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Stefania Sigurdson Forbes

5 Signs that You Need a Franchise Scorecard

By | Franchise Scorecard

Franchising is one of the most exciting communities in the world. There is no other place where there is so much entrepreneurship, creativity, and people who care about making a positive impact on their communities. But, that excitement can fall short when it comes to the every-day business of metrics and measurement.

When you have an organization full of people who are passionate about soft skills such as helping others grow, teaching, inspiring and creating positive change, it is tough to turn around and make them do something as mundane as staring at the numbers. But, seasoned veterans of the industry know how important it is to “know your numbers”, and getting to know them may be easier than you think.

1. Everyone Is Not on the Same Page

In a distributed organization like a franchise, people get in the habit about talking about the same things in different ways. It is tough to get training, marketing, field operations and even your multi-unit owners on the same page when all of them think differently. It is important to be “one franchise” rather than dozens or hundreds of small, local businesses. Having a single goal, reflected in a franchise scorecard, is a positive way to build consensus in the organization.

2. Franchisees and Team Members are Getting Disengaged

People like to have a sense of meaning in their workdays. If goals are misaligned, people can be told one thing by their manager, but hear something else from home office. This creates a “no win” situation for the person on the front lines, where they don’t know what winning or losing is. Having a scorecard, and everyone aligned with it helps people understand how they can best contribute.

3. Excel and Google Sheets Rule You (Rather than You Ruling Them)

In a lot of franchise organizations, there is a ton of intelligence that sits on the hard drives of individual computers. Have you ever had turnover, and had to frantically break into a computer to find a key tracking spreadsheet? How about phoning and texting former employees, trying to get access to that Google Sheet? Excel leads to silos and while these tools are getting more collaborative with Google Sheets the knowledge is often in many different places and difficult to reconcile. Having a scorecard means that the information is all in one place, and the right people have the right access.

4. Goal Planning Happens in Silos

A simple, clear, visual aid, when implemented correctly, can do the following:

  • Gives franchisees and team members clear goals to keep in mind while working on projects.
  • Helps franchisees and employees understand the strategic pieces that need work.
  • Enables franchisees and other stakeholders to see how objectives affect one another.

5. Complaints about Communication and Transparency

As the saying goes “the biggest error in communication is the assumption that it has taken place.” There is often a swinging pendulum in franchising when it comes to this important topic. When the franchisor communicates too little, there can be complaints of lack of transparency, even when the source of lack of communication is because the franchisor is too busy providing value for the franchisees! When there is too much communication, franchisees can become “numb” to it, and stop opening e-mails. Having a franchise scorecard helps you set goals once, and then people can review them in their own time at the rhythm that is right for them.

Ready to Create Positive Change with a Franchise Scorecard?

While change can be scary, it can also be invigorating to see how it can get everyone focused on the right things for your business. Having software for help you with your scorecards can be a great help. While we are clearly biased, we think that if you are in franchising, our franchise scorecard tool is the best – and hopefully the 13,000 locations that currently work with us will agree. Reach out to us to learn more.

Franchisee Scorecard by FranchiseBlast



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How Driverseat’s Flat Rate Royalty System Advances Franchisee Profitability and Fosters Trust

By | Battle Tested Strategies, Franchise Coaching

The Driverseat franchise is cruising to lead emerging brands offering chauffeur, assisted transport and designated driver services. Founded by brothers Brian and Luke Bazely, in Waterloo, Ontario the franchise currently has 24 units in Canada, with several more poised to open in the next 12 months.

Driverseat, which has been in business for six years, and has been franchising for only five, charges a flat-rate for royalties. This system creates an environment of trust and openness with the franchisees. Learn about how CEO, Brian Bazely, uses this approach combined with authentic coaching to set franchisees up for success.    

What is your role?

Brian: “I’m the Co-Founder and CEO of Driverseat and my brother, Luke is in the role of Co-Founder and President. I focus on Franchise Development, and growing the businesses of the Driverseat franchise owners. Luke focuses on our corporate location, as well as developing the technology.”

Brian Bazely from DriverseatWhat did you do before-hand?

Brian: “I spent a significant portion of my career in executive management roles with retail companies such as Toys R Us and The Beer Store, a province-wide beer retailer in Ontario. About ten years ago, I became a franchisee of Anytime Fitness. Through that process, I fell in love with the whole franchising concept.”

What do you like about working at Driverseat and how has the company developed over time?  

Brian: “Every day feels like we’re either as passionate or more passionate about the business. The excitement surrounding Driverseat is quite something. My focus is far more centered on the franchise owners; my experience tells me that this strategy is the best way to create a great experience for our customers. I know that when I truly care for my franchise owners that they’re going to have their coachmen, which is our term for drivers, provide amazing service for the customers.

Our franchise system and the supporting technology provides a great deal of flexibility.  I find it very rewarding when we have a new franchisee who joins our organization and as is able to travel more, experience life more, or as an example, is able to coach their daughter’s soccer team because of the freedom that the business provides for them. That’s the part that gets me super-excited every day. My passion is for them and for what they can experience in being part of the Driverseat brand.”

Driverseat Annual ConferenceWhat is different about how you collect royalties compared to other franchise systems?

Brian: “When we designed the business, we decided to charge a flat-rate royalty versus a percentage. We elevate that flat rate each year for new franchisees coming into the system but “freeze” it for existing units. As the business gets larger and more sophisticated, we feel justified and qualified in being able to charge just a little bit more. Currently, it’s a $419 flat rate per month.

It’s a different system and there is a lot of debate with our accountants and other franchisors regarding this topic. They ask: “Why would you continue to use a system like this?” The answer comes down to why we wanted to launch a franchise in the first place. We are passionate about our franchise partners and we want to spend our time helping them develop themselves and their businesses. We don’t want to spend a lot of time on things with negative energy, like auditing their books.”

What did you want to avoid when you selected this system?

Brian: “There’s a natural friction point that exists in franchising that industry veterans are very familiar with. When a percentage royalty is charged, a franchisee can spend some of their day finding ways to hide money or sales results so they can pay less overall. This is not a moral failing on the franchisees’ part, it is simply human nature. The franchisor is then forced, as a result, to spend their energy on trying to audit or find that money.

