Women make mark in fast-food business
Women have infiltrated all aspects of the modern business environment - and the fast food franchise industry is no exception.
More than 50% of franchisees of the Sausage Saloon, with 18 outlets in South Africa, are women - and the company believes the figure is likely to rise.
"Our female franchisees enjoy the challenge of owning their own business and put in a lot of time and effort," says David Strange of the Sausage Saloon.
"Because the Sausage Saloon outlet is a small manageable business venture, these women do not feel out of their depth, and through this venture can enjoy their independence. We also find that women franchisees are more consistent and dedicated. The financial rewards are obviously one of the most important reasons for the franchisee's commitment, but they also enjoy their work."
The first Sausage Saloon outlet opened in Alberton City in October last year and is owned and run by Helen de Sa. Helen gave up her corporate career to fulfil her lifelong dream of owning her own business.
"It's a lot of hard work but I still have time for my family and for myself. What I put in, I know I will get out and I can honestly say my quality of life has improved," she says.
"The concept of a woman operating one of our outlets appeals to me. If she is determined and enthusiastic, she will succeed. I believe women generally have better interpersonal skills than men, which is a very important quality when dealing with clients one on one," says Strange.
"Running an outlet is not difficult and we provide all the necessary training for franchisees and staff before opening the store. We also ensure that the business is set up so it runs efficiently from day one. Experience is an advantage, but not a necessity, as the franchisee will receive constant support from head office."
When it comes to selecting franchisees, whether male or female, no franchisor will accept a candidate they do not feel is suitable.
"The franchisor needs to be assured that the candidate is determined to make a success of the business, and is an individual who won't damage the franchise or even the industry. We have stringent requirements when considering new franchisees and all candidates are selectively screened before being invited to join the company," explains Strange.
The screening process involves an interview, reference and credit checks. If suitable, the franchisee then embarks on a comprehensive compulsory training programme which includes financial, management and product skills.
Strange has seven years' experience as a franchisee and three years experience as a franchisor. In 1996 he was voted Businessman of the Year for the Bedfordview, Edenvale and Kempton Park region.