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Franchise Articles

Browse our selection of franchise articles and features to help further your knowledge in opening and operating a franchise business. Our exclusive features cover the , , , , , , and site of the franchise business. Written by the editorial team that produces Franchise Update Magazine and Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine, the franchise industries premier magazines.

Feature Story:

6 Things That Make A Brand Indispensable »

By John DiJulius

We all have a company or two that we can't fathom life without. What are the few companies that, if I told you, "You can no longer do business with them, ever again," you would become extremely upset? When I ask my audiences this question, the same brands always get mentioned: Apple, Starbucks, Nordstrom, and Amazon, along with numerous local mom-and-pop shops.

Now the important part is to think about what they have done and what they consistently do to make you so loyal, to make you feel you cannot live without them. That is power. That is brand loyalty. The more people you can make feel like they cannot live without your brand, the closer you are to making price irrelevant.

The key deciding factors to being a business people cannot live without are: 1) great service/products; 2) consistency; 3) ease of doing business; 4) employee evangelists; 5) educate versus sell; and 6) personalized experience...

Feature Story:

Protecting The Model: Defining And Defending Franchising In 2016 »

By Darrell Johnson

We all get the calls: "What's the best franchise these days?" How do you answer that? Usually, the answer is a muddled, meandering set of comments. Before I get into why we should find it easy to answer that question and how to do so, I think it's important to know what the cost is of not being able to answer that question. How about the future vitality of the franchise business model?
I think it is reasonable to associate a significant portion of franchising's inability to answer that question with more than 30 state legislative initiatives, periodic federal legislative efforts (two bills now pending), countless legal proceedings, regulatory attacks on many fronts, and plenty of of negative press. Most of this came about because of the absence of a common understanding of the business model and a common way to assess its strengths and weaknesses...

Feature Story:

Social Studies: Training For The Online Marathon »

By Helen Bond

When it comes to a successful social media strategy, Valerie Kinney's advice for franchisors is succinct. "Stay focused, yet nimble," says Kinney, vice president of marketing for CertaPro Painters.
No longer on the fence about the value of social media, the franchise world is flocking to digital platforms to build, validate, and nurture business. While everyone may be doing it, most still grapple with how to best use digital content to connect with customers.
"Organizations often can get caught up on the new shiny social media object and lose focus on why they are doing social," says Kinney. "You are doing social to have a deeper engagement, to be where your customer already is, and to develop that relationship in a meaningful way with value-added content...

Feature Story:

South Florida's Largest Wendy's Franchisee Gets Bigger »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The largest multi-unit Wendy's operator in South Florida has just picked up another 97 corporate units bringing its total count to 177 Wendy's throughout Florida, Texas, and New Mexico. That makes JAE Restaurant Group one of the largest employers in South Florida with a total of more than 5,400 employees.
The multi-unit powerhouse is looking for additional locations in these states and plans to build five more Wendy's restaurants in South Florida within the next six to eight months. The company says its goal is to open an average of eight to 10 locations per year across all markets.
"We strive to remain leaders in the nation's evolving quick service restaurant industry by delivering an exceptional experience of quality, service, and cleanliness to our customers through high quality food, friendly staff, high operational standards, and being engaged in our communities," says Eddie Rodriguez, chief executive officer of JAE Restaurant Group...

Feature Story:

A Cry For 'Yelp': Tips For Franchisees »

By Jenna Oltersdorf

Your Yelp page will make or break your business. It's usually the first place a potential customer will go, even before your website, so it's important that it's all buttoned up. The restaurant scene is already competitive, so don't let your Yelp page, something you can (mostly!) control, be the reason customers eat down the street.

Have a complete and accurate page
Make sure you have all of your restaurant's information listed, including hours, the phone number, and address. It's über convenient for customers that are already on your Yelp page looking at reviews. When they decide they want to try your restaurant, they'll love that the phone number and address is listed right there so they can skip the extra step of Googling it...

Feature Story:

Think Segment And Act Personal - Because You Can! »

By Chen Katz

So, you want to target U.S. professionals with advanced degrees making more than $400,000 per year with two children of high school age? Your neighbor may qualify. So does Barack Obama. Same segment? Yes. Responds to and requires the same offers? Probably not.

Across the pond, your counterpart wants to reach wealthy Britons older than 65 who own multiple homes - Prince Charles and Jimmy Page. Same segment? Definitely. Responds to and requires the same offers? I'm guessing not.

Every department across the organization - loyalty, digital, mobile, marketing, merchandising, web, advertising - is working toward the same goal: maintain and grow share of wallet across customer groups.

