Three Cravers recognised as Top 30 Franchise Executives

In The Media: February 27, 2019

The 2019 Top 30 Franchise Executives report recognises the biggest and brightest talents in Australia’s franchising industry. This year, three Cravers have been recognised as Franchising industry leaders.

Each year, Franchise Business runs this reports that shines the spotlight on individuals within the sector who are demonstrating commitment to the cause of good franchising and can showcase their contributions to boosting their franchisee network.

Brett Houldin (CEO), Stephanie McGuigan (Employee Relations Manager), MICHELLE DRAPER (Oporto) Craveable brand as Top 30 Franchise Executives recognition

Brett Houldin

Craveable Brands CEO

Brett’s focus on improved performance achieved good results in 2018, not least increased franchisee profit through initiatives such as supply chain savings. He instigated the construction of a robust employee relations system and framework to ensure efficiencies and increase compliance.

A chief change officer and project management officer roles were introduced to help deliver innovation, which Brett heads up. In 2018 the business implemented new systems and monitoring tools, an e-commerce platform, new store formats and day part expansion. Real time reporting and dashboards have delivered material returns for franchisees, Brett says.

Franchisees embraced a sustainability program introduced last year which included local initiatives, ethical sourcing, carbon footprint and respect.
On a larger stage Brett participated in the Senate Inquiry, was a keynote speaker on how to maximise franchisee relationships at the FCA national conference, participated in panels and published articles on the industry.

He completed a course in Silicon Valley learning about innovation, disruption and people management. “This has tangible benefits that have been implemented and shared with key partners to improve our business model,” he says.

In 2019 his goals are to grow franchisee profitability and enable the expansion of restaurants each franchisee owns, to continue to build out a sustainable growth platform for the business that is above industry growth rates and to grow and learn more from successful business leaders and implement learnings in his personal and professional life. Brett loves most that he gets to help more than 400 small business owners every day to fulfil their dreams and become successful.

“To achieve this, we have built a culture based on making a difference, and having a team of people around me that intrinsically work toward this goal is incredibly rewarding,” he says. He follows the best advice he has been given: if something is worth doing, make sure you commit and do it the best you can. Then get the right people around you to help make it amazing.


Stephanie McGuigan

National Employee Relations Manager

I’m currently leading a team in an industry and specialist area which is subject to enormous public scrutiny and media, legal and regulatory attention.
I’m proud of the employee relations reforms and the difference my team has already achieved in this space and I’m now looking forward to what’s
to come.” This is a new role and Stephanie is pleased to have promoted and instilled a strong culture of employee relations across the network with clear and effective communication and collaboration, and the implementation of workplace compliance processes. Among Stephanie’s 2018 initiatives, a monitoring and supervision framework to prevent, identify and remedy workplace non-compliance.

“Most of these processes are unique to Craveable Brands and have meant we’re an industry leader in this space. Through these systems I’ve fostered a fantastic franchise culture where our employees are treated fairly and in accordance with regulatory and community expectations.”

Stephanie has developed her franchising knowledge through attending industry events and workshops, and as a director of the Quick Service
Restaurant Chain Association Board which is attended by workplace leaders in brands such as McDonald’s, Hungry Jacks and Domino’s.
“My career goal is for Craveable Brands to become the leader in employment practices in the franchising industry,” she says.


State manager WA and SA, Oporto

“Every time I have the opportunity to engage with a stakeholder I have the opportunity to make a positive change, whether it be with a franchisee to achieve their goals or a colleague to improve the overall sustainability of our business.”

“I love being part of a company that encourages innovation and continual improvement. My top goal for 2019 is to foster a culture of being truly customer centric through all levels of our business; as a franchisor our franchisees are our customer and must be the core of every business decision we make.”

Michelle has made a positive impact on franchisees in the last 12 months, taking steps to set them up for sustainable growth through additional support, restructured portfolios, and opportunities to scale the business in WA. As a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and suburban connect groups Michelle is a keen advocate of local grass roots support. She encourages each store in her network to sponsor at least two local sporting clubs, and she has worked on a more targeted local marketing strategy.

As a result of volunteering to take accountability of a successful trial phase of a marketing-led initiative, Michelle was appointed in 2018 to the newly created head of customer experience. Faced with the challenge of training for personality, she threw out the traditional educational tools and brought an entirely new and fresh idea to the process, encouraging teams to share food tasting experiences and allow their individuality to shine when talking about product.

“Our new ‘let your personality show’ cultural shift has extended into the manner we advertise when looking to add new members to our team. Our customers thrive on diversity, our teams do too,” she says. Michelle is set to join the Murdoch University Student Emerging Leaders program in February 2019, undertaking a meaningful project to contribute to sustainable change in the local community, and is in the process of completing an MBA.


Franchise Business judges based on six elements:

  1. BEST PRACTICE: the candidate has contributed to developing or abiding by best practice principles that have a direct impact on franchisee performance.
  2. INNOVATION: the candidate has led innovation in the business by using new knowledge to introduce product, process, marketing or organisational change.
  3. FRANCHISE CITIZENSHIP: The candidate has made a positive impact on the franchising community by championing a cause like sustainability, diversity or mental health.
  4. INDUSTRY IMPACT: The candidate has promoted positive franchising through articles, presentations, public appearances, providing mentorship.
  5. LEADERSHIP: The candidate has demonstrated leadership in the business.
  6. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The candidate has invested in personal or professional development.

To know more, visit TOP 30