We looked at that and said, “That’s a lot of negative energy on something that actually doesn’t really gel with our governance.” When you’re a flat-rate system, there’s never a doubt in the franchisees’ mind. They do not suspect an “ulterior motive” on behalf of the franchisor when we are trying to help them grow their sales.

If we spend a little bit more time on a business quote that they need to put together for a large sale, for example, there’s never the thought that we might be doing it because we’re trying to increase our own royalties – they know that we are in it for them. We spend our day doing what energizes our corporate office team – creating success for our franchise partners.

driverseat olympicsWould you be able to provide me with some concrete examples of this strategy in action?

Brian: A pretty significant portion of our business is B2B where we provide chauffeur and shuttle services for employees – moving them between production plants or warehousing plants for example. Landing these accounts represents more work in terms of sales, but the revenue opportunities are also far greater.

About a year ago, one of our franchise owners had one of these B2B opportunities and we were passionate about helping him land it. We pushed him to do a better job with mapping, and explaining the services and technology. We helped him put a significant effort into the presentation package. As a result of the group effort, he landed the sale. They still provide service today to that same customer and it sparked other sales from there.

When working with franchisees, we talk to them about their personal goals as well as their professional goals. A personal goal of one of our franchisees was to do a better job at handling herself in meetings and to be more comfortable in public speaking.

We created a plan to help her do two things:

  • Present to a B2B prospect with her husband and business partner.
  • Have her build enough confidence to showcase her expertise in front of our franchise group at an annual conference.

I was able to really push her on this and hold her accountable to the goals that she set. It resulted in her doing more business meetings, and it resulted in them building an additional revenue line. Both their profit and revenue increased – on top of that, she was able to develop as an individual.

How does this system foster a sense of trust between you and the franchisees?

Brian: “There are only two things that we really focus on:

  1. Top-line revenue and profitability for the franchise owner
  2. Trust between home-office and the franchisees.

When we have profitable sites and they trust us, that becomes the magical mix. Everything that we do is focused around those two very important factors.”

How does this strategy affect unit sales?

Brian: “We’re attracting higher-quality individuals because they are seeing terrific things happening within Driverseat franchise locations.”

What would you say the biggest challenge of operating this way is?

Brian: “It comes down to the lifecycle of a franchise system. Percentage royalties feed a corporate office. That allows you to purchase additional talent, resources, and better technology. When you charge a flat rate, in the early days, there are times you’d like to have higher revenue at the franchisor level to drive higher performance.

It has forced us to be extraordinarily smart in how we spend money and how we develop programs. The first couple years we ran the franchise system with just Luke and me.  We literally managed tech development, marketing, franchise support, and franchise development with just the two of us.

But not once in any day that we’ve been in business for five years of franchising, have we said, “I wonder if this stuff’s being reported correctly. I wonder if we need to create an audit and find out if this information is accurate”. There is no incentive for a franchise owner to misrepresent their dollars.”

What advice would you give someone who wants to try a structure like this?

Brian: “You have to be focused on the long game to do this. If you’re focused on the short game and you believe that you’re going to have a small number of franchise locations that you need to rely on, then it might not work.

We look at this from a long-game perspective and say, “It really doesn’t matter what happens in the first handful of years. This is really about, how do you get to between 2,000 and 3,000 locations?” And we believe this is the single best source for doing it. If you are going to commit, don’t look back. It’s perfectly acceptable to increase the dollar royalties each year for new locations coming in. But, don’t look back and don’t get fixated on what “could have been”.


With everyone we interview, we ask a series of fun questions! Here is Brian’s Q&A!

What new belief, behavior, or habits adopted within the last five years have most positively impacted your life?

I’ve embraced the belief that entrepreneurs today should really be part of the new rich as described by author, Tim Ferriss. We should look to create financial wealth but not just chasing the dollar every single day. Instead, we should create enough wealth that supports a lifestyle that we want to live. The new rich, for me, is about the ability to earn revenue, which then supports time with my daughters and my wife, and time travelling.

For franchise owners, I try and bring this to the surface with them. It’s about going out and having a strong business that’s very healthy financially, but not for the purpose of upgrading the Lexus car from this model to that model, (you can certainly go and do that as well).  Instead, it is for the purpose of being able to enjoy life, enjoy your family, and enjoy time which is one of our most valuable assets.

What purchase of less than $100 has improved your life?

I really love being able to pleasantly surprise somebody that works with us with small things such as a lovely meal with loved ones. For me to purchase a $50 gift card to a brilliant local Italian place that’s right around the corner from our office is a fantastic gift for someone who has gone above and beyond. For $50, you can have an amazing lunch there.

What would you put on a billboard?

Brian:  “Spend your life purchasing experiences, not products –  experiences with friends, experiences over dinner, experiences in social settings and experiences in travel.”

What books have you most gifted?

  • The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss is a terrific book for prioritizing your time.
  • The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton is great to help give people financial independence.
  • Love Work by Chuck Runyon who is the founder of Self Esteem Brands. He’s a really outstanding leader. And the “Love Work” book really talks about passion and the culture he built within Anytime Fitness.
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins which is a factual study of how certain companies overperformed.

Ready to learn more about Driverseat? Read more here on their Franchise Opportunities page!

Download our Cheat Sheet: 24 Ways to Motivate Team Members and Franchisees with Experiences!

Experiences as Reward

Digital Disruption in Restaurants – Franchise Growth Trend Hunter

By | Franchising Trends, Restaurants

Industry folks are talking a lot about digital disruption in restaurants these days. According to Steve DeSutter, CEO of Focus Brands, “The industry is changing […] One of the challenges I’ve put in front of my team is, if we are not innovating and remaining relevant to our loyal customer, we’re losing.”

The focus brands umbrella includes: Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli, the Schlotzky’s sandwich chain, Cinnabon, Carvel and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. And more than ever, offering customers enhanced choice and improved speed are the ways to define your restaurant franchise.

