Two iconic food service franchise brands are coming together as one after DRUXY’S Famous Deli announced the acquisition of Williams Fresh Cafe in January.

With 26 franchise locations in Ontario, Williams Fresh Cafe will expand the DRUXY’S reach to 70 delis, cafés, and kiosks in southwestern Ontario. The new brand entity is also set to broaden the DRUXY’S customer base, as it adds suburban and university/college locations to a prominently downtown- and hospital-based portfolio.

In the September/October issue of FranchiseCanada, Peter Druxerman, Vice President of Marketing at DRUXY’S, explains what this new acquisition will mean for franchisees, how the brands differ and how they’re bringing them together. Here’s an excerpt from his interview:

Q: What does the acquisition mean for franchisees?

A: One of the many purposes of joining together the two brands was to bring economies of scale in purchasing and marketing. Franchisees will see improvement in their bottom line as we bring them better supplier pricing. It’s bringing the sharing of knowledge – there are many things that Williams does differently from DRUXY’S, and many things DRUXY’S does that are very different from what Williams does.

Q: What do these brands do differently?

A: The brands reach different customers through their locations and hours of operation. DRUXY’S locations are found in downtown offices and hospitals, while Williams is in smaller communities throughout southwestern Ontario. While DRUXY’S is open during the daytime five days a week, Williams is open for all meals and into the evening, seven days a week. And Williams’ strength lies in beverages and desserts, while DRUXY’S lies in its meal offerings.

Q: What are some of the similarities between DRUXY’S Famous Deli and Williams Fresh Cafe?

A: They both believe in offering high-quality, fresh, nutritious food; neither brand has a deep fryer. And they both believe in providing warm, friendly, engaging service to build a loyal customer base through developing personal relationships.

Q: How are you bringing these two brands together?

A: The first thing we’re doing at DRUXY’S, and we’ve already started, is the test of offering Williams coffee at DRUXY’S to refresh our coffee business. We’ve always served a great cup of coffee, but it’s a huge positive to serve a strong ‘3rd party’ brand. The tests have started, and we’re getting very positive feedback from customers – they love the coffee, and it’s a good move. We’re hoping it will allow us to increase our market share in the breakfast and morning break dayparts in the DRUXY’S deli.

Q: What was the response from Williams Fresh Cafe franchisees after the acquisition?

A: They really perked up when we met with them to explain our plans. We’re not closing the brand. We’re improving the brand, and that makes them very happy. Many of the changes that we’ve been discussing with them are things that they’ve long wanted. We’re working with them and lending our experience on many things, and so far they’ve been ecstatic about our improvements.

Q: How are you going to ensure that the changes are implemented the right way?

A: Some people move too quickly when they make a change, and that can create so much disruption that no one really knows what’s going on. We’re trying not to do that; we’re trying to respect both brands, our franchisees and their staff, and most importantly, the loyal customers of each brand.

For the full article, check out the current issue of FranchiseCanada, or visit DRUXY’S and Williams Fresh Cafe at The Franchise Show in Toronto this October 22 & 23. Pre-register online for $5 off admission!