Why this former penny pincher values the importance of business investing
As a former immigrant, Joe Bonello always hoarded his money carefully. However, it was some timely words of wisdom from his uncle that really changed the course of Joe’s life.
Introducing Joe Bonello – Red Rooster Franchise Partner in Midland, WA
The life-long Red Rooster employee, now has a keen eye when it comes to investing in his business and in 2017 was awarded The Franchise Partner of the Year. He shares his successes here.
Joe, can you tell us about your successful career with Red Rooster?
So I’ve worked for the brand my whole life having started at an outlet as a kitchen hand after I finished high school. I then worked my way up the ladder and have had many different roles, so I have always had great experiences with the company. I decided to take on a franchise of my own in Midland and was one of the first franchisees to join the MTO (Manage to Own) Program in December 2013. Doing this program was a great opportunity as there was no risk or cost involved and I knew Red Rooster would support me if things didn’t go to plan. I’ve worked hard as a franchisee and it was a huge moment for me when I was named Franchise Partner of the Year in 2017. It was very humbling to receive that award in front of my peers and head office.
Can you tell us a bit about your upbringing?
So I was born in Malta and moved to Australia when I was seven with my family. I was bullied because I was a foreigner and didn’t speak the language well, so that made me stronger and more sharp-witted to face everything in life head-on. I used to save a lot and growing up I never spent money, never had fun or went out. One day my uncle said, ‘you know once you die you can’t take your money with you’. He later added, ‘if you want to make money you need to spend money’. That all really resonated with me and I changed my attitude. As a franchisee I’m not scared to spend money in order to improve my business – you need to seize the opportunity, risk and invest.
hard-working | meticulous | passionate
What are ways you invested in the business then?
Most of my growth has been through delivery and as that’s key for me I have invested in two new delivery cars. I aim to keep growing the delivery network as that’s where I see the biggest opportunity, so I want to focus on the speed of the delivery we provide.
What is your definition of success?
Be happy in life! It doesn’t matter if you have money or you don’t. If you’re happy, you’ll always be successful.
How did the negative rap about the franchising industry affect your business?
Our staff panicked a little when they first heard about it as they thought we were going to go bankrupt and were worried about their entitlements, so I had to do a lot of reassuring. Customers were also wondering how much longer we were going to be open. On the other hand, some stopped by for extra meals in order to support us, so that was good! But I ensured them we weren’t struggling and that the incidents were isolated.
Advice to people considering becoming franchisee
So, should potential franchisees be concerned at all?
No! I think Red Rooster has a great support network. Like with any venture, people should do their research before buying into a franchise. You shouldn’t rush into anything – you should read the contract to see what you are buying into and you need to remember the business won’t run itself. Owning a franchise brings daily challenges. However, if you go forward with the right approach you will do well.
What other advice do you have for new franchisees?
Hire good staff, be engaged in the business, stay positive, stay focused and stay on brand. The company has reasons for doing things a certain way and standards that they follow. Franchisees need to trust that the company knows what they are doing and always have franchisees’ best interests at the forefront.
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