Driving this paradigm shift (and so many others) is the ubiquity of mobile phones, and their access to the marketplace. To put it in perspective, most people would rather lose their wallet than their phone — that’s how important they’ve become! Positive reviews have always been great for business but now they’re becoming essential. In fact,  33% of Google searches include starred reviews, and they’re no longer a “nice to have” — they’re a need to have.

We live in a noisy world – there are a lot of brands are clamoring for our attention. According to Steve Jobs, “Marketing is all about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about. “

The retail transformation is here. According to Forbes, “e-commerce and shopping platforms such as Amazon — where 43% of all U.S. online retail sales are coming from.” With that in mind, let’s look at three franchise brands that are managing digital disruption beautifully.

To see the first two installments of our “Franchise Growth Trend Hunter” series, go to:

Off-Premise
Sustainability

Dunkin’ Donuts

Units: 12,435

Overview: Dunkin’ Donuts has long been at the forefront of mobile marketing in response to digital disruption in restaurants. Since the beginning of the digital era, they have been capitalizing on its ability to connect with consumers. As such, the company’s DD Perks program boasts 8 million members.

They are also considering a rebrand, removing the word “Donuts” from its name to appeal to modern, health-conscious consumers. But that’s only the very beginning.

Dunkin’ is trying to make their strategy even more future-thinking, with steps that include the following two strategies according to AdAge: “Use the face recognition on the iPhone X to see whether someone looks tired and suggest a coffee delivery if so, Weisman suggested. It is exploring an integration with Outlook that could suggest ordering food and coffee when someone schedules a meeting.”

They also have a new “concept store” which allows mobile orders to go in a different line, going right to the front, accelerating the process for customers willing to dive in digitally:

Bottom Line: Embracing mobile technology holistically is a big part of connecting with today’s consumer – it does not stop at a rewards program.

McDonald’s

Units: 36,899 Restaurants Worldwide

Overview: McDonalds has kept pace with digital transformation through their partnership with UBEREats in 10,000 restaurants and their mobile app, which offers a pay option.

They call this transformation “Experience the Future”. According to Diginomica: “(2018 is) set to be a year of massive investment in new digital platforms, with most of $300 million of savings elsewhere being pumped into technology spend.”

There is also an in-store component to the initiative, for those who still like to go into the restaurants. According to the same article:

“In many of our markets we’ve scaled the Experience of the Future platform providing our customers a more seamless, personalized and enjoyment experience with digital menu boards, self-order kiosk, greater hospitality and a modernized look. They are telling us they like the new McDonald’s better. They are rewarding us with more frequent visits and they are spending more on average when they do. We deployed Experience of the Future in about one-third of the restaurants in the McDonald’s system, including nearly 3000 restaurants in the US.”

Bottom Line: Digital transformation will be on the fast food menu in many different forms. Taking a multifaceted approach helps follow the consumer’s new habits, while hanging on to the basics such as friendly service and delicious food.

Dominos

Units: 9,285

Overview: In an interesting “parting shot” as he left his role at Domino’s, outgoing CEO Patrick Doyle said that Domino’s is on the path to go from 60% to 100% digital.

Pizza has lead the way in terms of home delivery. But as others catch up, they are now needing to be even more progressive. Domino’s is doing a lot, including a digital assistant named DOM who can take phone orders, similar to Amazon’s Alexa.

Part of their innovation is to have digital “hot spots” which have no traditional address for food lovers who want pizza at the beach or in the park. There will be 200,000 locations created, maximizing access for their customer base.

According to Doyle:

“The ability to now deliver to spots without a traditional address and other rather unexpected sites will not only continue to drive incremental orders in the near term, but it is yet another meaningful step on our mission of industry-leading convenience; and the ability to order from us anywhere, anytime. This is thanks to outstanding technology helped by continued aggressive investment, sound operations, which are vital to making the Hotspots process work and proper execution participation at the store level, a nod to our terrific franchisees, managers and drivers.”

Bottom Line: Innovative franchisors can still focus on “what is next?” An investment in innovation now, can help manage the digital transformation of the future.

Conclusion: As the digital and mobile technology continue to disrupt the restaurant industry, savvy business are leveraging new technology to connect with their customers in unexplored ways.

At the forefront of this movement are major chains like Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonalds and Dominos, all who have shown themselves more than capable to remain at the bleeding edge of innovation.

By maintaining the old-school ideals of quality products and expedient service, these companies and those like them can increase profitability and customer satisfaction by leveraging the latest digital technology available.

How FranchiseBlast Can Help

As things continue to evolve, you want to make sure that your operations are still strong, and that your service is at a high standard. FranchiseBlast’s Auditing and Performance tools help organizations stay on track and evolve with the times.

Fresh in FranchiseBlast: May Updates Are Here!

By | Product

With over 90 brands and 13,000 locations combined already using FranchiseBlast’s franchise software, you’ve probably already been a customer of one of our customers! I would bet that if you went to your local mall today (and no it doesn’t have to be the size of the West Edmonton Mall) you could walk into at least one franchise that uses our technology.

So how did we become the provider some of your favorites? For us, it is all about our people and the technology to back them up! And just like your business is constantly demanding more from you, we demand more from ourselves, so we can deliver updates that will continuously make running your business easier.

So what’s “fresh” with FranchiseBlast? A LOT! Our development team has been busy readying the app for your operations. Here are a couple of the updates that we have added to improve your experience and productivity at work!

Define Franchisee Groups and Leaders However You Like

Would you rank your franchisees only by their location? Of course not! It would be like ranking basketball players only for their height – not their speed, scores or more. With FranchiseBlasts’ new brand consistency widget you can now see how a unit ranks against others for a chosen key performance metric on your user dashboard!

Every business has different ways they like to categorize their units. You may like to segment them by who has a drive-through versus Joe in training who wants to segment them by how long they’ve each been in business. Maybe some of your locations offer off-premise services? Setting them up to be ranked against each other is another option. With millennials preferring to enjoy their meals at home off-premise locations are probably seeing dramatic growth next to their peers. The Store Key Performance Metric Leaderboard Dashboard Widget makes how you rank your locations, your choice.

