Food franchise – For people who want to open a restaurant, but perhaps aren’t sure where to start, purchasing a franchise may provide the perfect solution as it provides a “turn-key” opportunity. A franchise offers ownership of a business that has built-in name recognition and a proven track record of success.
Let’s take a brief look at the whole concept of a food franchise; firstly restaurant franchises are not the same thing as restaurant chains. There are also different types of franchise ownership, from a simple single or multi-unit franchise up to an area developer or master franchise. So as you can imagine the investment opportunities are many and varied.
Pret a Manger is a sandwich shop chain, but as an individual parent company owns it, it is not a franchise. You cannot buy or invest in a Pret a Manger sandwich shop franchise. On the other hand, McDonald’s is both a chain and a franchise. Interested parties to purchase individual units of a McDonald’s restaurant as a food franchise. So, in essence, all franchises are chains, but not all chains are franchises.
Now a food franchise will require a significant investment as most successful food franchise come with a premium price tag. In the US, Dunkin’ Donuts, for example, calls for prospective franchisees to have a minimum of 1.5 million US dollars net worth and $750,000 in cash reserves. Hamburger chain Wendy’s needs $500,000 in liquid assets and a minimum one million US Dollar net worth. We are talking here about the most successful brands, with proven track records and high profitability. Naturally you’d expect to have to pay a premium to have a piece of the action, as it were.
Also, successful businesses that offer franchising opportunities will need to protect their brand.
Previous restaurant or other business related experience will often be required before you are allowed to represent the brand. However, opening an independent restaurant might see investors looking for definite experience in the restaurant industry.
Another factor to consider is that large, successful food franchises may need you to operate at multiple locations. In the US both Pizza Hut and Taco Bell franchises require at least three new restaurants in three years. While Dunkin Donuts wants a minimum investment of five new restaurants at a time.
A “turn-key” solution
One of the biggest appeals of a food franchise is the fact that they are “turn-key” operations. This means issues such as the kitchen layout, dining room design, menu and even right down to the marketing materials and campaigns are all done for you. This sort of support is also the reason there is a requirement for a much larger initial investment than simply going it alone. The upshot is you simply don’t have to work at building up name recognition and brand positioning because it is part of what you are buying.
Another consideration when investing in a food franchise is understanding and adhering to the rules the brand owners impose on the business. For the franchisor, the key thing is consistency. Customers visiting a food business with a particular name over the door will expect precisely the same service, food and surroundings, regardless of whether they are in London or Glasgow. In order to maintain this consistency food franchises come complete with a large book of rules and guidelines. These will outline the do’s and don’ts of owning the franchise. When an agreement has been made to buy a food franchise, the buyer is also agreeing to adhere to all the specific rules of the business.
Of course, there are downsides to owning or investing in a food franchise; compromises are required for all the upside of a turn-key solution. If you are a creative entrepreneur, you may find the restrictions of owning a franchise limiting. For example, you may relish dreaming up new menus or working on different dining concepts, menu designs or dining room layouts and decorations. If this is you then may find the structured set-up of a food franchise to be a little restrictive. If you like to set your own rules and try out new things, you may feel stifled by the demands of the brand owner.
Have you got what it takes?
So if you are now actively seeking a food franchise to invest in, what next? Well, the most important thing to do is carry out some research. As part of this investigation, you will also need to examine yourself, think about your characteristics and your skill set. Do you possess the attributes that make a successful franchisee?
One characteristic that many franchisors will look out for is passion. Franchisees need passion about their investment into the brand and the motivation to make it successful . Starting up a food franchise business from scratch is quite an undertaking. There will be hard work and long hours to get the business up to speed and making a profit. Good franchisors want to feel reassured that the people that are investing into a franchise share the same passion for driving the business forward even when the going gets rough.
Passion and motivation
The franchisor wants systems orientated people who have that all-important partnership mentality. The brand owners will have spent time, money and considerable effort developing, refining and extensively testing their business systems. They will not want to work with individuals who want to “reinvent the wheel”. Nevertheless, a good franchisor will certainly have processes in place to harness and reward good ideas coming from their network. Franchising is about franchisor and franchisee working hard in unison to drive the business forward.
While it may sound odd, a good franchisee must understand franchising. They must understand they are part of something bigger than just themselves and their part of the business. Together with a head office, there are normally other franchisees involved. Some of these will certainly be more established, and others new entrants. Good franchisees will not be afraid to ask questions and seek advice from their more experienced peers. The sharing of knowledge and ideas is of vital importance for the good of the brand as a whole.
Being in a position to invest in a franchise is an exciting proposition. Done well will it can achieve great results for the franchisee and franchisor alike, a truly symbiotic relationship.
Food franchise – Get in touch…
Please contact Seeds Consulting today to discuss investing in a food franchise.