A hospitality operators seemingly taking over Queenstowns café and
deli scene one flat white at a time.
Less than four years after opening Franks Eatery, in Remarkables Parks
Ramada Hotel, Franks Hospitality Groups about to open a sixth outlet.
Last month it opened its fifth venue - Coco Cabana by Franks, in the
Ramada Central hotel.
In late September its planning to open 11th by Franks, its largest
offering, in the Kawarau Park precinct behind the Queenstown Country
Club retirement village.
Originally, each outlet started with Franks, but to avoid confusion, as
there are now so many, theyre all & by Franks.
The first four, in starting order, are Eatery by Franks, Pantry by Franks,
in the nearby Wyndham Garden Hotel, Go by Franks, a pizza outlet
beside Eatery, which opens when Eatery closes, and Market by Franks,
in the LQ by Wyndham hotel, also at Remarkables Park.
Franks Hospitalitys owned by couple Tori and Aaron Lethbridge, who
started with a cafe in Masterton, and Safari Group owner Rob Neil,
whose hotels host the first five outlets.
Aside from their pies, burgers and scones, the outlets all serve
Christchurch-roasted Underground Coffee.
We have a group of baristas who even get flown up to Christchurch to
get regular training, Franks Hospitality marketing and PR manager
Kristel Maroszek says.
She notes many staff work at more than one outlet, which not only
offers them variation, but from a marketing point of view they get to
promote other venues.
Neil says he takes a mentor ship and governance role.
I invest in young people, and [Tori and Aaron] are spectacular at what
Aaron says theres no secret to their success.
Its all happened organically through a bit of hard work, imagination
and action by creating something we are proud of, and building on that.
We never imagined we would have this many proper ties, but when
you have a great support system and great people around you, from our
loyal customers to key staff and our partner, Rob Neil, it gives us the
confidence and drive to grow and create something really special.
As for Covids effect, Tori says it reinforces their return business ethos,
where we try and be so good that customers will return again and
again, eliminating the reliance on tourism.
Theyve got through the worst of it, she adds, by offering value.
Source: Mountain Scene