Franchising Mid Pandemic

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Buying a franchise mid-pandemic pays off with Chipmunks Ballarat

We’ve worked hard to build Chipmunks into the world-class brand our customers know and love. With the help of franchise partners, like Varneet Singh, we are making our play centres accessible to families all around the world. We are excited to open our latest store in Ballarat, Victoria.

Varneet is yet another Chipmunks success story. He has previously owned and operated Chipmunks Caroline Springs, just west of Melbourne’s Central Business District. And he’s on a roll, being a key stakeholder in the much anticipated Chipmunks South Morang, opening late next month.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought uncertainty to the world at the beginning of 2020, and starting a new business takes courage at the best of times. But moments of crisis inspire innovation, and what some see as a risk in the middle of a global pandemic, Varneet has used as an opportunity. Opening the doors of his Ballarat store at the beginning of December. Just in time for the school holidays.

Varneet has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to his latest project, Ballarat’s newest indoor children’s playground. Located in the central highlands of Victoria, the centre’s territory has an extensive reach to a population of over 115,000 and growing. It’s no wonder Varneet and the team have been non-stop since opening.

From humble beginnings in New Zealand, almost 25years ago, Chipmunks continues to grow with stores in New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia and our first US store launch is planned for 2022.

Positioned at the premium end of the indoor playground sector, our ethos is to provide the ultimate fun, safe and engaging experience for families. Varneet’s Ballarat is store is just the latest of over 30 stores internationally.

Housed within a huge 800sqm space, the centre was specially designed to maximise the space while keeping an open, light feel. Like many of our favourite stores, stepping into the Ballarat Chipmunks is like diving into an underwater adventure for kids. With giant clam shells, jellyfish and, of course, Charlie Chipmunk upon a surfboard.

We believe active play and active minds are crucial to positive childhood development and our play centres have been specially designed with this ethos in mind. It’s a fun, safe place for kids to explore for hours on end, and for their parents and caregivers to have a bit of a breather.

At the heart of the store is the open café area with a full view of all the play structures. Our Ballarat store includes a full kitchen and café service; Varneet and his staff make their meals and snacks fresh on site. Adults can relax with their barista-made coffee and free wifi, while they keep an eye on their exploring kids from the comfort of the café seating area.

Chipmunks Ballarat has 2 specialised play zones to suit children of all ages and abilities; there’s something fun for everyone. Varneet’s play equipment incorporates the latest technology, including an interactive slide in the under 5 area, and an interactive ball pit suitable for all ages.
The store boasts two, interconnecting party rooms neighbouring the café and overlooking the play area. Party hosts have easy access between the kitchen and the party rooms, making birthday parties and events a breeze. Chipmunks Playland and Cafés are famous for their parties and Varneet and his expert team are dedicated to organising these stress-free birthday parties that kids and their parents will remember for a lifetime.

Point of Sale transactions are simple with EFTPOS machines in-store and online bookings are made easy with ROLLER all-in-one digital software. ROLLER is going from strength to strength with continued innovation and client support. It was designed with attractions and entertainment in mind, and our team works closely with their sales and support staff to keep all things ‘bookings’ easy for our franchise partners. Together we are working on making all tickets available to purchase online and are in the early stages of getting alternative payment methods up and running, e.g Zip, and yearly memberships for families. Watch this space!

We want to thank Varneet and all of our franchise partners who have been adapting to the “new normal” during 2020. Our vision is to be the market leader in children’s indoor playgrounds and to evolve as required. This year has been a great challenge and opportunity to do just this.

The pandemic has forced us to re-think the store fit-out process as well as daily operations, and we believe our robust business models and continued systems development and innovation have helped us to stay resilient throughout this year. Together we have implemented extra measures to ensure the health and safety of partners, their staff and our customers. Chipmunks continues to grow and thrive due to the loyalty, hard work and passion of partners like Varneet, and we have witnessed an abundance of local support in Ballarat no different to pre-Covid times elsewhere.

With training, ongoing support and advice offered by our friendly, experienced and passionate staff, the time has never been better to join the Chipmunks family. If you’d like to learn more about Varneet’s continued success or would like to enquire about buying a franchise, get in touch below.

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