By “movers and shakers”, I don’t mean the fastest growing franchises or the most driven franchisors. I mean people and franchises making a difference in the industry. Who are they and how can we be more like them?


Healthy Growth: Wan Kim of Smoothie King


Healthy alternatives to fast food are a trend in franchising, and Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim is out to strengthen the 37-year-old franchise’s position as the originator of the healthy alternative market segment. Since taking over from founder Steve Kuhnau in 2012, Kim has instituted “Smoothies With a Purpose”, his programme to educate people about the nutritional benefits of smoothies, and is growing the 700-store franchise network at a rate of two new stores per week.


Doing Well By Doing Good: Jeff Sinelli of Which Wich


The founder and CEO of the Dallas-based 300-store Which Wich franchise prefers the title of Chief Vibe Officer. Sinelli believes that business should give back to the community it serves, and does that by making a donation to a local cause for every sandwich sold and staging charity events such as this year’s ‘Spreading Party’, setting a world record while providing 26,710 sandwiches for people in need. Which Wich was named the 6th fastest growing restaurant chain by Chain Store Guide


The Multi-Franchisee: Aziz Hashim


Hashim is unique in this line-up as the only franchisee. However, after starting with one location in 1996, Hashim has grown an empire of multi-franchise operations across several high-profile brands. He recently founded NRD Capital, the first business fund both sponsored and managed by a multi-unit franchisee with the objective of acquiring equity within franchise concepts offering compelling unit economics and solid opportunities for franchisees. In 2016, Hashim will become the chairman of the International Franchise Association.


The Dope:  Chip Paul and the First Marijuana Franchise


Paul is an innovator and crusader. He and his wife Cindy set up Palm Beach Vapes, franchising’s first e-cigarette and vapour retailer. Now they and their team have developed a vapour product they call the “M-Juice” system which introduces marijuana to the mix. With the legalisation of marijuana in several US states and other states expected to jump on the bandwagon, Paul has been crusading for medical marijuana in Oklahoma and is poised to build of the first marijuana retail franchises.


The Cult: Tom Ryan, Founder of Smashburger


The claim that the burger market is over-saturated has been well and truly dispelled by the likes of Five Guys Burgers. The franchise chain achieved legendary status when it stuck to its guns by refusing to deliver an order to the White House – forcing President Barack Obama to come down in person to pick up his favourite cheeseburger and fries.

Five Guys has continued to grow as an international phenomenon despite the emergence of several new burger cults, including Smashburger. Tom Ryan is credited with inventing Pizza Hut’s stuffed crust pizza and McDonald’s McGriddles before founding Smashburger, so-named because of the way the pure Angus beef patty is smashed onto the grill by a metal plate. Smashburger was the 3rd fastest growing restaurant chain in the USA, according to Chain Store


Who are New Zealand’s and Australia’s franchising Movers and Shakers?

The movers and shakers - people who really make a difference - in any industry tend to be the people who set the standard and provide the inspiration for others in the industry. We need movers and shakers in the franchising industry to keep the industry healthy and vibrant.

We have our own thoughts on who in New Zealand and Australia are franchising's movers and shakers - but we would really value your suggestions. We're planning an article in an upcoming No Ordinary Franchise Newsletter featuring these movers and shakers and how they've made a difference to the industry - with the aim that they will help the whole industry to lift the bar and provide the motivation for other business owners to explore franchising as a way of expanding their businesses.

To nominate your mover and shaker - or movers and shakers - please email me, Robin La Pere, on Many thanks for your help.


Article by Robin La Pere, No Ordinary Business and Franchise Consultants

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Robin La Pere of No Ordinary Consultants has been working with disruptive new business models since Apple burst into the market with its unique personal computers. He was at the forefront of major new movements in the retail, financial, construction and franchise industries and works with established businesses as well as start-ups on creating and renewing business models and improving franchise performance.