractors.
The estimated cost of fitting-out locations varies depending on the nature of the site. This is about $700,000 to $900,000 plus GST for a drive-through; $350,000 to $450,000 plus GST for a shopping centre location; and $450,000 to $550,000 plus GST for a larger location.
Oporto franchisees can expect:
• A brand refresh and new store fit-outs already tested and proven in the Australian market.
• All supply arrangements negotiated including pricing, trading terms, logistics and promotions.
• Before opening their own store, all franchisees complete Oporto's initial training programme which can be followed up if required.
• Advertising contributions received from all stores are used to fund national brand building and promotional campaigns. The group advertising helps increase brand and product awareness in all areas where there is an Oporto store.
• Oporto's Master Franchisor provides consultancy on the use of the corporate logo and marketing guidelines at the local level. Stores are actively encouraged to get involved in local community events.
• Point of Sale (POS), menu displays and back-office systems are managed centrally with state-of-the art software providing constantly updated and highly detailed analysis of store performance for an owner to easily and effectively manage and optimise the performance of their store.
• Support services and tools to assist franchisees to run and manage their own businesses include: input into business plans; ongoing business support and systems; product sales bench-marking information; training support and operating manuals; the benefit of centralising marketing, media buying and advertising.