Rebranding is badly given to "Shokoladnitsa"

Network partners prefer to keep old and open new restaurants on the old-style franchise.
The franchisees of the oldest Moscow network, Shokoladnitsa, are not ready to take risks and open coffee houses in the old format. The company tests the work of the new establishments at its own cafes. It can take up to one and a half years to run in, and the transition of the entire network may be even longer.

This year, Shokoladnitsa opened 34 new establishments under this brand: 20 of its establishments and 14 franchises, said Maxim Trubnikov, head of the group’s franchise department, to Kommersant. According to him, franchisees open a cafe in the old concept: “We do not oblige partners to use the new one if they are not ready to take such risks.”

A year ago, “Chocolate Girl” launched a rebranding: within two years, the network will change the logo, interior decoration, furniture and menu in the establishments. 600 million rubles were allocated for this. Mr. Trubnikov says that 30 out of 335 cafes have been updated: “The new format is always more expensive, it takes time to establish new ties with suppliers.” According to his estimate, the cost of “Chocolate” in the new format is 20–30% higher than the equivalent cafe of the old concept. “As new networks of partners and suppliers are created, prices will return to the current level,” Mr. Trubnikov is sure. To open one "Chocolate Girl" you need 1.5-13 million rubles. depending on the area, the lump-sum fee for all is different - from 250 thousand to 2.5 million rubles, royalties for all - 7% of the turnover, paid monthly. The average payback period is two to three years.

Now there are 428 cafes in the network “Shokoladnitsa”. The number of own discoveries remained at the level of last year (in 2017, there were 23 cafes), and franchised ones increased by 20%. The network is a member of the same-name group of companies that also develops the Coffee House, Wabi Sabi brands, and the franchise includes KFC, Pizza Hut, Max Brenner and Panda Express. Catering services are provided by Arena Foods Catering (it was the official organizer of catering for spectators at the Worlds-2108 stadiums). Operator of coffee houses “Shokoladnitsa” - Gallery-Alex LLC, whose revenue, according to SPARK-Interfax, in 2017 amounted to 8.6 billion rubles, net profit - 52.5 million rubles.

The founder of “Doublebi” Anna Tsfasman believes that you can only run the concept in which you are completely sure and immediately offer it to partners. So did Rosinter, which has been updating the IL Patio network since 2017: before proposing a new format to franchisees, he tested the work of updated restaurants on the corporate network. “Only after we were convinced that the update guaranteed gives a revenue increase of 15–25%, we presented the project to the partners,” Ernesto Gonzalez, the senior vice-president of Rosinter, told Kommersant. Rosinter concludes a contract of commercial concession, which provides for the renewal of restaurants after five years from the beginning of its operation, if this does not happen, the contract is not renewed.

According to the expert of the portal, Anna Rozhdestvenskaya, it can take up to one and a half years to test the changed brand and transfer the entire network to it. “For many years, the franchise network under construction is not immediately available. Often you need to convince partners that this will lead to concrete results, for example, a certain increase in revenue, ”explains the expert. According to her, it is not uncommon to open an institution of a well-known brand in a new format that can be up to 40% more expensive than a proven concept.