FOSTERING A FRANCHISING DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH – NO FENCE SITTING ALLOWED.
Adrian Pinazza – Oporto’s Head of Operations
Oporto’s Head of Operations Adrian Pinazza is a big believer in the power of passionate business mentoring. Adrian – a former Oporto franchisee – has a few business mentors and sources of inspiration, one of them being none other than the brand’s founder Antonio Cerqueira.
“I actually opened the last restaurant for Antonio before he sold the business,” Adrian explains. “What I love about Antonio is that he’s just so passionate about the brand. Antonio really inspired me to bring that same passion to my own restaurant and into all the jobs I’ve had with Oporto. Though Antonio sold the business back in 2007, we brought him back into the business in 2016 as a consultant to help us maintain the essence of his brand – it’s great to have him back in the familia as his passion is contagious!”
PASSIONATE – STRATEGIC – INNOVATIVE
The 40-year-old says the Portuguese/Australian Oporto brand has grown in leaps and bounds over the last three years thanks partly to its back-to-basics approach.
“I was a big driver of bringing back what the original brand essence was all about. I really wanted to reignite the core products, the original chilli sauce and the passion of Portugal that Antonio brought to the table. Now, I think it’s worked tremendously well.”
Adrian has now been with Oporto for over a decade, having opened two of his own restaurants in Sydney – one winning Oporto Restaurant of the Year in 2009/10. Two years ago, he moved to a head office role as Operations Manager, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and a strategic, passionate mindset.
Not only does the guy know about making Bondi burgers, but he appreciates the challenges and complexities faced by both franchisees and franchisor.
After completing a business degree, Adrian became a business analyst and a project manager for major projects relating to IT systems and change management. Now in this role he oversees all brand operation with state managers and operations team reporting directly to him.
“One thing that has stood me in good stead is that I love interacting with people – sharing ideas and developing individual talent. Everyone has a passion for something and its mine to help unlock talent. I’ve also been focussing on developing people to have sound business acumen and to see the bigger picture. As a result, we have some really strong individuals in our network that are taking our brand to the next level.”
Innovation is key in franchising
Adrian also encourages franchisees to innovate “I think sometimes people view a franchise as a business that’ll run itself but that’s not necessarily the case. There are so many opportunities for an owner to develop their brand and get it out there if they want.”
“For example, if a franchisee comes up with their own great idea, they can speak to their State Manager who can help develop it. In fact, one franchisee in South Australia did just that – they had such a great product innovation idea that we’re now investigating and working with the NPD team on how we can roll it out nationally!”
His experiences and time spent in restaurant, as well as working on the other side of the fence in corporate gives Adrian the most ideal position from which to encourage innovation, foster potential and strive for excellence.
We win together
For Adrian, it’s a ‘we win together’ mentality that achieves results. “We’ve worked hard to develop open and respectful lines of communication with all stakeholders, and together we continuously strive to better our brand. This in turn has helped the company to really grow and we don’t intend on stopping!”.
A self-confessed “travel nut”, Adrian is always planning his next trip. But there’s always lots to do before he can hop back on a plane. “I’m always thinking about the brand every moment I can. I’m just extremely proud of our customer service and of course the food we’re offering customers. As far as I’m concerned, the sky’s the limit in next 10 years. Though we are successful, I still feel we are a diamond in the rough – watch this space!”
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