Dream Doors Franchisees Make Shortlist in the BFA Franchisee of the Year Awards 2010

Dorset-based Dream Doors franchisees, Andy and Shelley Stewart, have made it to the final three in the South West and South Wales regional heats for this year's Franchisee of the Year Awards.

Andy said: “We're delighted to have made it this far. We know there are over 37,000 franchisees in the UK, so to be considered among the best is a real honour.”

The Stewarts performed well in their judging panel interview, standing up to intense scrutiny from some of the franchising industry’s leading luminaries, including Director General of the bfa Brian Smart, Head of Franchising at HSBC, Cathryn Hayes, and one-time Press Secretary to Margaret Thatcher - today president of the bfa - Sir Bernard Ingham.

Sir Bernard said: “Over their 21 years, these awards have celebrated the successes of franchisees from all corners of the UK. These individuals are recognised as examples of what can be achieved through hard work, with the backing of a well run franchise network.”

However, it won’t be until September 30th (when the judges’ final decision is made public), that the Stewarts discover whether or not they have clinched the top prize. “Of course, we'd love nothing more than to take the Franchisee of the Year trophy home with us," said Andy. "But now we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”

The Stewarts, who joined Dream Doors, the UK's largest retail kitchen facelift franchise, in 2005, have sustained an impressive annual turnover of more than half-a-million pounds every year for the past three years. But while financial performance is a key indicator of a successful business - particularly for its owners - the bfa judging panel is more concerned with individual attributes such as creativity and innovation, as well as the franchisees’ approach to customer care and best practice.

Dream Doors’ founder and Managing Director, Troy Tappenden said: “We put Andy and Shelley forward because they are truly inspirational people…and not just within Dream Doors. We believe they excel within the franchising industry as a whole. They run their business with real commitment, and their input has helped Dream Doors to improve as a brand. On top of that, their customers love them because they always deliver on their promises.”

Demonstrating their dedication to the success of the company (not just their own individual franchise) was something that particularly impressed the judges about the Stewarts.

Adds Tappenden: “Andy and Shelley will often mentor new or struggling franchisees, in particular at 'best practice days', to help them improve their performance and profitability. In this way, they’ve helped the network as a whole. With their hard work and total business dedication, I believe that they fully deserve to win this award, and I hope the judging panel feels the same.”

The winner from each of the five regions will be announced at a Gala dinner at Birmingham's NEC on 30th September. The winner from the five nominees will walk away with the coveted Franchisee of the Year title, plus a cheque for £5,000. Second and third runners up receive £3,000 and £2,000 respectively. In addition, each regional finalist will receive £500 from event sponsor HSBC.