Monthly Archives

August 2019

How to Use KPIs in Franchising

By | Franchisee Scorecard, KPI
KPIs in Franchising

Most franchisors are aware of KPIs and management. but going from “idea” to “roll-out” can be too big a chasm for many franchisors to overcome. But in today’s world, which is both highly competitive and data rich, KPIs in franchising are becoming a must-have to succeed.

The management style connected with KPIs is especially important in franchising. You are working with entrepreneurs, not employees. Franchisees are more independent and have to be convinced about initiatives rather than being led. This can turn many with a corporate background into a state of frustration.  But this challenge, to the right mind, can be seen as a strength. An entrepreneur, worth their salt, will be motivated to succeed and will draw on the “I’ll do what it takes” mentality. This situation sets the stage perfectly for managing via KPIs in franchising.

  • KPIs motivate: Traditional management talks about “the carrot or the stick” as the two sides needed to manage effectively. In terms of the carrot, KPIs motivate, especially when they are displayed together with leaderboards.
  • KPIs monitor: In terms of the stick, KPIs help make clear what the expectations are for a franchise. After all, a franchisee is granted the right to operate the franchisor’s brand, thus there are obligations associated with this right.

How to determine KPIs in Franchising

Your KPIs are as unique as your business. As a result, determining your KPIs can come from the following sources:

  • Industry experts: whether your franchise operates in restaurant, automotive or health and fitness, you will typically be able to find an effective, numbers-oriented expert in the space. These folks will typically come from a management background, but they can also be found with on an engineering, software or financial career-track. Look for them at your industry conferences or publications.
  • Franchisees: As people familiar with the day-to-day of the operation, franchisees can be a rich source of input into KPIs. Getting them involved also facilitates compliance and alignment down the road. Look to your Franchise Advisory Board as a starting point.
  • Internal team: Your internal team can be a valuable ally when it comes to KPIs. Your Franchise Consultants are a first stop on the road to KPIs, but you may want to check in with Marketing, HR and Training teams as well.

Sample KPIs

As discussed, KPIs are unique to every business. But sometimes seeing samples of KPIs in franchising can spark discussion and build intelligence. Due to popular request, we have sample KPIs in the following areas. To get statistics for this post, we relied heavily on the Franchise Business Outlook published by the International Franchise Association (IFA).

Restaurant Franchise KPIs

Numbers: According to the IFA, there were 226,699 Fast Food, Quick Serve and Full Serve restaurant establishments combined in January 0f 2018. This means that out of the 759,236 franchise establishments, restaurants were 55.5% of all franchises. It stands to reason that restaurants are still going strong in franchising.

Trends: The biggest change to hit restaurants are off-premise sales. Delivery, led by the pizza world is taking a bite out of the industry as a whole.

KPI Samples: Speed of Service RevPASH and % of Online Orders are indicators found across establishments. See our full list of Restaurant KPIs here.

Salon and Spa KPIs

Percent: Personal service, which includes Salon and Spas, represents 113, 536 establishments, representing 15.1% of franchised businesses. In 2015, the global wellness industry was valued at 3.7 trillion dollars.

Trends: Digital disruption is affecting salons and spas, with businesses offering apps and online appointment setting. 70% of Spas, for example, offer online appointment setting.

KPI Samples: Retail Capture Rate, Repeat Guests and GOPPATH are KPIs found in this industry. See our full list of Salon and Spa KPIs here.

Gym and Fitness KPIs

Percent: Gym and fitness is also included in the booming personal services franchise category, which, same as Salon and Spas, represents 15.1% of the franchises. Currently about 20% of Americans have a fitness membership, and that could easily double in the next 10-15 years.

Trends: Wearables sharing biometric data have emerged as a top trend in fitness today.

KPI Samples:  Active Members, Revenue/Client and Revenue per Square Foot are KPIs seen in fitness businesses. See our full list of Fitness and Gym KPIs here.

Automotive KPIs

Percent: There are 38,065 Automotive franchise establishments in the US, representing 5.0% of franchises.

Trends: With new automotive sales on the decline, drivers of older cars are more likely to pay to keep their car running, with the average older car owner 2x more likely to pay over $1,000 to keep their car running.

