Acai bowl chain Nautical Bowls plans 100 stores in Australia

Nautical Bowls, the acai bowl retail chain, is heading to Australia with the first three stores set to open next month.

The initial stores in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Perth, will be company-owned, says Dean Lightfoot, the area developer for Australia. Lightfoot brings experience with Gelatissimo, BaskinRobbins and Andersens to his new role.

“I am working on additional locations for next year with some leases already signed off on for an additional two locations with 10 planned for roll out next year,” Lightfoot told Franchise Executives, Inside Retail’s sister publication. “We already have several expressions of interest in Perth and Queensland.

“My focus will be on supporting franchisees and investing in the brand as we grow. If we can have successful franchisees then by default we will be a successful brand in Australia as it has been in the US,” he said.

Peter Taunton, founder of Lift Brands and Snap Fitness, is co-founder of the Nautical Bowls business. Taunton will be in Australia in December for the brand launch and to host an information night for potential franchisees.

Taunton told Franchise Executives: “We’re very calculated on what we do. And the product that we’re bringing to market is very relevant. Today people want to eat healthier.

“We’re not Ben and Jerry’s. We’re a meal replacement. And that’s one of the things I love about the product. It’s affordable, number one. It’s filling and it’s good for you.”

Taunton reports the material costs to build a store in Australia are about 30 per cent less than in the US.

He has a goal of more than 100 locations across Australia within five years.

“I think is very doable because this is a very simple business. There are not a lot of moving parts, and it’s not technical. What many of our franchisees love is there’s only one full-time employee and 10 to 15 part-timers.

“It’s a great business for multi-unit owners, people that want to have more than one store. That’s why we do area development agreements,” he said.

“Peter is supporting our growth strategy with our team maintain close contact with his on operational and marketing aspects,” said Lightfoot.

This story was originally published on Franchise Executives.

You have 7 articles remaining. Unlock 15 free articles a month, it’s free.