Muffin Break

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Muffin Break
TypeDivision
IndustryHospitality
Founded1989 (1989) in Coolangatta, Queensland, Australia
Area served
Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom
OwnerFoodco
Websitemuffinbreak.com.au

Muffin Break is a franchise business of Foodco which operates small bakery cafe coffee shops throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. As of 2013, Muffin Break had 275 stores worldwide: 190 in Australia, 37 in New Zealand and 46 in the United Kingdom.[1] Muffin Break is the sister company of Jamaica Blue, which is also a franchise of Foodco.[2]

History[edit]

The Muffin Break concept originated in Canada in the 1970s but was acquired by Foodco and refined for contemporary conditions.[3] The first of the new style Muffin Break stores opened in 1989 in Coolangatta, Queensland.[4]

The first Muffin Break store in New Zealand opened in Auckland in 1994.[5] Muffin Break entered the UK market in 2001.[6]

In December 2015, a partnership was made between Foodco and Croc's Playcentres, an Australian family entertainment centre franchise. The partnership saw Muffin Break cafes included in all new Croc's Playcentres and existing Croc's franchisees given the opportunity to convert their cafes to Muffin Break cafes.[7]

Labour practices[edit]

In 2014, an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found a 24-year-old student working at two Victorian stores had been underpaid almost $20,000. The store owners agreed to repay the employee and entered into an enforceable undertaking with the Ombudsman.[8][9]

In 2016, the former owners of a Hobart store were investigated by the Ombudsman and found to have underpaid two employees over $46,000 between April 2014 and December 2015. The store owners agreed to repay the employees and entered into an enforceable undertaking with the Ombudsman.[10][11]

On 23 February 2019, Muffin Break General Manager made headlines when she spoke about young people not wanting to work unpaid internships, telling a journalist: "There’s just nobody walking in my door asking for an internship, work experience or unpaid work, nobody." These comments were later refuted by the journalist who wrote the original story as being misinterpreted “She never said she expected all of her employees to work for free, as many online seem to be suggesting, only that those who put themselves forward to do unpaid work were more likely to get a job”[12]

In September 2019, the Australian Fair Work Ombudsman found that franchisees of Jamaica Blue and Muffin Break cafés had underpaid 166 employees a total of over $26,000.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Us". muffinbreak.com.au. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  2. ^ Matt Ireland : Simon Murton : Bryt. "Muffin Break: Muffin Break UK". muffinbreak.co.uk. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Our Story". Muffin Break, UK. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Foodco Group Announces Acquisition" (Press release). infonews.co.nz. 10 April 2010. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  5. ^ Shaw, Aimee (6 April 2018). "Cafes, food retailers trade better next to fashion powerhouses, Muffin Break boss says". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Muffin Break continues UK expansion drive". Hospitality & Catering News. 14 August 2018. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Croc's Playcentres ties up with Muffin Break". Franchise Business. 9 December 2015. Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  8. ^ O’Byrne, Thomas (18 October 2014). "Muffin Break worker underpaid $20,000". Herald Sun. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Muffin Break stores to reimburse underpaid Chinese student $20,000". Fair Work Ombudsman. 10 October 2014. Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  10. ^ Kempton, Helen (3 November 2016). "Former muffin shop owners stiffed staff". The Mercury. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Chinese workers underpaid $46,000 at Muffin Break outlet in Hobart". Fair Work Ombudsman. 3 November 2016. Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Muffin Break outrage misses the point". NewsComAu. 2019-02-24. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  13. ^ "Jamaica Blue and Muffin Break employees back-paid". Fair Work Ombudsman. Retrieved 28 November 2019.