Reviews and Operational Data: Better Together

Seeing how your business is ranking in reviews is now as easy as seeing your mentions on Twitter! To help out, we have two new APIs – one with the “gold standard”, Google Reviews and the other with ReviewTrackers.

  • Google Reviews are the most trusted 3rd party reviews and can affect your site –
  • ReviewTrackers is today’s leading online review management solution and the best way for enterprises to measure the customer experience. They help track reviews from trusted sites such as Yelp, Faceboook, and Open Table just to name a few.

So many people rely on 3rd party reviews over reviews on websites because they view them as more trustworthy. When was the last time you bought something without looking at a review? Keeping a close eye on those reviews can offer you insight into how your Franchisees are doing in the public eye and can be used to further aid brand consistency.

More information:

  • Contact us for a demo here.
  • Get more info about Google My Business here.
  • Learn more about Review Trackers here.

Helping over 13,000 locations better serve their customers is no easy task! But it’s our customers that make it possible for us to do what we do and we love doing it, so thank you!



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Meet the Team: Michael Obas, Customer Success Specialist

By | Meet the Team

Michael Obas from FranchiseBlastOne thing that people enjoy most about working with FranchiseBlast is connecting with our Customer Success Team. We wanted to take an opportunity to do a special Q&A with our Customer Success Specialist, Michael Obas. Mike has been with FranchiseBlast for about two years, and has made a positive impact on our customers since day one.

What do you do from day to day?
Mike:
“My main focus is to support all of our clients with their questions, problems and requests. I work very closely with our team to ensure that all of our customers needs are met.”

How did you get involved at FranchiseBlast?
Mike: “After over 10 years working for a very large tech company, I found an opening at FranchiseBlast. I had never considered working for a small company but after researching and meeting the team, I felt it would be a wonderful place to work. I have been working at FranchiseBlast for a little over 2 years now and I feel lucky to work with such smart, dedicated and talented people.”

How do you think your colleagues would describe you?
Mike: “Hard working, loyal, quiet and reliable.”

Tell me a bit about yourself – where did you grow up and where do you live now for example?
Mike:“I was born in the Philippines but I have lived in Ottawa, Canada since I was 7 years old. My wife and I currently live in Orleans, a suburb of Ottawa. I am a huge animal lover and have two dogs and a cat. I follow Mixed Martial Arts, Formula 1 and the NFL (Go Raiders!) religiously. I’m also been a big fan of live music and try to see as many concerts as I can.

I’ve owned the same car for 20 years, a 1995 Volkswagen Corrado. My wife thinks I have an unhealthy obsession with it but it seems perfectly normal to me :).”

What are some causes that you care about?
Mike: “My wife and I care deeply for animals and animal welfare. I very much support all of the animal welfare agencies and the great work that they do.”

What are you happiest doing when you are not working?
Mike: “Spending time with my wife and animals, working on my car.”

If we went to happy hour, what would you order?
Mike: “Probably a rum and coke.”

If you could be anywhere in the world other than here, where would it be?
Mike: “In Thailand, doing volunteer work at the Soi Dog Foundation helping to take care of their animals in need.”



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Sustainability – Franchise Growth Trend Hunting

By | Franchise Growth, Franchise Operations, Franchising Trends

smart sustainable franchiseOne of the hottest topics right now in franchising is sustainability. Basic steps like employing reusable cups only scratch the surface of the sustainable franchise, and consumers know this – if it’s easy, then chances are, it’s not enough. According to Spoon University as quoted in the Huffington Post:

“Sustainability is all about moving in an eco-friendly direction by reducing waste, composting, recycling, and focusing on conservation. Many restaurants throughout the U.S. have been trying to become more sustainable and are now serving more organic food than ever before.”

Sustainability from the Inside Out

Although sustainability is often viewed as an idealistic vision divorced from every-day concerns, the truth is, it is an important part of every business. There is a business case for  the sustainable franchise.  The biggest reason is our increasingly interconnected world. “Fands” or “Brand Fans” will defend you if they know what you stand for. Increasingly, brand is a verb, and you want to show your customers, franchisees and franchisee teams alike what your in “for” – that you care and that you are there to help.

Here are three sustainable franchise brands who are leading the way in terms of sustainability:

Freshii

freshii sustainable franchiseUnits: 286 in 15 countries
Overview: Freshii is expanding at a rapid rate, offering healthy options to consumer. In fact, the CEO, who founded the company when he was just 24, recently wrote open letters to both McDonald’s and Subway encouraging them to convert their locations to Freshii:

According to the CBC: “Let’s explore a partnership in which we together convert select Subway stores to Freshii restaurants in a quick, low-cost way,” said the letter from Freshii founder and CEO Matthew Corrin published as a full-page newspaper ad in the Globe and Mail on Tuesday.”

When you compare the unit growth, the differences are dramatic:

“Freshii aims to have between 810 and 840 franchise locations by the end of its fiscal year 2019, according to regulatory documents filed before its initial public offering… Subway’s expansion also slowed dramatically from 2014 to 2015. Subway opened a net total of just 34 franchises in fiscal year 2015, down from 313 in 2014.”

Fresh food is more difficult to sell as a “value play” – for example, even the best-managed locations have to throw 10-20% of their food away.

According to the Globe and Mail, a recent report found that “the Millennial age cohort is willing to pay up for meals that they perceive to have higher food value and more personal relevance to them.”

Sustainable Takeaway:  Consumers are choosing healthier and more sustainable options – and are willing to pay for it.

Mixt Greens

mixt greens sustainable franchiseUnits: 11 in San Francisco and Los Angeles
Overview: Mixt Greens focuses on sustainability as part of the DNA of their brand. The restaurant ensures that they source the best ingredients, ensuring that they are GMO-free.

“We know what we eat impacts the earth as much as ourselves, so sustainability is at the core of everything we touch, make and do— even if it negatively impacts our bottom line. We’re not just dedicated to being “green,” we’re passionate about protecting the natural systems that sustain us— a philosophy we hope is shared with our customers.”

