When Biggie Smalls launched into the market as a quick service restaurant (QSR), it was a traditional marketplace. Customers would come in, buy a product, either eat in or take it away. Shane explains as the owner you get 100 per cent of the sale. “And all the traffic predominately came through the shop front door.”
Six months after Biggie Smalls opened, the hospitality world was disrupted with the introduction of delivery services such as Uber Eats, changing the way people dine.
Shane believes this marketplace model is here to stay because it meets the customer’s needs, however it has resulted in significant change to the market.
“From a traditional model where you'll serve 100 per cent of the sales through the shopfront, now you may serve 30 per cent of the sales through the shopfront and the rest of it's going out the back door and you're losing a big percentage of that sale in commission,” he says.
In order to put his customers first, Shane highlights the need to change with the times.
“Customers don’t always want to come in and have the experience with the beautiful fit out and have hot food sitting down at the table. Now, they experience us through another way,” Shane says.
“So what do we do? We don’t just turn a blind eye and say, ‘OK, that's just the way it is and we can't make it any better’, we try to work with these partners and work with our customers to provide a product that they want that works for all people involved.”
A position of strength
While the business of hospitality can be a roller coaster, having flexibility with partners and suppliers is key for Shane.
“The relationship we have with the bank [ANZ] is our most paramount relationship. At the end of the day, dollars make the world go round.”
Speaking to flexibility and relationships, Shane says,”We can put a balance sheet together, we can put a budget together, we can put a prospectus to show what we should be doing. But it doesn't always add up like that. Having rigid people and partners is never going to work in hospitality.”
“We've established a great relationship with our bank manager and that's come out of friendship. He understands me as a person,” Shane says.
“When we're looking to do a new business, they're not just interested in dollars and cents, what bottom line we're going to get. They're actually looking at who we are, how we're invested into it and what our skill sets are and if we have the perseverance to achieve it.”
He continues “It's not just solely about the net profit percentage. We feel like they do have our best interests at heart and that when things are tough, they're not going to just walk away. It's a great position to be in, a position of strength.”
Kriston Schalken, ANZ Regional Executive says customers, like Shane, genuinely appreciate this approach, focusing on listening and learning about them not just the numbers.
“Understanding our customer’s business, their goals and unique approach is critical to our customer proposition. This allows us [ANZ] to genuinely add value with our tools and insights to help our customers achieve their goals.”
Kriston adds “This is particularly important as our customers are constantly adapting to disruption and change within their industries. It builds great trust, strong advocacy and long-lasting relationships.”