Retail Focus The Path To Success

Former Brumby’s managing director, Michael Sherlock shares his experiences leading Australia’s second-largest baking franchise in his new book Jump Shift!

Co-written with consultant Alan Anderson, the book offers advise on planning, production and management strategies for business owners.

It provides insight into Brumby’s board decisions, corporate consolidations and branding campaigns as it was transformed from an ailing set of franchises into a $46 million company under Mr Sherlock.

Mr Sherlock, who still owns five Brumby’s stores, recommends bakers look at their business from a fresh perspective each time they come to work.

“Go to your store everyday and look at it for the first time. Think like a customer,” he said.

The bakery owner said franchise bakeries were successful because of their customer focus.

“We’re a brand, we’ve got consistency and we’re focused on the customer that comes to the store and pays full retail (price),” he said.

Connecting with customers can happen in unusual ways, as Mr Sherlock discovered when one of his Queensland bakeries kept baking despite being affected by flooding in January.

“Since then, that store has ingrained itself more into the (local) people. Those local people were grateful we were open,” he said.

Mr Sherlock still works as an industry consultant and has observed how Australian companies are responding to market demand for quality par-baked production.

“Par-baked previously had a bad name. They could do it in Europe but we could never do it in Australia. Now (Australians) are bringing it into Coles and Woolies, they can provide better bread because it is made with all of the sour and cultures and those good crusts and flavours,” he said.


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