On their website, they claim to have the following under “the mixt movement”:

mixt greens metrics

Sustainable Takeaway: Taking a holistic approach to sustainability creates “fands” in a very meaningful way – with the average customer eating at Mixt Greens 21 times/month.

Red Rooster

red rooster sustainable franchiseUnits: 360 across Australia
Overview: According to Franchise Business, Red Rooster has been serving roast chicken since 1972. However, today they do so with a twist: “Their chickens are fresh, not frozen, and are free from artificial colours, flavours, hormones, and MSG. The cooking process is simple too; just a sprinkle of seasoning and then into the oven to be roasted.”

Sustainable Takeaway: Even established brands can reposition food to be more sustainable. Franchisors have to invest in everything from computers, to office supplies to client dinners to help the bottom line. The consumer appeal of disposability isn’t what it used to be – now sustainability strengthens your brand.

Conclusion

jack morton brand experience

According to Experiential Marketing Agency Jack Morton Worldwide, “Brand is a Verb”. They say “Marketers must change the route of their brand experience by moving the brand’s actions ahead of its messages.”

To drive value for customers, showing, and not just talking about sustainability is a solid start.

How FranchiseBlast Can Help

With any change, you need the systems to support it. FranchiseBlast’s Auditing tools help brands stay on track with simpler workflow, reminders and even required photos when there is a violation (such as not-locally-sourced food). These tools help strengthen your brand, and make it more consistent. Let us know if you would like to chat further!

Want to see another restaurant trend? Check out our post on off-premise.



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Off-Premise Opportunities – Franchise Growth Trend Hunting

By | Franchising Trends

One of the biggest trends in restaurants today is the explosive growth in off-premise sales. According to Industry Trends and Data Expert, Darren Tristano:

“Everyone knows it’s no longer a question of whether to go off-premise — the question for restaurants is how to navigate the shift,” says Dardick. “With the global foodservice industry facing unprecedented change, the entire off-premise operating model is shifting under our feet. Restaurant and foodservice operators need to understand sizing and growth trends. Right now the opportunities are huge, and the stakes are high.”

The franchising community, which is slower to change at times, is looking to serve customers who are looking for more convenience. While not supplanting the drive-through, for many brands off-premise is the growth driver. In fact, some find the growth so fast, that they are struggling to keep up with demand. According to Restaurant Business Online:

“Tools such as DoorDash, UberEats, Caviar, Amazon and Yelp’s Eat24 allow visitors to review menus from a variety of restaurants, place an order and schedule delivery. Restaurants using these services enjoy a bump in orders that they can often absorb, and the apps expose them to potential new customers. The delivery services charge a commission on orders and a fee for delivery.”

While this can create many questions in a franchisors’ mind from consistent brand experience across markets to the potential for royalty avoidance, the opportunity for off-premise is vast.

Off-Premise Demographic

Off-premise dining is most popular among 18-34-year olds. This is a combination of iGen, at the younger side of the spectrum and millenials at the older end. According to QSR Magazine:

“Millennial families are now commonly dual-income—often with the female as the primary breadwinner—and convenience is more important than ever. But millennials also value diversity, healthy choices, and denser urban living. There has been a significant increase in interracial couples, an increase in multi-racial neighborhoods, and an increase in the consumption of ethnic food (aka international cuisine). Organic food sales have grown more than 10x in a generation, with millennials being the most likely age group to seek out organic foods.

“And it is difficult, if not impossible, to build a new drive thru in a dense urban environment.  As millennials come of age, convenience is redefined for the preferences and tastes of a new generation. The ultimate convenience—delivery—brings more options, healthier choices, and speed even in places where drive thrus cannot go.”

These digital natives value ordering online, and are all about experiences over possessions. Interestingly, the convenience of delivery helps these customers experience what is most important to them: family and friends according to QSR.

“After a long day at work with toddlers demanding attention, the ideas of going out or cooking are not that appealing. Having food show up as ordered through the same interface one uses to get toothpaste is. More, if these 20-somethings are in the middle of an experience with their friends or kids, they aren’t going to stop that experience to go get food. They want the food to come to them.”

Let’s explore how major franchisors and franchise aggregators are navigating this change.

YUM Brands

Units: 45,000
Overview: In a very bold move into off-premise, Yum! brands including KFC and Pizza Hut has entered into a partnership with leading delivery service, GrubHub offering up the “best of both worlds”. In exchange, Yum! gets $200M worth of Common stock from GrubHub, among other benefits. Many Yum! brand restaurants were already offering off-premise sales, and Yum! wants to roll it  out across the the system. In the joint press release posted on GrubHub, they say:

“We are committed to making our iconic brands easier to access through online ordering for pickup and delivery, and aggressively pursuing delivery as a strategic global growth opportunity, with nearly half of our 45,000 restaurants already offering it today,” said Greg Creed, Chief Executive Officer, Yum! Brands, Inc.

“We’re pleased to secure this partnership with Grubhub in order to drive incremental, profitable growth for our U.S. franchisees over the long term. Our partnership and strategic investment in Grubhub demonstrate our laser-like focus on two of our growth drivers: Distinctive, Relevant & Easy Brands and Unmatched Franchise Operating Capability.”

As part of the strategy, operators will have to make other changes, such as changing the batter that they fry with so it handles the humidity developed through car travel. CEO of GrubHub, Stan Chia  says that the service was originally developed for independent restaurant locations.

In a recent article in Food in Demand News, he said:

“Chains that have multiple restaurants in close proximity can send the order to the restaurant that can accommodate it the quickest. “If you have three restaurants close to each other, does it really matter which store it goes to?” he asked. (With a franchise that could be a little more tricky than independents, since the same owner may not have all three restaurants.)”

All of these will be challenges to overcome over time.

Message Delivered:  Rather than building, buying the service on a corporate level helps maintain brand consistency rather than franchisees “going rogue” and working with local providers.

Panera Bread

Units: 2,017
Overview: Soups and sandwiches are going mobile… According to Restaurant Business Online,

“Panera Bread recently announced a commitment to adding more than 10,000 jobs, many of them for delivery drivers, as it expands delivery to 35-40% of its locations by the end of 2017, up from 15% of stores. The company is rolling out a new order tracking system that allows customers to track an order’s progress on a map and get a notification when the driver is arriving. The company decided to hire in-house drivers to maintain control.