At the beginning of a campaign, the language spoken across departments must be the same because content, special offers, coupons, personalized pricing, advertising, and flyers need to be tailored to reach the maximum number of segments with a minimum investment...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: Sept. 27, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

On the Fence About Instagram for Your Business? Take a Look at These Stats!
Here's a handy infographic from social media firm Buzzoid with stats that summarize the reach and power of Instagram for business. The article notes that more businesses are taking note of Instagram now that it offers a self-serve ad platform. Some of the eye-opening numbers to get you thinking more about why you should get active on Instagram to engage with your customers:

Feature Story:

People Power: Your People Are Your Greatest Strength »

By Jason Conrad

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with Dave Ridley, who spent 27 years with Southwest Airlines as a senior executive in a variety of operational, commercial, and staffing roles. These included CMO, SVP of people and leadership development, SVP of business development, and VP of ground (airport) operations. Now a senior advisor to CEO Gary Kelly, Ridley is the embodiment of Southwest's mission: dedication to the highest quality customer service, delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.
Working with him at our annual customer conference and hearing him speak got me thinking about how all of us in the service industry, vendors and franchisees alike, could learn a thing or two from Dave. But as Dave would say, these aren't lessons; they're just reminders of what we've already experienced, seen, or heard...

Feature Story:

Worldwide Marketing: Global Consumer Marketing Trends In 9 Countries »

By Bill Edwards

Consumer marketing around the world is both the same and different from country to country. Adapting to the differences is critical in marketing a brand successfully overseas. To help sort out the similarities and differences in global consumer marketing, we asked leading franchise specialists in countries with a high level of franchising activity to tell us what they're seeing with respect to PR, social media, and local marketing.

Feature Story:

In With The New!: Cousins Subs Reboots For Future Growth »

By Christine Specht

The fast casual space is one that continuously evolves to meet consumer demands. From restaurant design to ordering methods and digital advancements both in-store and online, brands are continually undergoing changes to keep their dynamic guest base happy... and full. We at Cousins Subs are no exception. But before I introduce you to the reinvented Cousins Subs, I must first set the stage as to how we got here.

Who we are
For those not familiar with Cousins Subs, our 40-plus year journey began in 1972 when my father Bill Specht and his cousin Jim Sheppard brought their favorite/ style of sub sandwich from the East Coast to their new hometown of Milwaukee. Setting out to serve "Better Bread. Better Subs." they began a legacy of meticulously crafting the finest sandwiches possible...

Feature Story:

Restaurants Take The Blame For Others' Mistakes »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Industry research firm Technomic just released a new study "On Demand Delivery: Disrupting the Future of Foodservice" that confirms that even if restaurants have a formal agreement with third-party ordering portals and delivery services, the majority of consumers (76%) hold the restaurant at least partially responsible for any errors.
"This puts operators' brand reputation at risk each time a customer orders delivery through these services," says Melissa Wilson, a principal at Technomic Inc. "Even if delivery is not a current strategic initiative, operators should educate themselves about and understand the dynamics of the third party delivery market so they can put guardrails in place to maintain quality and brand reputation."
The On Demand Delivery study helps operators and third-party delivery services interpret the evolving dynamics with this distribution channel to strengthen their ability to create effective strategies for capitalizing on this emerging trend, devising plans related to the potential impact on operations, product mix, and store design, or developing their own delivery offering...

Feature Story:

Technology And The Multi-Unit Operator »

By Dan Schneider

How often do you conduct business via your cell phone? And when was the last time you took a picture with a traditional camera? Technology has developed so today, that our phone has become our constant companion fulfilling a variety of needs. If you had to guess when the first camera phone was released, would you know? I was surprised too, it was 2002; and it was one of those flip phones. Today, in addition to taking pictures, we can stream live video, and even see the person with whom we are talking, in the moment! The reality check here is that although the introduction of the camera phone was impressive at the time, it was a very small step to introducing a new way to communicate.
Are you reading this on a screen, maybe through your tablet, computer, or phone? If not, how many times over the last week have you received some sort of news or information from an online source...

Feature Story:

Giving Back: 3 Stories Of Successful Community Involvement »

By Steve Olson

Editor's Note: As the year-end season of giving approaches, it's time to take another look at cause marketing. Giving back to the communities your brand serves takes many forms, and most franchise brands engage in this practice at some level. While giving back is an end in itself, it does build goodwill and attract customers - as well as franchisee candidates to expand the system. With so many of today's franchisee candidates looking not only at ROI, but also at making a difference (especially younger candidates), Steve Olson asked three franchises CEOs about how their brands' community involvement is engaging customers, building loyalty, and helping to grow the brand.

