Get to know San Churro’s new COO | QSR Media
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Jarrod Appleby, Chief Operating Officer, San Churro. /Photo from LinkedIn

Get to know San Churro’s new COO

Jarrod Appleby reveals his to-do list for his first few weeks on the job.

San Churro is closing this financial year with just under 70 outlets and for Jarrod Appleby, this means the business still has a lot of ways to grow.

Jarrod was recently appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer of the Spanish-inspired dessert chain San Churro. Before joining the group, Jarrod was the Chief Growth Officer of Minor DKL Food Group, the operator of The Coffee Club where he held several roles across International, Marketing, Operations and HR over the past 12 years.

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With a few weeks already under his belt, QSR Media caught up with Jarrod about his plans and the opportunities he sees for San Churro.

QSR Media: What inspired you to join San Churro?

Jarrod: San Churro is the leading dessert and sweet treat brand in Australia. The two key things which inspired me to join San Churro were the product and the people.

The product is quality with churros being made fresh to order and hot chocolate made with the finest quality couverture chocolate.  

The team's passion for the brand and the focus on supporting franchise partners is amazing. This is evident throughout the organisation and made me very confident in my decision to join the team

How do you feel about the appointment? What excites you the most about the business?

The business is under-penetrated nationally (closing this financial year just under 70 stores nationally) so there’s lots of room for growth, which is very exciting! 

Everything is underpinned by the passion for the brand from our franchise partners. Many of our partners have been with the brand for a long time and they are very engaged with the brand. 

With a strong cohort of multi-site partners who want to grow with us and lots of interest in our brand, we have a very strong platform to build from.

What are your top five 'to-do' lists for the first few weeks of your appointment?

1. Like any new executive entering a business it's key to spend time with the CEO and Leadership team to deep dive the strategy. 

2. Build relationships with the team across all levels within the organisation. 

3. Spend significant time meeting with franchise partners to hear their feedback and understand their challenges.

4.  Put the apron on and work in-store with our team to understand store operations and to hear feedback from our store teams

5. Speak to customers in-store and understand what they love and what would make them return more frequently.  

In your opinion, what are some of the current challenges facing the QSR industry, and how do you plan to address them within the context of San Churro's operations?

The consumer is feeling the impact of the current economic environment which is affecting spending patterns across retail and hospitality in many cases leading to a decline in shopping centre footfall. 

San Churro is laser-focused on initiatives which drive sales and increase the profitability of our franchise partners. Customer obsession is also at the heart of all decision-making. Some initiatives that come to mind include:

1. Having a fantastic marketing plan in place for our peak winter period to drive sales and delight our customers with our core products of churros and hot chocolate and focusing on value. 

2. Innovating through the launch of new product categories and initiatives giving our customers more reasons to come to San Churro.

3. Supporting franchise partner profitability through the implementation of new rostering and inventory management systems which will assist franchisee profitability through both predictive rostering and ordering. 

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