Franchise restaurants have the brand appeal and resources all laid out. To succeed, however, takes the same level of careful planning and learning needed to build and run a new business from the ground up.
Part of what makes a franchise so attractive is that you would eliminate the need to build and establish a brand for your business (and the risks associated therein). By riding on the name of an established company, you are relying on the trust of customers who have had good experiences with the brand and its service.
This, of course, doesn’t mean that a franchise is an easy business. The brand comes with its own set of expectations of product and service quality, and both the franchisers and their longtime customers will expect no less. Living up to this must be done consistently to win over old customers and draw new ones, and a lot is riding on making sure this good first impression lasts.
At its core, a restaurant franchise is run like any other small business. A franchisee must be capable of not only running a business well but also be well-versed in the best practice of restaurant management. Prior experience in the restaurant industry is invaluable to successfully building up new restaurant franchises, be it for pizza, burgers, frozen yogurt, or fast casual dining.
One of the challenges faced by first-time franchisees is the inevitable challenge of maintaining cash flow during the startup phase of the enterprise. If you want to enter a franchise, you should also incorporate the expected costs of this phase in the business’ lifecycle to accommodate the initial startup costs.
Safety Nets and Guidance
The early stages of an enterprise are often the most precarious, even for businesses with an established brand to fall back on. There is little room for rookie mistakes, especially with an investment as big as a franchise. You should learn as much about the franchise and the business of running an effective food-based enterprise long before you sign up and continue to learn long after you’ve started.
Fortunately, most franchisees have support networks between each other and their franchise’s parent company. Take advantage of the experiences of other franchisees and utilize any and all training materials to their fullest.
One of the main traps that restaurants fall into is the idea that they should cater to a wide range of customers, which results in their resources being stretched too thin. A franchise usually already has a target market; this knowledge should be used to determine the marketing and location strategies for your first restaurant.
The market selected for your restaurant franchise should be large enough to sustain a constant supply of new and returning customers. A growing community is an excellent location to start a new chain restaurant location, especially if it happens to have few to no significant commercial developments from the start. A new restaurant also works well if there aren’t any nearby competitors, so being the first restaurant of its type to emerge in an area could also work to your advantage.
Careful consideration should be made to select the appropriate location where your new restaurant would emerge. The new location should be chosen not only in an area convenient and accessible for the customers but also comfortably accommodate the turnkey equipment associated with the franchise.