FRANCHISING STARS: 10 Minutes with The Cheesecake Shop’s Ryan Potts

Posted on by Mark Fernandez

In this installment of FRANCHISING STARS we interview The Cheesecake Shop’s WA Area Manager and winner of the BDA/Finn Franchise Brokers FCA WA Excellence in Franchising Awards’ Field Manager of the Year Award 2014.

Ryan Potts_newsletter


First of all congratulations on your win as the Field Manager of the Year at the BDA/Finn Franchise Brokers FCA WA Excellence in Franchising Awards 2014, despite current economic conditions you have been managing to perform  well but what do you feel is biggest challenge right in your particular business and the sector you trade in?

The cake retail market is very mature and there is a lot of competition.  The biggest challenge that we face, as well as many other businesses is to retain our customers and increase their loyalty.  We are in the business of occasions and for us it is about ensuring we help each and every customer share, enjoy and make more memorable any and all of their occasions.

The Cheesecake Shop is a household name and have been the centrepiece of many celebrations around Australia, what do you think is behind the popularity and hype?

It is our ability to provide hand-crafted quality cakes that are baked on premises and made with love by our talented bakers and decorators, so that ultimately our customers can be proud of shopping with us.

What is the key driver for customer loyalty and how is The Cheesecake Shop attracting loyal customers?

A customer’s experience can change the perception they have of our bakeries and it is by taking the actions and instilling the behaviours that enhance customer satisfaction we can foster positive relationships with our customers and encourage them to return.

What is going to be the focus for The Cheesecake Shop WA this financial year?

In our vision to be one of Australia’s best-loved brands, our franchisees are focused on being active in their customers’ celebrations by providing them with the quality product they have come to expect from The Cheesecake Shop and using their baking and decorating skills to meet each of their customer’s needs.

What qualities do you look for in a prospective franchisee and how does that tie in with The Cheesecake Shop brand?

We look for people with a passion for retail and customer service.  An interest in baking and decorating is ideal.  Family support is another aspect of a successful franchisee at The Cheesecake Shop.

Describe your ideal franchisee.

The ideal franchisee for me is one who believes in continuous improvement, looks at every aspect of the business and isn’t afraid to ask questions.   They are generous to customers and the community and have a smile on their face 24/7.

How do you benchmark franchisee success?

Benchmarking is an important process for us to support continued improvement in our network and for our individual franchisees. In general, we look at Key Performance Indicators in areas such as compliance, training and profitability to get a picture of how our network and individual franchisees are performing.

Define ‘success’ in five words.

Making A Difference Every Day

Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date and why?

Gerard Anthony, The Cheesecake Shop’s State Manager for WA, has been such a positive influence in my career, guiding me through different scenarios and pushing me to better myself professionally. Gerard is also responsible for my internal nomination in the FCA Field Manager of the Year award.

What is your favourite product from The Cheesecake Shop range?

That’s a tricky question! Over the last six years I have probably had over 100 different cakes and desserts. But I simply cannot go past the Boston Mudcake microwaved just a little bit.

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