I firmly believe that franchising is a partnership between franchisor and franchisee and like all good relationships, it thrives on good communications.
Ronnie Barrese has been with us for over 20 years and he’s owned four different La Porchetta restaurants in that time. He now co-owns La Porchetta Altona Meadows with his business partner, Tony Impediula.
Like many of our franchisees, Ronnie has been instrumental in driving innovation at La Porchetta because he is guided by what his customers want.
In recent years we noticed a distinct trend towards vegan dining and around the same time, Ronnie’s daughter became a vegan. Ronnie, who is vegetarian found it was becoming challenging to eat out with his daughter and he felt his own customers were also most likely missing out. He wanted to explore menu options and the La Porchetta specials board enabled him to do that, so he created a number of new, vegan menu items which his customers loved.
The Italian experience is all about people being able to eat together, regardless of their lifestyle choices. Many of our customers across Australia and New Zealand are now vegan, so together with Ronnie, we began to explore the options. We went through an exhaustive process of researching menu options, ingredients and customer responses and the result is a range of new vegan additions to our menu which will be available from October. They’ll include many favourite Italian dishes, such a pizzas and pastas made with vegan ingredients, so now vegans will be able to enjoy these with their non-vegan friends.
Ronnie is an innovator franchisee in so many ways. He has served on our Franchise Advisory Committee and participated in trialling innovations such as home delivery before they were introduced across the group. For him, change is part of a successful business model and he understands that changing with the times is one of the strengths of our brand.
La Porchetta has been built by franchisees like Ronnie. He joined us because he wanted to be part of a growing business with solid franchisor support, and as he’s grown with the brand, he’s become one of drivers of our success.
Ronnie tells us that Franchising has helped him to realise many of his personal goals. “Being in this business has changed my life,” he recently told me. “It’s enabled my family and me to do so many of the things we want to do.”