The company believed keeping the delivery service internal was key to their delivery success.

“For us, hiring our own drivers was the only way we could ensure that our delivery guests get the same high-quality experience they have come to expect from our bakery cafés,” says Blaine Hurst, president.”

Message Delivered: As delivery becomes a bigger part of the brand experience, the delivery person becomes the only human touchpoint. Panera is betting big that this will make a difference.

Denny’s

Units: 1,724
Overview: Restaurant brands dream of one day being as iconic as Denny’s. But sometimes, creating change in the franchise environment is slower than that of corporate – and that is true for Denny’s when it comes to off-premise sales. According to Restaurant News:

“Denny’s CEO John Miller said company units fared better due to multiple partnerships with third-party delivery providers, which are driving incremental sales during late-night hours and among 18- to 34-year-olds… For the first quarter ended March 28, the Spartanburg, S.C.-based family-dining chain reported a 1.5-percent uptick in U.S. systemwide same-store sales. Results were dragged down by a 1.2-percent increase in same-store sales at franchised restaurants in the U.S. By comparison, same-store sales increased 3.2 percent at company locations.

“We think this is a tailwind for the brand,” Miller said during a Tuesday conference call with investors.”

Off-premise sales are a driver of growth, as the amount of in-restaurant diners diminishes.

“In March, off-premise sales accounted for 9.8 percent of total sales, an increase from 8.7 percent in December. Delivery sales drove the increase… Miller said franchised units, which represent a majority of Denny’s locations, are slower to adapt to delivery.”

Message Delivered: Being open to delivery partnerships, rather than closed, can help franchisees capture the 18-34-year-old market. While change typically happens at a slower rate in the franchising, watching and adapting to this change is important for growth perception. With its longstanding roots in the communities that they serve, surely Denny’s franchisees will continue to adapt and succeed.

What is the Future of Off-Premise?

The demand and technology driving delivery have also sparked growth in operations called “ghost” kitchens that skip the brick-and-mortar dining room altogether and simply prepare foods for delivery. Models similar to this have been proposed to supplement franchise operations where demand outstrips supply during specific day-parts. “Ghost kitchens” could also offer future franchisor opportunities to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

How FranchiseBlast Can Help

If you are exploring off-premise opportunities for your franchise, be sure that your customers get the same experience across locations with our brand consistency tools. Also – although we don’t want to focus too much on the negative, our tools also help prevent franchise fraud, which can take place among a small minority when any change takes place. Reach out to us to learn more.



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Canadian Franchise Association 2018 Round-Up and Congratulations!

By | Awards, Events

cfa franchise choiceWe would like to take a moment to congratulate the recent win of our customer, Alair Homes at the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) this year!

We are so proud of Alair Homes for winning the Silver Award for Non-Traditional Franchisees in the 30+ Category!

Alair Homes offers professional Custom Home and Renovation services. They use a unique construction process that provides 100% transparency during design and construction. We are happy to support Alair in terms of their auditing programs.

We also had several other customers win, but the list would be too long to post here.

FranBash 2018 Winners

franbash 2018 winnersIt was a great CFA conference. The highlight was our premier event, FranBash, and giving away a unique prize, a Paul from Gorilla Property Management won the Grand Prize, a trip to Varadero, Cuba courtesy of Sunwing! Daun from Pita Pit Canada and Mark from Tutor Doctor won the two other prizes! Thank you to all who joined FranBash, and looking forward to next year! Also, thanks to fellow sponsors Noraxx Inspections Inc. Punch, ClickTecs and Neovation Learning Solutions. Looking forward to another FranBash next year! 

5 Ways to Boost the Impact of your Field Audits

But, the Canadian Franchise Association was not only about connecting with our friends in this community. We also had a session presented by our team which led to an insightful discussion about the franchise field audit process.  You can see the presentation here:

Franchise Awareness Day

We also took part in the Franchise Awareness day on Parliament Hill after the Canadian Franchise Association representing the supplier perspective. As a community, we support 78,000 franchised units across the country. We had the opportunity to discuss key legislative issues and how the model has affected our careers with some Members of Parliament.

Franchises at Parliament Hill

 

It was a fantastic CFA, and looking forward to next year!



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How a Founder Can be a Great “First Coach” to Early Franchisees

By | Battle Tested Strategies, Franchise Coaching

Angela Cote Franchise Coach LogoIn the early days of franchising, the owner often becomes the first coach. How do you drive results with early franchisees when you are an emerging franchisor?

There is a lot to learn from Angela Coté, who grew up with M&M Food Market, an iconic Canadian frozen food retail chain that grew to almost 500 stores across the country. We sat down with former franchisor, current multi-unit franchisee and Franchise Growth Catalyst, Angela Coté, to hear her thoughts.

Tell us about how you got into franchising?

Angela: My father founded M&M and having grown up with it, I have done everything from dressing up as our mascot, “Kelly Kabob” in the mid-80’s for grand openings, to running around Western Canada helping develop the chain in the late ‘90’s. This included opening stores, training franchisees, and getting them up and running.  Eventually this informal role changed into a field consultant one and I worked with franchisees on engagement and profitability.

Angela Cote Meeting

What stands out for you most about the early days of M&M?

Angela: I was a 20-year-old female field consultant and the franchisee was often a 60-year-old male who had just spent his life savings to be a part of the brand. I am certain that some of them were asking themselves “She is the boss’s daughter –  what does she know about taking a risk? What does she know about investing all this money in a business?  How could she possibly help me?” But I worked hard to help them understand the importance of following the operational system, which drove their results and eventually earned their respect.

In that role, I had to learn a lot by trial and error.  As their support person, I started to understand what they were going through, as they experienced a lot of ups and downs emotionally. They were tired and had invested a significant amount of money, making it a really big deal for them. I came out on the other end with some hands-on direct experience – in franchisee relations!

