How Raja Has Created Work/Life Balance With a Muffin Break in Traralgon

Running restaurants and cafes in Melbourne, Raja Parekh dreamed of owning his own business. When he moved his family to Traralgon in country Victoria for a better life balance, he was also keeping his eye out for a business opportunity that would allow him more freedom; without the late nights that often come with hospitality. He found it with Muffin Break.

“I studied hotel management and catering and have had years of experience managing cafes and function rooms in Melbourne, then I moved into retail management for 15 years,” says Raja. “In 2016 I decided to finally take the plunge and open my own Muffin Break.”

He hasn’t looked back. Over the past five years, Raja’s store has gone from strength to strength, and is now ranked #2 in Victoria!

Leveraging 30 Years’ Experience in Food Retail Franchising

Raja chose Muffin Break thanks to its great reputation for support and infrastructure. “As an established brand, it’s a calculated risk. It has great systems, processes, training and support mechanisms in place,” explains Raja.

“The initial training was great. I spent three weeks onsite at the Centre of Retail Excellence (CORE) training facility at Foodco’s head office in Sydney.”

“Even though I have plenty of experience in hospitality, it was helpful to run through everything A-Z,” says Raja.  “From set up to suppliers, it was very comprehensive. I also spent time on the ground at the Muffin Break Chadstone store, and received field support in store when we launched.”

What sets Muffin Break apart is its commitment to its franchisees, which never stops. With over thirty years of experience in food retail, we’re able to offer our network established business systems and processes that are tried and tested, plus ongoing operational and marketing support.

Raja says knowing he’s not alone is reassuring. “We’re only ever a phone call away from our area consultants, state managers and all the departments at head office. That’s good to know.”

Raja Has Built a Career and Life He Loves

“Muffin Break has allowed me to be my own boss and build the work/life balance I craved,” says Raja.

He has also established strong relationships with the Traralgon community. “I love going to work and meeting customers.”

Raja also enjoys the challenge of managing his team of 16 staff and nurturing them in their careers. He’s now trained up two very capable managers, who he can confidently leave in charge.

“I now only work 25 – 30 hours a week, which gives me a healthy balance and time with my family. Giving my team more responsibility not only frees me up but makes them feel good and like they’re growing. We’re the No.2 store in Victoria, so things are always busy!”

It’s Full Steam Ahead for Muffin Break Traralgon

With the unpredictability of COVID, Raja admits the past year has sometimes been challenging.

“Obviously COVID has affected everyone, with the government regularly enforcing restrictions and only five reasons to leave home!”

“Luckily being placed near essential shopping stores, we have still been able to trade and get traffic during lockdowns, although under reduced hours and with a more limited menu. Menulog deliveries also took off.”

Their strong relationships with the community came to the fore. “It was just great to have support from our regulars and to be able to keep giving our staff hours.”“As a large country town, the Traralgon community is very supportive. The locals appreciate and support local businesses if they know you’re doing your best.”

While none of us have a clear picture of what the next year will look like, Raja intends to keep working hard on making the store even more successful.

“I want the store to keep growing. We’re No.2 in Victoria but we can get to No.1!  I take great pride in my work. For example, I always make sure the display cabinets look fresh and a million dollars. My tip to future franchisees is to make sure the displays are always well presented, clean and tidy. That way you’re attracting customers away from the food court.”

Like to own a business which gives you balance and a life you love? Find out more today about joining the Muffin Break family.

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