• Tony Lamb, CEO of Kona Ice. "We are truly proud of our year-round community outreach programs, which to date have generated $35 million to help those in need," says Lamb...

Feature Story:

Good News! - September 2016 »

By Eddy Goldberg

The good news: Franchising is experiencing a remarkable growth phase - not only in unit count and system-wide revenue, but also in the number of new and emerging brands. The bad news: It's harder to keep up with all the good news! That's a nice problem to have - and why we've brought back our "Good News!" roundup of selected news items on unit growth, investment and financial developments, international expansion news, refranchising, and milestones attained by franchisors large, medium, and emerging. Here's your chance to follow the leaders, every third Tuesday of the month.

So if you're not doing it already, send us your good news here.

New Units/Growth/Expansion
MOD Pizza Signs 50-Unit Deal for Florida with BBX Capital
Checkers & Rally’s Signs 40 New Franchisees in Continuing Expansion
Toppers Pizza Signs 2 New Deals for 35 More Locations
Newk’s Eatery Enters Indiana with 15-Unit Development Deal
Captain D’s Inks Deals for 9 New Restaurants (Georgia, Texas, Virginia)
Burgerim Continues U...

Feature Story:

American Dreamer: Team Work Makes The Dream Work »

By Helen Bond

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen multi-unit franchisee Ali Shahid Butt learned long ago that success in business depends on other people. "Team work makes the dream work," says Butt, president of AR Group of Restaurants, which operates 25 Popeyes restaurants in 5 states.
Butt and his wife, Arian Rahmani, received the MVP American Dream Award for achieving remarkable success in the United States. Born in Pakistan, he journeyed to the U.S. in 1992, "based on the desire for achievement and success," he says.
"I had friends who always talked about the United States, its greatness, and the opportunity," Butt told the New Jersey newspaper The Trentonian. "This country inspires a person to succeed. People willing to work hard can always make a life here...

Feature Story:

CMO Roundtable: Big Data In Strategic Market Planning »

Franchise Update

As the role of big data in strategic market planning grows, how does it affect your long-term marketing plans, forecasting, efficiency/ROI of your media spend, or other parts of your marketing?

Steve Rockman
Chief Marketing Officer
At TruFusion, we market primarily to the Millennial, specifically females. Because of this, we are talking to the most highly connected generation yet, with their access to instant information. Millennials speak in data, and if we can collect, analyze, and react to this data in a timely and accurate manner, we will greatly increase our chances to develop a long-term relationship with these consumers.
Our entire business model is predicated on technology, from our POS system, which tracks member sign-up and class check-ins, to every purchase members make in one of our studios...

Feature Story:

Speed Thrills: Today's Customers Expect Instant Response »

By John DiJulius

Time and speed of service are critical to the customer experience. Everyone in the organization has to understand how valuable time is to the customer. In today's busy world, it is vital for businesses to demonstrate to their customers that their time is always regarded as a critical resource. It doesn't matter what industry you are in today. Companies like Google, Zappos, and Amazon have changed your business because they have affected the expectations of your customers.

It's all about time
The world of the Internet has made everything instantaneous, from information and answers to questions to getting products into people's hands. Today a friend can recommend a book for you to read, and within 30 seconds it can be in your hands on your iPad, Kindle, or other e-reader...

Feature Story:

Multi-Unit Franchisees Are Satisfied But Expect More »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

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...

Feature Story:

5 Strategic Steps To Getting Equipment Financing »

By Biz Durling

There are a lot of benefits to financing equipment, but for many, it can also seem like a pretty scary venture. But, if you go in with a plan and follow these steps, financing or leasing equipment might be the best thing you did for your business and can even help you gain a competitive edge over your competition.

1. Think about how you will be using the equipment
What kind of equipment are you looking to purchase? Do you need it for just a year or is it a piece of equipment you will pay for itself in a couple of years? Doing a quick cost/benefit analysis by estimating how much revenue the new equipment will generate can help you figure out if financing the equipment will make you profitable.

2. Research and use an equipment finance partner who understands your business
This step is critical to your overall success...

Feature Story:

Service Recovery: It May Not Be Your Fault, But It Is Your Problem »

By John Tschohl

Companies may not be able to prevent all problems, but they can learn to recover from them. A good recovery can turn angry, frustrated customers into loyal ones. It can, in fact, create more goodwill than if things had gone smoothly in the first place.

Opportunities for service recovery are numerous. If you are close to the customer and discover a problem, it's your chance to go beyond the call of duty and win a customer for life.

Learn More

2016 MVPs: Celebrating This Year's Outstanding Operators    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

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2016 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

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