Let’s meet our newest FreshStop retailer, Francois Van Biljon. Francois recently joined FreshStop but has been in the franchise industry, working with brand names such as Saddles and Maxi’s, and the fuel industry for close to 25 years. He is a qualified teacher and studied at Potchefstroom and Pretoria University (PUK and TUKS). FreshStop Crompton in Pinetown has been trading well, after being looted during the July unrest.
We spoke to Francois to find out more.
At FreshStop Crompton, what benefits have you seen from having a good food offering in-store?
Francois: I believe that our in-house food brands create a buzz in the store and on the forecourt, and they definitely help to promote our brand via word-of-mouth advertising. It also attracts new customers, diverts behavioural patterns away from the competition, and creates loyalty amongst our customers. We have a Burger Bar and Afros on the premises. The Burger Bar belongs to us while the Afros is managed by another party.
I would suggest having a variety of food offerings in one store to help reach the full potential of the site itself. It enhances the offering to customers whilst at the same time increasing interaction with them. We will, in the near future, be adding some
FreshStop in-house food brands (APCs) to our offering for this very reason.
What advice would you give to other Retailers about introducing food offers?
Francois: My advice would be to always make sure that your service levels are the best that they can be and that your staff is properly trained and taken care of.
Positive, well-trained colleagues with the right work ethic will complement any business. And we are very lucky to have these types of people on our team at FreshStop at Caltex Crompton. All of our 31 team members are energetic, trustworthy, and love their work. A happy staff member creates a happy customer!
What has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced in the industry?
Francois: A huge challenge was to get back into business after the unrest and looting that took place here in KwaZulu-Natal in July. I remember I had very mixed feelings when I saw the site after the looting but my anchor in life brought me through this and I was very thankful for that. The brand image that FreshStop reflects and lives, really helped us to get going and this was the biggest motivation to me. With this, I was able to mirror it to my team and show them the way forward.
What has been your greatest success to date?
Francois: Our relationships with our customers, colleagues and FreshStop itself have been very positive and this can only lead you to success. Be the best!
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Visit this link, if you are interested in becoming a FreshStop franchisee.
If you are an existing FreshStop retailer interested in improving your food offering, please speak to your Business Consultant for direction.