Ice cream delivery and social marketing have been powering this Baskin store

Melanie Wakefield, a Baskin-Robbins franchise owner in QLD, gives her perspective on the challenges faced during COVID, what has made the difference, and her focus going forward.

How did you adapt to trade through COVID-19?

  • We had a lot less walk in customers initially, which meant staffing rosters had to be adjusted every day,
  • But a massive focus on increasing home delivery saw our home delivery sales really took off.

How might your approach to business change from this?

  •  Not really going to change from now, as we want to continue to grow our home delivery customers, even when our 'walk-in' guest count can return to previous levels,
  • A real focus going forward on increasing our guest (customer) count.

What resource or support made a difference to help you get through the crisis?

  • We increased our social media presence facebook and instagram posts daily,
  • To ensure people knew we were open at this time, we added metallic streamers and balloons to have a bit of colour and movement out front to attract more guests to the store.

What are your goals for the next 12 months?

  • Grow our business overall, especially with our home delivery,
  • We want to increase our in-store guest count by frequent social media posts, and also giving out 'freebies' and vouchers to entice customers to return in-store to grow that customer count.

Your message to people trying to recover and get back on track?

  • Just hang in there!,
  • Maybe diversify or adapt your business if possible, look to expand your social media marketing impact and make changes with delivery or pick up options to get take away business happening if you can.

Do you have a message for your team or franchisor head office?

  • "Thank you to all of our team at Northlakes for their ongoing hard work, their loyalty and their ability to adapt to the new sanitising and safety procedures that we have to follow in-store. Because they were able to do that so well we were able to keep our doors open and keep everybody safe - not only guests but our team members as well."
  • "To our franchisor team at head office, thank you so much for adapting, for changing, and being there when we had questions. And thank you for the sacrifices that you guys made to make sure that we were still able to have the team there when we needed, even though you had to make changes yourself."