In 2000, I became a multi-unit franchisee which, reflecting back, helps me really understand the franchisees and their concerns – now it is my life-savings at stake!  As a result, I’ve got both sides of the ‘franchise coin’. I understand what it’s like to be an early-stage and established franchisor, and to actually live life as a franchisee as well.

Today, I help businesses with franchise strategy and I coach their franchise business coaches; profitability is the number driver of growth in a franchise, and it is something I am extremely passionate about.  I am super-excited to have had the ability to create the angela COTE Inc. brand, which enables me to tap into what drives me and what I’m truly passionate about.

Spray Squad TeamWhen a franchise first starts, the founders are often the first coaches. Based on your experience, what tips would you give to a founder or coach with these early franchisees?

Angela: Showing early franchisees that you appreciate them is critical. I think that people take them for granted. In the early days, acknowledging that, “Hey, thanks for believing in this when no one else does.  Thanks for understanding that we’re not a well-oiled machine yet”. Here are four tips for franchisors regarding their early adopter franchisees:

  1. Get clear on expectations: When an emerging franchisor first starts, there is frequently a lack of clear expectations on both parties. When I say expectations, I mean, for example, what support the franchisees are going to get because it hasn’t even been built yet. Franchisees are expecting support because they bought into a system and they have pre-conceived thoughts based on popular perceptions of more established franchisors. Setting clear expectations up-front is a great first step.
  2. Recognize early adopters: Recognize that these first franchisees are early adopters according to the Rogers diffusion of innovation bell curve, and ensure that they know the systems are not set up yet. Clarifying that is huge in the early days. Often the early adopters are clients.  For example, maybe it’s a fitness studio and they love being a member, love the culture and think “I want one of these for myself.”

rogers diffusion curveIn response, a great way to put it is: “We would love to have you but know that we are still working towards building out our systems and processes for optimal efficiencies and profitability.  and you’re going to be part of creating that with us. Don’t expect it to be built. On the flip-side, you get to help us build it by telling us what you need and getting a lot of say in what is created.”

The early franchisees get the opportunity to scratch their “entrepreneurial itch” more, but still have to understand and balance the fact that it’s still a system.

  1. Set up systems through trial and error: Regarding setting up the systems, I think people feel as though to coach their franchisees, they need to have very formal systems established. I think it works best to do it as trial and error. I’m a big believer in the “lean start-up”, or the “minimum viable product”.

At the beginning of being an emerging franchisor, you don’t know what the franchisees want so don’t go out and create this massive “support system” that you use to coach your franchisees without asking them. Instead, work with them, try it. If it didn’t work, don’t “freak out”. That’s fine. We’re going to adjust this. We’re going to tweak that.

You really want to wow them, so that they talk highly about you, so you can grow the brand.

  1. Under-promise and over-deliver. It may sound cliché, but it needs to be said – under-promise and over-deliver to your first franchisees when you are an emerging franchisor. You really want to wow them, so that they talk highly about you, so you can grow the brand. So that when other people come and say, “What’s it like here?” they reply with, “it’s awesome!”

What are common pitfalls for coaches and founders?

Angela: The other pitfalls that a first early coach and founder is losing touch with your corporate location. This isn’t good for profitability and business growth. Additionally, from a perspective of a franchise coach, franchisees will think that you can’t relate anymore because you’re not working in the business.

The way to avoid that pitfall is to have a general manager at your corporate location who really understands how to grow the business. Be in touch with that person, communicate regularly with what’s going on in that corporate location so that when you’re talking to franchisees, you can say things like, “Yeah, we’re going through that same problem at our corporate location.”


With everyone we interview, we ask a series of fun questions! Here is Angela’s Q&A!

What new beliefs, behaviors, or habits adopted in the last five years have most positively impacted your life?

Angela: Getting a coach!  I hired a career coach three years ago to help me tap into my passion and figure out how to make that into a career. That was the best decision I made in my entire life. Later, I got an amazing performance coach. No matter what your income level is, it is super valuable to have someone with experience help you stay on track.

Purchase of less than $100 that’s improved your life.

Angela: My monthly membership to my local floating franchise, The Float House. You float in a tank with high level of salt. Sensory deprivation is a dark, warm and relaxing experience and is great for those stressful days.

What would you want to put on a billboard?

Angela: “Contrary to popular belief, franchising is NOT turnkey. Franchising a business requires someone with expertise who understand the complexity of the model. Buying into a franchise as a franchisee requires hard work, leadership skills and true grit.”

What books have you most gifted to other people?

Angela: It is a bit embarrassing, but it is a business book: Traction by Gino Wickman. This helps clients with vision, short-term and long-term plans.

More Info:

  • To learn more about Angela, you can go to her website at angela COTE Inc.
  • To learn more about FranchiseBlast field audit and scorecard software, go to our website.
  • Would you like a PDF of this article? Download PDF here.

Battle Tested Strategy link to download

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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How Focusing on Better-Performing Franchisees Helps Maximize Franchisee Performance Region-Wide

By | Battle Tested Strategies, Field Audits, Franchise Operations

Which franchisees have the highest potential for growth? In this battle tested strategy, we discuss how Amy Perkins, Senior Business Consultant from Ben & Jerry’s, focused on “middle-to-top” franchisees helping lift results across her region.

It is easy for franchise coaches to focus on the weakest performers, since they are in need of the most help, and are often the squeakiest wheels. But, it is the top performers who have the most potential impact. We sat down with Amy to discuss what she did, and what other coaches can learn.

How did you get into coaching, and franchising in general?

Amy: I started at Ben & Jerry’s right out of college and was in the trenches from the ground up. I did all kinds of roles –  I started as a scooper then moved up to assistant manager, manager, regional manager and area manager for all of Vermont. Later I moved my way out West and became a business consultant and have been doing that for 12 years based out of the San Francisco Bay area.

amy perkins scoop shop

What do you like about working at Ben & Jerry’s?

Amy: Like most coaches, I spend the majority of my time talking about sales and improving business operations. Because Ben & Jerry’s focuses on so much more than that, I also get to have really unique and interesting conversations with our franchisees.

