Doing the Lord’s work
The first Lord of the Fries store will open in Western Australia in late November/early December.
The plans to head west were accelerated after a handful of keen WA university students started a petition to have Lord of the Fries open a store in their state following a visit to one of its Melbourne stores.
“We were made aware of it when they first started getting signatures,” explained Lord of the Fries co-founder and CEO, Mark Koronczyk. “And it’s fantastic to see this interest in the brand.
“We’ve had our sights set on Perth for a while, however needed to find a great site for the store.”
Further expansion includes another store due to open in Sydney’s Parramatta early next year, as well as several international opportunities that are on the horizon. Lord of the Fries is planning on growing its business through focused franchising, with New Zealand and India the targeted international markets for the brand.
The business’s aim has always been to grow steadily and have all of its franchisees and company owned stores enjoy steady, consistent growth.
“We are inundated with franchise requests from around the globe and are always meeting with prospective franchisees,” Koronczyk explained. “But for the moment we’re keeping our eyes on the local market, as there is great demand from our fans around the country and we want to make sure Australia has its fry cravings satiated in every state.”
Pre-dating the hipster revolution
Stores deliver their popular fries along with award-winning vegetarian burgers, hot dogs and sides.
The idea for Lord of the Fries was born from late night snack excursions in 2004, where co-founders Mark and Mandy met while living in Taiwan. Their collective consciences led them to look for alternate food solutions, and in August, 2004 they launched a mobile chip van onto the streets of Melbourne.
“Based on the concept of food made with love, not animals, the Lord’s bounty is 100 per cent vegetarian with gluten free, Halal, Kosher and vegan fare to satisfy even the most carnivorous of stomachs,” Koronczyk said.
“Lord of the Fries has gained a cult following since it first hit the streets as a food truck in 2004, pre-hipster revolution.”
In 2005, the pair expanded to bricks and mortar stores in Melbourne. There it has grown to now number five stores, including the latest one, opened at Southern Cross Station in November 2014. There are also two stores in Sydney – in the CBD’s George Street and in Central Station. The latter was opened in June 2015.
“When we first hit Sydney, the masses went absolutely crazy for our fries and burgers,” Koronczyk enthused. “So it was a natural progression for us to expand in the city. We have our sights on Parramatta as another destination to open in early 2016.”
Lord of the Fries has always been an ethical fast food company, and strict processes and guidelines are in place to ensure the business works only with suppliers who share its vision. Currently it’s in the process of qualifying as a B-Corporation; such businesses are certified and assessed according to their impact on their communities, employees, consumers and the environment.
“It puts us in good stead to expand internationally as it is a globally recognised qualification to work with likeminded businesses when we expand,” Koronczyk said.
New products in Lord of the Fries’ burger and sauce lines are constantly introduced to customers, encouraging them to try new flavor creations.
“Most importantly, we’re listening to the feedback they are providing,” Koronczyk said. “A great example of this was the Poutine Burger – a French Canadian favourite that was featured on our limited edition burger menu. It received such an overwhelmingly positive response that it earned its place on the new permanent menu in stores.”
At last count, the Lord of the Fries cumulative social media audience was approximately 30,000. Fans receive a monthly update of LOTF HQ happenings and a constant stream of information from social media channels.
“We are constantly growing as more and more people hear about Lord of the Fries,” he said.
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