Food is a universal thing; This means that the food business will always exist—a good thing for anyone aspiring to be a restaurant entrepreneur. However, setting up a successful restaurant is not easy, let alone franchising it. The franchise business model involves a parent company (franchisor) giving an individual or entity the right to use their name to open an identical business. This individual or entity (franchisee) can shop anywhere, provided they adhere to its terms. As far as a food franchise goes, this involves selling the rights to offer similar food services to other parties. The franchisee pays royalties to the franchisor, which is the founding restaurant or food store.
Growing a food franchise involves a lot of hard work and dedication. Even the biggest names in food franchising started as single restaurants.
To successfully grow a food franchise, do the following:
1. Be Honest About Your Food Industry Experience
You need to evaluate your experience thoroughly before launching a food franchise. To build a successful one, you need to know all the main things that could go wrong and how to deal with them. For example, what if you open an exotic restaurant franchise in a particular area and interest in such foods fades? You need to know how to respond to such challenges. Evaluate whether or not you’re truly capable of launching a food franchise and seeing it through.
2. Ensure that Your Idea is Franchise-Worthy
Always do proper market research before launching a restaurant franchise to avoid disaster; what works in one geographical location may flop at another. Before franchising your restaurant, open two other restaurants in addition to the original one. Ensure that the two additional restaurants are at separate locations; This will give you a good idea of whether franchising your restaurant can be profitable for the long haul.
3. Separate Yourself From The Pack
Ensure that your business model is unique. You want to have the edge over your competition, ensuring that you retain the customers you acquire. Your customers need to know, without much prompting, why they’re coming to your restaurant and not the one across the street. You do this by offering something unique that sets you apart. For example, you can serve delicious shrimp with season veggies cooked on site.
4. Have the Right Infrastructure In Place Before Launching Your Franchise
A restaurant franchise is hard work and expensive. It would help if you had enough capital to go several months without seeing profits. You have to keep local marketing campaigns, standardized recipes, and operational costs before launching. Ensure that you have the resources to withstand the initial hard times before you start to see gains.
5. Be Ready for the Challenges of Expanding Nationally
Going significant presents challenges that a local restaurant may not experience. For example, ensuring a uniform price for your food items can be tricky because of shipping costs to different locations nationwide. It’ll take some time before you can figure out a way around such a problem.
6. Have an Effective Contingency for Dealing With Crises
The restaurant business is one of those industries where things can go wrong very quickly. For example, any whiff of food poisoning in the media can make you lose a significant section of your customer base overnight. Food-borne illnesses can also scare customers away. You need to have an effective crisis management system to ensure that your restaurant franchise doesn’t collapse abruptly.
7. Anticipate Growing Pains
You start with one restaurant, then two, then three, and you’re a national brand before you know it. However, this can present some unforeseen challenges. For example, in the beginning, you’ll probably rely on one manufacturer and supplier for your food items and the necessary utensils. Your logistical demands outgrow your supplier’s capabilities as you expand, forcing you to look elsewhere. The new supplier may not be familiar with your specific demands. You may have to teach them how you want your products to be handled; this takes time. All such growing pains are things you have to anticipate if you want to expand your restaurant franchise.
8. Capitalize on the Perks of Being a Big Brand
When you’re a small-time restaurant, you may not always source your products to your satisfaction. For example, you may have to deal with wholesale distributors whose quality and prices are not to your liking. It gives you more leverage if you survive the growing pains and become a franchise. You can buy from growers directly, usually at better prices, while being guaranteed quality.
9. Don’t Lose Focus of the Big Picture
In trying to grow your food franchise, you may forget your long-term goals. Create a solid plan that includes your objectives, possible issues that could arise, solutions to such issues, and ways to grow your business. Endeavour to revisit this plan every few months to ensure that your restaurant franchise moves in the right direction.
10. Exceed Customer Expectations
The cream always rises to the top. If you forget many things about running a franchise restaurant but ensure that your service delivery is always exceptional, your franchise will grow significantly; satisfied customers are one of your best advertising tools, bringing in more business for your franchise through their positive reviews and testimonials.