In the wake of significant and growing challenges facing the food service industry as COVID-19 continues to spread, OPA! of Greece has announced new measures it has taken to provide support for franchisee partners. The Calgary-based franchisor will stand in solidarity with the franchisees who currently own and operate its more than 100 locations across Canada by providing them with extended royalty relief and ongoing support from the home office.
OPA!’s home office began operating at a loss as of Monday, March 9 in order to offer much needed relief to its franchisees, who play a crucial role in the day to day operations of the organization. At that time, royalties were reduced from six per cent to two per cent of sales and marketing fund contributions were reduced from three per cent to one per cent, for a an overall reduction in franchise fees of 66 per cent. Due to the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 situation, OPA! has not set an end date for this support commitment. Franchisees will not be required to reimburse head office for the reduction in royalty payments when operations return to normal following the conclusion of the COVID pandemic.
OPA! has also begun communicating with landlords on behalf of its franchisees in order to assess next steps in providing further assistance and relief with regards to leasing agreements. Franchisees have also been encouraged to reach out to their financing partners to determine what additional support they may be able to provide.
As a multi-unit owner himself, OPA!’s CEO, Dorrie Karras, is in a unique position to truly understand the franchisee experience and the kind of support that is needed for partners at this time: “As we navigate these unprecedented times, I personally, the OPA! Board of Directors and our entire team at home office, are invested in providing the highest level of assistance to our entire franchisee family. OPA!’s franchisees and store employees are the face of our business and the reason we have had such wonderful success to date,” says Karras. “We are committed to weathering this storm as one community and will continue to monitor developments and provide direction and information to our franchisees and the public as it becomes available.”
In addition to providing financial relief to franchisees, OPA! has also prioritized the implementation of precautionary steps to ensure the ongoing health and safety of its customers, employees, franchisees, and extended community. These measures include all recommended protocols from the Public Health Agency of Canada and a modified work from home policy for all home office staff. Sanitation and cleanliness also remain pillars of OPA!’s in-store policies and these high standards for food safety and personal hygiene will continue to be enforced stringently, along with continual, frequent sanitation of all high touch areas in stores. OPA! has also introduced additional precautionary measures to minimize risk, including:
- Moving all cutlery and straws behind the counter;
- Eliminating hand to hand contact between employees and customers;
- Adjusting hours of operation or even temporarily closing some locations as needed to accommodate business flow and health advisories;
- Requiring all employees who demonstrate any sign of illness to stay home and self-isolate;
- And working closely with food delivery partners to ensure food is bagged tightly and delivered to customers with minimal contact along the way.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, OPA! remains committed to prioritizing the wellbeing of the extended community and will continue to monitor public health advisories and adjust policies and practices as needed in real time. For more information please visit https://opasouvlaki.ca/.