Multi-Plied!: Multi-Unit Franchising Comes on Stronger Every Year

Multi-unit and multi-brand operations are where the action is today in franchising. Whether the economy stalls, falls, or climbs, an increasing number of franchisees are not content with just one unit--and many are not content with just one brand. Multi-concept franchising offers power in numbers--units, brands, territory, and income--as well as the gained by spreading the risk across different brands in a franchisee company's portfolio.

It takes a sophisticated team with a solid infrastructure to manage multiple brands simultaneously. That's why multi-concept operators build organizations that, among other things, allow them to hire and retain talented individuals by providing growth paths within the company. Then there's the leverage that comes with economies of scale in these kinds of operations--in market penetration, and buying power to name just a few.

This year we once again turned to FRANdata for their latest data on multi-brand franchising. This is the third year the market research firm has provided us with their list of the top 50 multi-brand franchisees in the country. Then we took their data and created a list of the Multi-Brand 50's 25 favorite brands. Restaurant brands continue to dominate. Some of the most popular this year are Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, Burger King, and Hardee's. The list begins on page 46.

Six of success

While the numbers can be phenomenal, we like to put a human face on the business--since business is people. That's why we continue to seek out top-performing multi-unit franchisees to profile, asking them how they got where they are, what they like about the franchising business, and what makes them tick--as well as what ticks them off. This issue, we caught up with six busy multi-unit operators, from West Coast to East, from QSR to oil changes. Each has a unique story to tell, yet they also share the commonalities that drive multi-unit success: a desire to serve their customers, provide jobs and opportunities to the people who work for them, and a burning passion to grow their business. Here's a preview of what you'll discover in the following pages:

  • David Griffin oversees 51 Jiffy Lube franchises in Utah, Colorado, and Nevada. The son of a hardscrabble farmer, he's had to earn everything he has today. Working alongside his "wife, and closest adviser," Joye--and now with their three sons--he's focused not only on expanding, but also on giving back to the people who work in his franchises and live in his communities.
  • Dave Melton is taking Metro New York by storm--one slice at a time. The Richmond, Va., native was so impressed with the enthusiasm of the first Domino's franchisee he worked, for that he decided to try it for himself. He now oversees six Domino's in Manhattan and Connecticut.
  • Cheryl Robinson is 30 years from her first day of working as a bookkeeper at Supercuts--when there were only 23 nationwide. Today, the self-titled "Queen" of her own company, along with her husband and Joey, has 31 Supercuts salons and 300 employees in Southern California.
  • Mike Pietrzyk's first experience in franchising was turning around a failing Burger Chef at the ripe old age of 21. He did it in seven months. Thirty-seven years later, the Detroit native--who has operated Pizza Hut, Wendy's, Little Caesars--has 21 Firehouse Subs, with a deal to develop 58 in Virginia and West Virginia by 2015.
  • Fiorenzo Bresolin is a Canadian attorney who fell in love with Florida on a business trip. Some years later, when he heard Teriyaki Express was looking to start franchise in the U.S., he jumped at the chance: he bought Florida. He's opened 4 so far--leaving him only 146 more to fill out his area development deal in the Sunshine State.
  • Rob Parsons has lived both sides of franchising. Working in the corporate side in he helped Denny's and Popeyes franchisees expand before deciding to step out on his own and open his first Popeyes last summer. He has 2 open in New England (his first unit hit $1 million in less than 4 months), with 16 more on the way.

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