Wanted: Multi-Unit Partners: Franchisors and Multi-Unit Franchisees Team up for Growth
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Wanted: Multi-Unit Partners: Franchisors and Multi-Unit Franchisees Team up for Growth

Multi-unit franchisees dominate today's marketplace, controlling more total units than their single-unit counterparts--and an increasing number are operating multiple brands.

This steady shift over the past decade led Franchise Update Media Group in 2004 to debut a new magazine--Multi-Unit Franchisee--to serve the growing generation of multi-unit operators, hungry for information to help them expand both their number of units and their number of brands.

The first issue of the new magazine featured multi-brand franchisee John Prince, a former stockbroker whose franchise holdings then included Applebee's, Aaron's, Famous Dave's, and a Hooters (in Salt Lake City, no less!). We also featured Jim Gendreau, who in 1981 sold 70 franchises in 9 months for Cost Cutters, and then became a serial franchisee for several brands, including operating 54 Cost Cutters of his own. We also told the story of Tom Larson, who had 20 lodging and restaurant units spread among 7 brands. We led the story with this:

"Besides size, what makes these area developers different from other franchise owners? Why do they amass so many units and brands while others are content with one site, maybe two or three? How do they manage to manage more brands than other people can handle units? Who are these guys?"

Since then we've interviewed and profiled hundreds of "these guys" (and women); heard from experts on every facet of the business; and compiled lists and rankings that chronicle the fantastic growth in not only the numbers, but also in the professionalism of these operators and their organizations.

Our annual Multi-Unit Franchising Conference also has grown over the years, in both the number and the quality of attendees, panelists, speakers, and exhibitors. Our online multi-unit business intelligence offerings have also expanded greatly with monthly newsletters and websites focused on multi-unit franchising--paralleling the growth and serving the growing needs of the expanding ranks of multi-unit and multi-brand franchisee organizations.

Franchisors, in tandem with the growing base of multi-unit operators, have recognized this change and responded by altering their sales approach, even their FDDs, to accommodate multiple-unit sales to experienced franchisees. The "three-pack" has grown to the five-pack and 10-pack, and we're hearing more about deals to develop upwards of 50 or 100 units in territories that grow larger each year.

Many of these multi-unit operators are only too pleased to share what they know with each other through our in-depth magazine profiles, taking time out from their busy schedules to reflect on their success and offer their stories and insights to our readers. And up close and personal at our annual Multi-Unit Conference, they have shown a generosity of spirit through impromptu conversations and on-the-spot mentoring.

This second annual edition of the Multi-Unit Buyer's Guide to Franchise Opportunities is a resource for connecting expansion-minded multi-unit operators with like-minded franchisors. The following pages, filled with concrete information from franchisors, is intended to help you evaluate new opportunities to diversify your portfolio of franchise brands.

The franchisors listed in these pages understand multi-unit franchising and are actively seeking experienced operators to help them penetrate new markets, quickly and effectively--and you're looking for the best brands to help your franchisee organization grow. We hope this guide helps all involved. New and prosperous partnerships could be just a few pages away!

Published: April 1st, 2011

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