Training Tips from Successful Franchisees

How the pros do it - every day in every way

Training employees can be challenging for new franchisees who have never operated their own business before. While they come to franchising with many valuable skills, training employees usually is not one of them. Large corporations have training specialists to do the job, and solopreneurs don't have to train anyone but themselves. And to be blunt, training at most companies leaves a lot to be desired. Yet, well-trained employees are essential to success at nearly all franchised businesses.

So, how does a new franchisee learn how to train new employees? One way is to learn from others who know. Each issue of our Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine features lengthy profiles of successful franchisees from all types of industries. And one of the questions we always ask them is, "How do you train and retain employees?" Below is a sampling of their replies from recent issues. Visit our archived issues to learn more about these remarkable franchisees, many of whom started out as a teenager working for the brands they now own and operate.

Elena Donahue

Owner/Chief People Officer, OceDon Restaurant Management
22 Burger Kings
"Training is the key to success. Our stance is that training is about continued growth and development in all levels of life. We offer language classes, personal financial counseling, Microsoft Excel, even grammar courses. Measuring career growth is not limited to hitting the numbers on a P&L statement. Everyone in the company is a trainer. We are a learning organization!"

Anil Yadav

President, JIB Management, Inc.
155 Jack in the Box, 26 Denny's
"We have created our own leadership training classes for managers and above. We have a lot of restaurant managers. We have monthly training programs for them to become a multi-unit operator. We also do quite a bit of computer-based training that everyone is required to go through. They must certify themselves at every station."

Gary Hughes

CEO, GCH Management
11 ColorTyme, 1 RimTyme
"ColorTyme provides great training programs: online for entry- and mid-level employees, and home office training in Dallas for management and multi-unit manager training."

Gina Puente

CEO/President, Puente Concessions, Inc.
4 Main Street News; 2 Wall Street News; 3 original concept wineries (2 La Bodega Wineries and 1 La Buena Vida Vineyards; 1 Blimpie/Cereality/NRgize Lifestyle Cafe; 2 UFood Grill; 1 Urban Taco; 1 Urban Taco Express; 5 Travelex Currency Service; 1 LBW Charters
"We are constantly finding innovative ways like capitalizing on grants to offer high-quality training to raise the bar on job satisfaction."

Glenn Mueller

President/CEO, RPM Pizza
136 Domino's Pizza
"At RPM Pizza, you can achieve your dreams and hit your career goals and personal goals over time. Look at the bigger picture and long term. Domino's is a great franchise and the best pizza company in the world! We treat our management like owners, our GMs earn up to 30 percent of the store's profits, and we try to give equity-type compensation. We have the best and most training programs in our industry. Pizza College symbolizes this commitment…. And we've added training from outside companies like Dale Carnegie."

Bob Chase

President, Money Mailer Response Marketing
30 Money Mailers
"We have training staff. We do extensive training in the field and in the office. It's very focused and specific for our industry."

Greg Willman

Co-owner, CEO, President, 316 Investments LLC
27 Qdoba Mexican Grills;1 Steak 'n Shake
"We utilize career mapping tools and offer an initial training program along with ongoing touch points. We recently instituted a five-month reorientation program for hourly staff as we realized that we were losing a disproportionate percentage of folks at six months and that those who stay beyond six months stay for a significant time."

Iris Cohen

President, RLC Enterprises/RLC of Michiana
47 Taco Bells (includes 9 KFC, 3 Pizza Hut, and 3 Long John Silver's multi-brand units)
"We have an excellent director of human resources and training, Debra Doyle, whose passion is to train and communicate the most cutting-edge information to our teams. She prides herself on continuing education and is constantly seeking out the most efficient and effective ways to protect and develop our employees. Debra was with Taco Bell for many years before joining RLC. We are proud to have her in her 18th year with us."

Jason Mann

President, Mann's Diversified Industries and FSSG
Planet Smoothie: 2 locations; area representative for 28 others
"For this new generation you have to communicate with your employees on a consistent basis. I take my employees through a thorough training program. Retaining requires effective communications through ongoing evaluations and creating a fun atmosphere."

Subodh Patel

President, Bluebonnet Hospitality Management
14 hotels, several different brands; 1 Einstein Bros. Bagels
"We hire people with the right mental attitude and then groom them in their position so they know what to expect and I know what they're capable of handling. We have our training in terms of whatever the particular franchise company offers on an annual basis."

Tom Kazbour

President and Area Developer, Managing Foods
56 Hungry Howie's
"We hire young trainees and encourage our operating partners to groom them for more responsibility. Our operating partners train employees, and we offer those who do well the opportunity for advancement."

23.2: Training Franchise Employees
23.4: Employee Motivation

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