We firmly believe franchising is social responsibility at work every day.
Entrepreneurship is a vital underpin to sustainable economic growth through
the transfer of skills and job creation.
Franchising is sustainable responsibility operating within our society
every day. By providing the support infrastructure from which
franchisees can build their businesses, create employment and
transfer skills, franchising generally and Taste specifically is advancing
the goals and soul inherent in the Department of Trade and
Industry’s broad-based black economic empowerment guidelines
particularly in line with the measures for skills development and
It is the platform from which best practices can be implemented
because in the current business environment it is too easy for
sustainability and adherence to the King Report on Corporate
Governance (King III) to just become a tick-box exercise that is
more about form than substance.
The Taste directors believe our heart is in being good corporate
citizens and thus do not believe in shying away from vital company
reporting on sustainability or in applying notions that translate into
little more than window-dressing.
King III is an “apply or explain” basis meaning companies must apply
the principles in the report unless the board believes application of
a principle will not be in the company’s best interests. If a principle
is not applied, or applied differently, the reasons must be explained.
King III states that the board issue an integrated report on its economic,
social and environmental performance annually that contains adequate
information on the company’s operations, the sustainability issues
pertinent to its business, the financial results and the results of its
operations and cash flows.
It further states the integrated reporting be focused on substance
over form and disclose information that is complete, timely,
relevant, accurate, honest and accessible and comparable with past
performance. Forward-looking information must also be released.
These are all issues to which Taste holds value and to which the
directors have a role to play in adhering to these commitments.
Franchising is built on skills transfer and the model’s sustainability
depends on the financial success of its franchisees. At its core, franchising
aligns the goals and spirit of sustainable development in the South African
context with the business goals of a franchisor and shareholders.
Consequently Taste will be bound to balancing the demands and
expectations of a growing number of stakeholders in reporting on
the impact its goods and services has on those stakeholders. It is
thus bearing in mind these responsibilities that Taste focuses on
two areas, namely reducing our energy consumption and carbon
footprint and developing leaders across South Africa as ours is a
country crying out for skills.
Taste uses energy in its outlets to cook and/or prepare food and
to manufacture jewellery. The forecast increases in the cost of
electricity will affect franchisee and business profitability.
Developing the appropriate skills to deliver a profitable future
strategy is an imperative. Developing a pipeline for future business
unit leaders is similarly a priority.
Establishing an accurate baseline measure depends on the accuracy
of the municipal billing systems and accurately measuring energy
consumptions across more than 250 outlets has proved challenging.
Despite the hurdles, we have implemented several measures to
reduce consumption in existing and new outlets and standard
installations now include:
Replacing halogen lights with LED lamps that consume only 6% of the former’s energy
Replacing air-conditioning units with evaporative coolers that
consume only 20% of the former’s energy
Installing geyser and external signage timers to more than halve
Using imported energy-efficient ovens in new pizza outlets.
Taste has made significant progress in line with its goal for
developing South African leadership skills including:
Conducting individual assessments on 32 senior managers and
implementing coaching interventions in each case
Instigating employee personal development plans
Canvassing more than 150 employees to assess the companywide strength and weaknesses;
Implementing an in-house Finance for Non-financial Managers course in Johannesburg and Cape Town for 25 managers
Ensuring the alignment of incentives to strategy as a priority across all layers of employees; and
Establishing a share incentive scheme for executive committee members.