KPI Samples: Productivity, Efficiency % and Cycle Time are common in this industry. See our full list of Automotive KPIs here.

Education KPIs

Percent: Education is also part of the broad Personal Services franchise category, weighing in at 15.1% of all franchises.

Trends: STEM Education support is a trend in education, with the Bureau of education forecasting a million new jobs created in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math between 2012 and 2022.

KPI Samples: Trial Conversion, Attendance % and Churn % are typically found here. See our full list of Education KPIs here.

Types of Franchise KPIs

KPIs come in many different forms. See the infographic below as a guide.

KPI Best Practices

When rolling out a KPI program, it is important to remember that the program is a living and breathing organism, rather than something static. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t Set it and Forget it: The beauty of this program is that it helps you track your progress. That means having positive habits around review cycles is a must-have.
  • Review Consistently: As new trends come into your industry, you want to review and change what you monitor. For example, 5 years ago restaurants did not typically track % of online orders. Today it is standard.
  • Tie to Scorecards: Scorecards offer a one-page summary of what is going on with the business. This is a great user-friendly tool for franchisors and franchisees alike.

Parting Thoughts

Once you have your KPIs in place, you may want to invest in a scorecard program to make them easy and understandable. FranchiseBlast has created a comprehensive eBook on Scorecards called The Ultimate Guide to Franchisee Scorecards. Download this valuable resource now.



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Unit Level Economics for Franchise Businesses

By | Uncategorized

We have all heard that Unit Level Economics is important in franchising, but going from understanding it in theory to transforming it into action is a big step.  According to QSR Magazine, “the success or failure of a franchise concept can pivot off of how well unit economics are tracked, managed, and improved.” In this article, we will take a look at why Unit Level Economics are important in a franchise business, and how to put it in place in your organization.

Why Unit Level Economics for Franchise Businesses

Strong Unit Level Economics is the foundation upon all business success sits. Even though most franchisors get royalties from revenue, not profit, having franchisees succeed in the long run creates genuine referrals and organic growth. Those who want sustained growth for both the franchisor and franchisee pay close attention. According to Joe Matthews, strong Unit Level Economics can also help in Franchise Development as franchise candidates look for the following:

  • Does your business make money?
  • Is the business sustainable? Will it continue to make money into the foreseeable future?
  • Can I see myself in the business?

So the focus builds that franchise business from many angles.

Core Measurements

The starting point of a Unit Level Economics initiative will take the following into account:

  • Unit Profit  and Loss (P&L)
  • Break-even point
  • Payback period

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) take center stage when it comes to any program rollout.

Sample Unit Level Economic Program Rollout

Are you ready to rollout a program? Surprisingly, we have found that sometimes more established systems are behind newer systems who may have set up strong programs  from the beginning. The best rollouts start from the top, where the Owner or CEO sets the tone and the franchisor team is full of people who care about franchise success on an emotional level.

Step 1: Determine the Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

Every business is different, so using the wrong KPIs can do more harm than good. Develop these benchmarks with input of the franchisees and industry experts. As a starting point, we have KPIs for Restaurant, Health and Fitness, Spa and Salon, Education and Automotive.

Step 2: Track and Improve KPIs

Now that you have the information that you need, you can manage your KPIs together with your franchisees. Franchisors who have a “corporate location” have more skin in the game and can experiment with the business model. Having franchise committees or forums can also help develop and share best practices. Another way to encourage performance is to have part of your franchise consultant’s salary variable based on franchisee KPIs.

Step 3: Share Information About Your KPIs 

Sharing information about KPIs is key to an organization’s success. In fact, at FranchiseBlast we have seen an increasing amount of customers tracking scorecard performance on a monthly basis as well as getting information from their POS or online reviews.

Critically Reassess the Basis of Controllable Franchisee Variable Costs

The franchise landscape changes over time. For example, off-premise has appeared in a substantial way in the past few years leading to changes in procedures, facilities and digital assets. Reviews have also taken a front-seat in  marketing, when as little as 5 years ago they were a second thought. Reassess those KPIs over time, making sure your programs are relevant.

Parting Thoughts

Overall, a strong Unit Level Economics program is alive, with participation and tracking throughout. To learn more, download our Ultimate Guide to Franchisee Scorecards.



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