Ben & Jerry’s isn’t just the name of our brand – the guys that give it their name are two very colorful people with a lot to say. Ben once said, “business has a responsibility to give back to the community.” I love that I can go into a franchise business consultation and talk about social mission and what the franchisees are doing to change the world within their community.

And something that I think about every single day – Jerry said, “If it’s not fun, why do it?” and I’m pretty lucky that that’s how I get to live my day-to-day life – it’s a pretty awesome experience!

Which franchisees do you focus on when coaching?

Amy: I tend to focus on the group of franchisees that hovers above the middle, but not quite at the top. Results don’t often come from the folks that are already at the top because those franchisees are typically already doing what it takes to be there. But if you can focus on this middle-to-top pack, you can see some spectacular results.

Normal Curve for FranchiseesWhy does that make a difference? 

Amy: I think that those franchisees have a higher opportunity to move the needle; they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get themselves to the top – they‘re both hungry and thirsty -they have the drive and the desire. They’re the ones that are usually the most adaptable and willing to take on new strategies or ideas. You’ll see them putting their necks out more.

They just know that the harder they work, the more they’re going to see the results.  So, these folks are not necessarily comfortable just sitting at the middle of the pack since they can see what top performers can do. They want to be a top performer and they strive to be up there. They want to be at the top as much as they think they deserve it. Of course I support all of my franchisees, but I put a special focus on this group.

What do you think is a common pitfall for other franchise coaches?

Amy: I think we’re all guilty of this, but a lot of franchise business consultants and coaches spend way too much of their time focusing their efforts on the bottom 20%. It’s easy to get sucked into this. You get stuck focusing on that bottom 20% and they don’t really go anywhere. They’re not necessarily detrimental to the business, they’re just kind of comfortable living in a space that isn’t really affecting any sort of real change.

Can you tell us about some concrete examples of when this strategy has worked for you?

Amy: As part of my yearly plan, I chose three franchisees that I knew lived in this middle-to top space that I thought I could make the most direct impact on. I knew that they already had the drive and the desire, and I knew that with a little bit of extra support, they could really have an incredible year.

For the whole year I was hyper-focused on sales and trying to get as many touches in as possible. I called them more. I reached out to them more and asked them more questions. My favorite question – especially at my first consultation of the year is “what is your goal” followed up with “how are we going to make it happen”. I do this because it’s easy to create the goals, it’s much, much harder to figure out the execution plan. I made my field visits with them super-focused and direct, and I wanted them to know that I was rooting for them.

I also didn’t necessarily need them to know that they were on my top 3 list, they were simply getting additional support from me, and even though they didn’t know it, their results were pretty incredible.

Amy Perkins Ben and Jerry'sTell us about the results…

Amy: So, of the three, “Shop #1” off-premise sales, which includes business catering and events, were up 25%. Her scoop shop was also up 5%. Her staff was happier than ever. They were selling more of the right product mix, which resulted in a higher average check, a lower cost of goods sold. She also won one of our biggest awards at our annual meeting this year. She was completely shocked, but she deserved it!

For “Shop #2”, their off-premise sales were actually up over 100%. We tier all of our franchisees in our off-premise world, ranging from “Tier 1” if they’re just starting out, to “Tier 4” if they are the best of the best. Shop 2 actually hopped tiers – from Tier 2 to Tier 3. That’s not easily accomplished so I was really proud of them.

For Shop #3, she was a multi-unit operator, and she’d been in a unique situation in that she has three very different types of operations:  one neighborhood scoop shop, one that’s a high-volume tourist shop, and thirdly she has a strong off-premise program. She managed to grow all three, which is pretty amazing.  In doing this she really had to execute three different strategic marketing plans simultaneously.

Shop sales grew, transaction counts were up, average check was up, and off-premise was up. Their P&L was the tightest I’ve ever seen it. They were able to invest in their staff and grow a manager as well. She found herself putting out less fires and was able to focus more on driving business results. A whirlwind year for her!

What was your biggest challenge in terms of implementing this strategy?

Amy: It was hard to determine who to pick. Every organization has really strong franchisees and management teams and determining who you really want to put high amounts of effort into can be a bit of a challenge. But if you can determine the the middle-to-top performers, you’re going to see the most return.

ben and jerry's truck outside

What advice would you give another coach who’d want to try this strategy

Amy: At the beginning of the year, choose three to five franchisees and their management teams that you know are invested in their business and have what it takes to move that needle. Depending on your work load, this could represent from 5-10% of your franchisees.

Determine what your goals are for each, and then formulate your plan. Track the plan and check in regularly on the goals. Make as many touches with these franchisees as you possibly can, and watch their results play out. Don’t feel like it’s ever too late to start this process – it can be started at any point in the year!

What is the biggest benefit to you as a coach?

Amy: I think it also allows you to control the conversation from a field rep position. Sometimes franchisees think the role of their business coach is solely compliance and I think that’s short-sighted.  I think it’s part of my job, and I think it’s an important part of my job, but I don’t want to focus exclusively on that.

To the contrary I want to say to the franchisee: “if you’ll let me be your business coach, we can do something pretty magical here.” This strategy allowed me to support each of the franchisees in my region, but by focusing on these high-potential franchisees –   see the results!  I could not be happier and I am much more fulfilled as a coach. It just felt good.

With everyone we interview, we ask a series of fun questions! Here is Amy’s Q&A!

What new beliefs, behaviors, or habits adopted in the last five years have most positively impacted your life?

I have been a pretty die-hard Orangetheory Fitness fan for almost two years now. I’m healthier, I’m lighter, I’m stronger, I’m happier, I have more energy and all of those things are great. But I feel like it’s changed who I am – it just keeps me in check and it makes me a better person. Since they are a franchise with locations across my region, I always have a little piece of home when I’m on the road.

Purchase of less than $100 that’s improved your life.
Melatonin. It’s changed my life – because I sleep a whole lot better than I used to!

What would you want to put on a billboard?
“Buy the plane ticket.”

What books have you most gifted to other people?

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris

Kissing in Manhattan by David Schickler

To learn more about Ben and Jerry’s, and about catering Ice Cream to your next business event, go to Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Catering page! To learn more about Amy Perkins, go to her LinkedIn page.

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