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P.F. Chang’s, Shipley Do-Nuts, WOWorks, Oath Pizza share methods to lure multi-unit operators| Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit 2022


Franchisors want robust listening and communication abilities, in addition to a robust model basis, when trying to accomplice with multi-unit franchisees.

| by Judy Mottl — Editor, &

Franchising a restaurant model is all about constructing the model and advancing the model presence. Partnering with single-unit franchises is the most typical and sometimes most viable strategy, however quicker development, particularly in sizzling markets, is finest attained in partnering with a multi-unit franchisee.

It sounds simple nevertheless it’s not a easy technique for a lot of causes. One is that multi-unit franchisees are in massive demand, particularly people who have proved profitable. A second is {that a} franchisor must be able to help a big accomplice and have already got enticing model traits which can lure the multi-unit operator. Third, a franchisor must have robust abilities in all the pieces from communication channels to expertise adoption.

These succeeding in attracting multi-unit franchisees sometimes have particular methods in place, targeted on a variety of points — from discovering the fitting multi-unit accomplice to making sure a profitable long-lasting partnership.

These methods, in addition to ideas and classes discovered, have been the subject a panel speak on the annual Restaurant Franchising Innovation Summit occasion, held March 30-April 1, hosted by Networld Media Group.

The convention offers a discussion board for executives from main manufacturers to share success tales and the way they’re innovating to develop franchises.

The panel session, “Attracting Multi-Unit Franchisees,” was sponsored by SnergySuite and moderated by Brett Berger, VP of gross sales at SynergySuite. Members included Rafik Farouk, senior director of worldwide enterprise improvement at P.F. Chang’s; Brian Farris, chief improvement officer at WOWworks; Drew Kellogg, president and CEO of Oath Pizza and Clifton Rutledge, CEO of Shipley Do-Nuts.

Constructing the wanted tradition

In opening the dialogue Berger acknowledged that the franchising business is more and more targeted on the “humanization” of the method that should happen between a franchisor and franchisee.

“Belief is a really massive a part of the connection and a part of that belief is simply eradicating obstacles — simply making it simple, making it more easy [for that multi-unit operator],” he mentioned. “It isn’t any ingredient by itself as it is a mixture of fine management, good communication, humanization, good expertise, and I feel all of it begins with good management.”

At P.F. Chang’s a key side to a profitable franchisor-multi-unit franchisee partnership is all about model tradition and doing enterprise with a franchisee that has the identical objectives of the franchisor.

“If we outline what’s a very good franchise it is one that matches the tradition. The companions that began with us, again in 2009, are as robust as one another whatever the nation or the area they’re in,” mentioned Farouk. “An incredible accomplice is a accomplice that continues to develop your model, day in and time out, that continues to innovate along with your assist, one during which you, as a franchisor, and the franchisee proceed to discover a center floor that helps the model succeed, develop and prosper through the years.”

Farouk, in addition to the opposite presenters, mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic, and the way it radically modified the restaurant business, is an efficient instance of how humanization is happening and the way the franchisor and franchisee relationship has modified.

“At the moment [the pandemic] the franchisor didn’t have the solutions. Nobody knew what the playbook was however by collaborating collectively and determining new methods of communication the franchisor discovered be there for the franchisee,” he mentioned. “We imagine we’re within the relationship enterprise [with franchisees] and we lead the franchisee by instance.”

On the subject of figuring out a robust potential multi-unit franchisee Farris mentioned there are various definitions of the multi-unit franchisee. It could possibly be an operator rising shops or a single operator “working the heck out of retailer,” and which has an amazing crew that delivers the model at a excessive stage.

“We spend a small period of time assembly our franchisees and we spend nearly all of the time nurturing the connection so after we have a look at what makes an amazing franchisee it is actually incumbent on us to be a very nice franchisor,” mentioned Farris. The purpose, he mentioned, is “understanding the place the franchisee is of their journey and what they want particularly to be able to assist them develop to assist them obtain the most effective that they are often.”

One massive key to success is what Farris known as the “sunset rule.” The rule requires a franchisor to answer a franchise’s name or communication by sunset the identical day.

“The worst factor you are able to do is depart them hanging as a result of they’re already going to really feel alone. It’s important to be responsive. Get on it [the issue] fast, use the telephone,” he mentioned.

“Them figuring out you’re there for them goes miles and miles within the relationship.”

A distinct type of relationship

Each franchisor trying to develop is in search of the “silver bullet,” mentioned Farris. That is a multi-franchisee with a robust infrastructure in place, a stable monitor report of success and one that’s trying to construct off that basis.

“To draw them is a really totally different sale than what we’re used to with a single unit operator. The multi-unit franchisee goes to be a giant a part of your group. They’re very refined. As a franchisor, as you are going after these giant multi-unit ideas there’s going to be give and take that you just’re not used to in the event you’re used to single unit house owners,” he mentioned.

Rutledge shared a philosophy at his model — that there are zero money registers in its help heart.

“No cash is made inside that constructing and we name it the help heart for a motive. Our prospects, 188 franchises on the market, at 300-plus retailers, they’re ‘the client’ they usually cannot be only a quantity. On the finish of the day that franchise’s livelihood is on the road, so you need to get their enter and have an open dialogue forwards and backwards.”

Assembly multi-unit operator wants

A key side to partnering with multi-unit franchisees is offering what they’re in search of, in accordance with the panelists.

“It is all about belief however to begin with they’ve to like the model and it needs to be complimentary to their enterprise,” mentioned Farris. “They need to know they’re particular, and they’re particular, they usually need that from the get-go.”

Listening and communication are essential, mentioned Kellogg, and franchisors must discover a multi-unit franchisee that understands what the client expertise goes to appear like and all the pieces else can then be constructed off that.

“There must be an understanding of the mission and that basically begins with all of the folks components. We’ve got to be distinctive listeners and if we’re not we’ve got to get actually, actually good at that,” he mentioned, including, “our franchisees are the consultants on how we enhance and the way we get sharper. We’ve got to be distinctive listeners to be the most effective tradition we might be.”

At Shipley Do-Nuts franchising is all about relationships and asking a particular query.

“Is that this particular person going to be a very good franchisee or is he going to be a very good operator and there is a massive distinction there,” mentioned Rutledge. “I’ve seen loads of good operators who weren’t good franchisees and people do not get to develop so. You need the franchisees who see the dream, see the imaginative and prescient and it is as much as the franchisor to work with them.”

The place expertise performs in

Luring a profitable multi-unit franchisor additionally means having alluring expertise and proving that the franchisor is all about embracing expertise, mentioned the panelists.

“We’re staying as sharp as we are able to and that goes a great distance,” mentioned Kellogg.

At WOWorks it is a “requirement that we’re offering good expertise,” mentioned Farris, including expertise, when it comes to model significance, has risen to the extent of getting an amazing product. “A lot of the expertise right now is aimed squarely on the employment challenges. It was once a facilitator; now it is acquired to be a core competency in what we do right now.”

And with regards to expertise selections, a franchisor should take into account if its one thing they will deploy throughout the board, mentioned Farouk.

“The self-discipline needs to be suitable to journey throughout,” he mentioned. “Know-how right now shouldn’t be solely in your group however each group that’s connected to you.”

In Rutledge’s view expertise is now a should have for any franchisor.

“COVID confirmed that if you did not have drive-thru, if you did not have order forward, eating places needed to shut,” he mentioned. “It’s a cumbersome problem. The secret is to rent folks a lot smarter than you that know do all that and that is what we have completed.”




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