New data released by Franchise Business Review reveals that multi-unit franchisees are more satisfied overall and enjoy operating their franchise businesses slightly more than single-unit franchisees. The data was obtained from a study involving nearly 25,000 franchisees representing more than 350 brands that the firm conducted during the previous 18 months. 9,478 franchisees (38%) of the study's participants identified themselves as multi-unit operators. Franchise Business Review is a market research firm specializing in franchisee satisfaction and performance.
Overall, multi-unit operators tend to score 2% to 7% higher than single-unit operators on their satisfaction and enjoyment with their franchise business. That said, multi-unit franchisees also have higher expectations for their franchisor and are more critical of areas like technology, system innovation, advertising, training & support, and communications. These higher expectations are the result of multi-unit operators having much more invested in the brand as well as more at risk.
83% of multi-unit operators surveyed say their attitude toward their franchisor is mostly positive, compared to just 17% who indicate their attitude is mostly negative. Multi-unit franchisees are also 6% more likely to feel valued by their franchisor, as compared to single-unit franchisees within the same system. This is likely due to the fact that franchisors often focus more time and energy on their larger, top-performing franchisees.
Single-unit operators clearly see the value in the future of multi-unit ownership. A two-thirds majority (66%) of those who were surveyed indicated that they plan to purchase additional franchise units, compared to just 48% for existing multi-unit operators. And while a few of the multi-unit operators surveyed own 10, 20, or even 50+ units, just 9% of all franchisees own more than five.
Multi-unit ownership also varies greatly from industry to industry. In the automotive industry, for example, only 16% of operators recently surveyed have multiple locations. Business services is similar, with just 18% of franchisees owning more than one unit. On the other hand, the majority (51%) of franchisees in the food industry are multi-unit owners, especially in the QSR and fast casual sectors. The reason for so many multi-unit operators in the food industry is that many food franchisors focus on recruiting experienced, more sophisticated operators who have the skills to manage a larger organization.
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