Franchised restaurant sales increased by 7.5% and by 0.8% on existing businesses. Existing restaurant turnover growth was impacted by the tough trading economy and competition between sites within the brand following its significant expansion over the past few years.
In response to the declining restaurant turnover growth and following engagement with franchisees, the brand invested in television advertising for the first time. The production costs of the advert were funded in part by franchisees, by way of an additional 1% marketing levy for a six-month period, and by the brand to the extent of R0.9 million. The brand has seen renewed turnover growth since the launch of the advert in May 2019.
Revenue increased ahead of restaurant sales growth due to higher initial franchise fees from new restaurants. Revenue from the retail outlet declined as delivery business was re-routed to a nearby franchised outlet opened during the prior year.
The operating profit margin improved notwithstanding the above-mentioned investment in marketing, due to a focus on cost containment and lower restaurant opening costs relative to the prior year.
The brand launched the RocoGo small format, on-the-go brand in Braamfontein, Gauteng and at Sun Coast Casino, KwaZulu-Natal as a trial. If successful, it is anticipated that this could be a viable extension to the brand, particularly in food court locations and areas that cannot support a full size restaurant.
The brand’s franchisees have become highly involved in local community initiatives. The brand launched the RocoMamas Shadow Shift evenings and Burger Busts to build relationships and cement the brand image in consumers’ minds.
RocoMamas’ strategic intent is to be loved by its customers as masters at burgers, ribs and wings; celebrating the beauty of imperfection.
The focus for the year ahead will be to grow existing business turnover through restaurant-specific marketing initiatives and franchisee involvement in communities. The brand will also launch its first national value-added campaign while the television advert is still being aired, to drive new feet into businesses.