40 Years of continuous success

During its 40-year journey, Wooden Bakery has reaped nothing but success and has risen unchallenged in the Lebanese market and untouched by the competition. Mr. Ghassan Abou Habib, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, discusses this success and the reasons behind it.

What is the secret of Wooden Bakery’s continued success throughout the years?
We offer good services and excellent products, which are a necessity of the everyday consumer. We provide them through a unique system guaranteeing constant quality all year round. We also offer a constant level of service by training our staff and franchise owners to provide customers with whatever makes them feel comfortable. This has for many years been the key to Wooden Bakery’s success.

What distinguishes Wooden Bakery and separates it from its competition?
My father began working in this field 40 years ago. My brother Assaad and I launched the idea of Wooden Bakery in 2000 to provide every home with the basic needs of bread, dairy products, sandwiches and sweets. Our outlets then became a place that offers a variety of fresh products quickly every day for the consumer.

As far as competition is considered, we do not have a real competitor at all. There are many establishments working in this industry but none of them resembles Wooden Bakery. Today, our outlets welcome more than 60,000 customers a day, which is testament to our success.

How many branches in Lebanon do you have today?
We currently have 30 outlets across Lebanon. Between the end of this year and into 2015 we will open six new outlets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will include a Master franchise in addition to five sub-franchised outlets.

What does the franchise system offer Wooden Bakery?
Adopting the franchise system has been a major step for us because it enables us to be present in all Lebanese provinces and provides us with a good platform upon which to develop our international development. The concept of Wooden Bakery relies essentially on quickness, the speed of access that we offer the consumer to our food products that they need on a daily basis. Yet this never affects our quality. This is the factor that made this idea successful and distinct. Speed, variety and quality are the primary factors behind our success.

What, in your opinion, are the strengths of franchising?
Certainly franchising has helped make our name renowned everywhere and for this we also thank our staff and franchise owners, who follow and implement every detail of Wooden Bakery’s mission.

How do you deal with the international standards required of a franchise?
We deal with a European company that awards us HACCP and ISO certifications that all global companies abide by. Through these certifications we implement the regulations that places Wooden Bakery side by side with other international establishments. We also work very closely with Franchise Development Services, an international franchise consultancy, who have greatly contributed towards the creation of the robust model we have for international expansion.

What are some of Wooden Bakery’s plans for the future?
We are studying various offers, but soon we will have two Master franchises in UAE and Qatar.

In addition, plans are in place for another plant to be opened in North Lebanon and two additional hubs to cover Bekaa and South Lebanon.

Wooden Bakery welcomes inquiries about the brand and its franchise potential from across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and indeed other countries throughout the world.