A frustrated franchisee who suddenly shut down two Cold Rock stores this week warned that they will probably be closed.
On Monday, two separate Facebook posts revealed that the famous Springwood and Indooroopilly branches in Queensland were "now permanently closed", immediately causing an outburst of anxiety on the part of ice cream fans and loyal customers.
Cold Rock is owned by the parent company Franchised Food Company Pty Ltd and director Stan Gordon told news.com.au he only discovered the closures this morning.
"I had no idea that those stores were going to close … it's not a precedent for what's happening at Cold Rock, and in fact we're opening stores, we're definitely not closing them," he said.
“I was absolutely surprised by the closure of these stores, in particular the Springwood store which is a profitable and good store.
"I have no idea what's going on."
Gordon said it was no secret that retailing was doing it hard, but that Cold Rock in general was "stronger than ever".
He stated that the company had the objective of reopening the shops concerned as soon as possible and hoping that the personnel who had lost their jobs could be hired.
"We are committed to making ice cream, making money and having fun – people need work and we would like to continue giving them," he said.
Gordon said he was unsure of the specific circumstances of closed stores, but that, while supporting penalty rates, they were a problem for the industry in general.
"There should be absolutely penalties, but they should start after a 38-hour work week.
"You can't pay the kids around $ 50 an hour when they work on the weekends without it being cost prohibitive. However, this is the system we have, so we have to get around it."
He also reacted to claims that the costs of doing business with delivery platforms like Uber Eats were affecting the bottom line of the affiliates.
"They are in agreement that they charge too much, however, this is their cost to do business and the shops don't have to use those platforms," he said.
"And they are not losing money using delivery platforms: they may not earn much, but they are not losing it.
"Cold Rock's businesses are profitable … and my reports a week ago show that things are going well, so I have no idea what happened."
However, Don Bambry, director of Bambry Enterprises Pty Ltd, owner of the Springwood and Indooroopilly stores, told a very different story.
Although Mr. Bambry never met Mr. Gordon, he claimed to have had "numerous franchise meetings" to express concerns with the Franchised Food Company, but that his complaints were not heard.
"The reality for me is that I have a business and basically the Franchising Food Company refuses to listen to affiliates about the lack of profitability," Bambry told news.com.au.
"We have had numerous meetings with affiliates with them in which we have discussed at length the lack of profitability … they have been totally silent in reducing the cost of goods because they have a discount system, which means that there is no discount. no advantage for them to have cheaper costs. "
He said that Mr. Gordon may not know what was really going on in the shops because the couple had never met during the five years that Mr. Bambry had been an affiliate.
Bambry said the Franchised Food Company obtained a royalty from orders placed through Uber Eats, which means that for an order of $ 20, Uber Eats will take 30%. However, the royalty would be removed from $ 20 and not from the amount that remained after the 30% deduction.
"It is in contrast to a franchise like Subway, where it takes away the royalty from the net figure … which is obviously a more reasonable way of doing business," he said.
"The reality is that we are damned if we do it and damned if we don't."
Bambry said he "wouldn't be surprised at all" if there were any other Cold Rock closures to come.
"The real surprise would be, how far will the next be?" He said.
He said to the Courier-Mail the increase in costs in the last year had made the business almost impossible.
"If I go on a mission tomorrow, I will bring home more money than I did in the last 12 months," he told the newspaper.
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