18/03/08 - for the latest on this story, please visit this link to my G'Day World blog.
Well my mate Glenn took it to a couple of newspapers in Sydney and they've done some more digging. Check out this article from SX News. Pretty interesting stuff, especially this bit:
You see, every Gloria Jean’s franchisee is required to pay 8% of its gross profits back to the franchise (according to their own website) in the forms of royalty and advertising fees. Given that Hillsong members are required to ‘tithe’ (give) 10% of their pre-tax income to the Church (according to BRW 26 May — 1 June 2005) the more coffee they sell, the more money made by the Saleh’s and the Irvine’s and the more souls can be saved by Hillsong. This might not sound like much to you as you fork over a couple of bucks for your skinny latte, however to put this into perspective, Gloria Jean’s annual sales now exceed $100 million a year.
The same success that Gloria Jean’s has seen, Hillsong is sharing. Business is booming down at Hillsong, they raked in a staggering $40 million last year in tax free revenue, and donations and salary tithes totaled $13 million (according to The Australian 29 July, 2005). Imagine the cappuccinos you could buy with that!