Hermann Ircher of Marche Movenpick
Hermann Ircher studied business administration at the University of Graz. He worked in auditing until he became a CFO for various large corporations in the gastronomy sector, finally ending up at Mövenpick Gastronomie in Switzerland.
Mr. Ircher is now Chief Commercial Officer at Marché International, a member of the executive board and responsible for all business support functions.
He is very familiar with the Marché ‘lead concept’ and has been involved with all development and change processes for Marché International brands since 2003. As a former CFO, he is well acquainted with all of the company’s financial processes, balancing, MIS, corporate reporting and treasury.
Business development, sales & marketing, purchasing, quality management, projects, construction and maintenance.
Negotiation and conclusion of lease and cooperation contracts
Introduction of new business models such as management and franchise contracts
Reorganization & strategic realignment
1. Tell us about the Marché Mövenpick concept.
Marché Mövenpick is the main brand of the international foodservice company Marché International, an independent division of the Mövenpick Group.
It was founded in 1983 in Germany as a pioneer for front cooking. Over the course of 30 years, this gastronomic concept has inspired us to be the connoisseurs of a freshly prepared, seasonal and delightful market kitchen that remains at the heart of the customer experience.
At Marché Mövenpick, we are passionate about high-quality, market-fresh produce. We believe cooking should be celebrated – and we do this by handcrafting original, delicious creations for our guests. We take our inspiration from the countless, tried-and-trusted mini-kitchens that bring markets to life all around the world.
The strong Marché brand has been honored with multiple prestigious awards from the foodservice Industry and, more recently, various design awards in recognition of its new appearance.
Marché restaurants can be found in 83 locations in ten countries in Europe, North America and Asia.
2. How and when did you become involved with Marché?
Over 13 years ago, I joined the Mövenpick Gastronomy Group as a CFO. Shortly after, Marché International – a fully owned subsidiary of the Mövenpick Group – was founded, where I held the position of CFO and Head of the Business Support Department. However, in the last few years I managed several development and change processes within the brand portfolio of Marché International. In this new role, I am focused on my role as a CCO as well as in various development projects in the extension of our franchise expansion.
3. What was your background prior to joining Marché?
I grew up in the southern part of Austria and studied Business Administration at the Karl Franzens University in Graz. After graduating, I worked for several years in auditing before I switched to the gastronomy sector where I worked as a CFO for Wienerwald. This was the perfect symbiosis as I could combine my passion for food as well as my interests in complex strategical and financial issues.
In 2003, I left Wienerwald and started to work for Mövenpick Gastronomy in Switzerland. With Mövenpick, I re-connected with many beautiful memories of my childhood and this not only because of the world’s best Ice-cream.
4. What are some of the advantages in being a Marché Mövenpick franchisee?
A franchisee will have the advantage to profit from a well-established, recognized and proven food concept and brand. Marché Mövenpick is known for its quality and freshness in Europe, Asia and Canada. With Marché International, a potential franchisee has a partner that focuses on longstanding and personal relationships as well as transparency. We believe that, at the end of the day, it has to be a win-win situation. In that sense, we will continually strive to support our franchisees at every stage of the process. It ranges from consulting to find a suitable location, to planning and designing a store. We will train key staff members and provide access to a web based concept manual. A quality manager from Marché International will secure a smooth opening and implement proper processes.
5. Who is your ideal franchisee?
The most important attitude a potential franchisee has to bring is a passion for our concept and brand. He/She has to share the same ambition for fresh and handcrafted food with a focus on quality. Furthermore, it would be an asset for a potential franchisee to possess an understanding or knowledge in systems and processes within a hospitality or food service environment. The advantage of institutional partners is that they have an infrastructure in place in order to develop our brand and guarantee an opening schedule. As we are focusing on long-lasting partnership, we would welcome franchisees that are willing to commit themselves for multiple stores. Besides those soft factors, a franchisee has to have access to adequate capital with a sustainable cash flow for 2-3 years.
6. What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
In order to build up a sustainable franchise, it is crucial to find the right partners. Even though it sounds easy and logical, it is the key to being successful in the Franchise business and at Marché, we invest a lot of time in order to find the right partners. It is of particular importance to us to pass along our philosophy of quality and freshness to our partners. This process is challenging but vital as well. It is only when the Franchisee lives our philosophy, can we be sure that costumers will find a real Marché.
7. What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
First, a potential Franchisee has to check his willingness and ability to work as an entrepreneur.
Second, you have to be ready to invest your personal time into the franchise.
Last but not least, commitment and passion is essential.
8. In your opinion, why do you think that Marché Mövenpick would be a great opportunity for someone?
With Marché Mövenpick, the franchisee has a unique opportunity to profit from a proven and well established operational system. On the other hand, it offers enough freedom to shape the business according to the Franchisee’s conceptions and the customers’ needs. Generally, we provide our franchisee with a solid concept including operational and administrative processes, assistance in planning and designing a Marché Mövenpick and we provide access to 500 recipes. However, from this wide range of recipes, the franchisee has the possibility to create a range of offers that best fits the taste of its customers. Furthermore, we will not dictate that our franchisee works with specific suppliers. The franchisee has the freedom to choose his/her local suppliers and products – as long as the quality is impeccable. With our well balanced concept, the franchisee can provide fresh food that is, without exception, produced in the store and in front of the guests. It is important to us that our customers experience our passion for freshness and great quality products. A designation as a professional cook would be nice but is not necessary to be a Marché Mövenpick franchisee.