Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Out to Lunch in Newbury

Franchises do many things right, but they do just as many wrong! While they might be recipes for successful enterprise they also all too often represent that inflexibility that comes when companies strive for consistency.

Out to Lunch is the antithesis of the franchise and the owner of the baguette shop in the Kennet Centre in Newbury should know, Michelle Firminger was once a Subway franchisee!

Of course there are some elements that will be in common to ensure consistency of fresh ingredients and the amount of any particular filling that goes in what size baguette; however, every baguette is made fresh to order and while there are suggested fillings, people can truly have whatever they want.

There is her insistence at incorporating VAT into the price if people wish to eat or drink in the shop - most establishments will merrily add VAT to your order the moment you start looking at the furniture.

And then there is the personal service that extends way beyond handing over a freshly made baguette: Michelle and her team can frequently be found looking after heavy shopping bags for customers, running errands and even giving regulars lifts to hospital.

Try getting that kind of service from a franchise!

Michelle and some of her team are pictured below with one of Out to Lunch's fabled buffets.

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