Bowser Bean named Large Retailer of the Year at AFC Awards

Bowser Bean has taken out the Large Retailer of the Year award at the 2023 Australian Fuel and Convenience (AFC) awards.

Several key criteria were outlined for submission, including compliance, safe and healthy workplaces, innovation, sustainability, and community engagement, with Bowser Bean required to create a detailed outline of each criteria aspect.

Haydn Tierney, Managing Director of Bowser Bean, said he is proud of his team for making Bowser Bean a network worth stopping for.

C&I will look at how Bowser Bean addressed each aspect of the criteria, starting with compliance, and how they take great steps to ensure this across all aspects of the business.

“From Employment Law through to Environmental Law, the teamwork through programs and strategies on a continual basis to uphold compliance for every task. Inclusions of tailored training programs, company policies, employee help line, risk assessment, and contracting as needed are some vital tools that maintain compliance throughout the business.”

When it comes to creating and maintaining a safe and secure working environment, Bowser Bean harnesses comprehensive initiatives to foster workplace health and safety.

“The implementation of an Employee Assistance Program offers all employees confidential counselling and support; this program highlights the emphasised the business has on supporting mental health and wellbeing; further supported through employee access to online Pilates and subsidies for gym memberships.

“Consolidating the various health and wellbeing initiatives under one umbrella, Bowser Bean recently created their ‘Healthy Beans’ program. This program offers additional initiatives such as a free meal on shift from the brands healthy food range, as well as flexible work arrangements.”

From the inception of Bowser Bean, status quo was not the way, with innovation and creativity paving the brand’s journey.

“This culture within the business has led to several noteworthy innovations. Firstly, the deployment of the Bowser Bean Mobile Retail Facility. Bowser Bean is reputable for their food and coffee offering, as well as their high-quality shop aesthetics and fit outs. Fitted out with a POS system, refrigeration, coffee machines, and cooking equipment, the Mobile Facility allows Bowser Bean to continue an uninterrupted service to customers during a site refurbishment. This asset has further expanded in its role to the business, become a vital tool for team training.”

Tech innovation is another fundamental focus, with many projects and concepts on the cards.

“A truly exciting venture was the creation and implementation of an online learning and communication platform, Daily Grind; this platform allows for team engagement, collaboration, and training across sites. Bowser Bean sites are also decked out with a crew facing Digital Whiteboard, displaying real time shop data, boosting awareness of performance targets among site teams.”

Environmental sustainability has been the forefront for many years now, Bowser Bean recognises this call, and continually looks for means of implementing greater sustainability within the business.

“One of the first key focuses when the business began was through offering coffee discounts to customers who bring their own coffee cup, further spurred with the Bowser Bean branded Keep Cup available in stores. With a fundamental focus on shop and kitchen operations, the brand identifies many opportunities for sustainability. ‘Bowser Basins’ are prominent throughout the network, allowing customers to wash hands, refill water bottles and dispense sparkling water, reducing plastic waste.

“Bowser Bean is also in the process of transition to a new packaging supplier; this is a highly exciting project for the brand and emphasizes their committed to significantly reducing their packaging’s environmental impact, demonstrating our ongoing dedication to sustainability. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting development.”

Bowser Bean thrives on community connection, and continually looks at opportunities to be present. This is seen in sites, through the team establishing great bonds with their locals, and is further supported through community activations.

“A key initiative for the brand was following the devastating Victorian floods of 2022; the company’s Rochester site was severely impacted, along with crew homes and the rest of the town. Bowser Bean jumped to provide crucial aid, deploying their Mobile Retail Facility to be present at site for several weeks; flood-affected families, tradies and emergency service workers were supplied with free food and coffee. Along with partners like BP & PFD, Bowser Bean continued supporting the town until the site was refurbished.

“Bowser Bean also supports local sport clubs through sponsorship, and activations with the Bowser Bean Coffee Kombi – allowing for engagement with fans, and local community, as well as showcasing their delightful barista coffee. For 12 years Bowser Bean has been proudly supporting Make A Wish Australia, participating in fundraising events, such as, World Wish Day and the Bendigo Easter Parade. These initiatives underscore Bowser Bean’s appreciation for the vital role community plays in their success.”

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