A franchisee has abruptly closed two Cold Rock stores in Queensland, with the move sending shock waves through the industry.
The stores in Springwood and Indooroopilly announced they had closed their doors on Facebook, which came as a surprise to Stan Gordon, the director of parent company Franchised Food Company.
“I had no idea those stores were going to close,” he told news.com.au. “Cold Rock businesses are profitable … and my reports from a week ago show things are all good, so I’ve got no idea what’s happened.”
Don Bambry is the owner of the Springwood and Indooroopilly stores and said he had approached the parent company multiple times to raise issues.
“We’ve had numerous franchisee meetings with them where we had long debates about lack of profitability … they’ve been totally silent on reducing the cost of goods because they’re on a rebate system which means there’s no benefit to them to have cheaper costs,” Bambry told news.com.au. “How far away will the next one be?”
While both locations are currently closed, a Facebook comment from Cold Rock on the Springwood and Indooroopilly pages indicates it may not be the end for the stores.
“We are actively working to get this Cold Rock location back open as soon as possible! We would hate to see this amazing store remain closed,” reads the comment.
Gordon stressed the closures weren’t indicative of Cold Rock’s overall performance and said new stores were opening, but it’s clear the sector is suffering, with wages mentioned as a sore point for business owners.
“You can’t pay kids circa $50 an hour when they work weekends without it becoming cost prohibitive. However, that’s the system we have so we have to work around it,” he said.