Running Profitable Food Franchises

August 5, 2012

With people having less time to cook, the demand for food franchises is on the increase. Providing delicious and/or healthy meals has never been a more profitable business concept than it is now, but starting a new chain takes a lot of time and investment. Smaller entrepreneurs can opt to become food franchisees for a well-known chain, and enjoy an already established reputation, proven business model, and nation-wide support system. But how do you run a profitable food franchise?

Select the Right Franchise

Different communities have different tastes.  Some prefer pizzas, while others want more classy restaurants. It all depends on the community demographics; whether the majority are Generation X, Generation Y, or elderly people. Carry out a survey to determine the mean spending power and demographics, and narrow down the available food franchises. Then consider the business model and specifications of each; good customer support, proven business strategy, and product innovation. Be sure to distinguish between passing fads and products which will stay in the market. Finally, local produce may be cheaper and/or of higher quality, so take account of that as well.

Obtain Adequate Funding

More finances equal greater scope for refurbishing a building and fitting it with state-of-the-art equipment. Better and more assets usually translate into greater revenue; for example, brand new toys in a family restaurant will attract more young parents to dine there. Also, investing in human capital development will increase both employee productivity and customer satisfaction. Sending chefs to specialization training will broaden the restaurant menu, while fringe benefits will keep valuable employees from leaving.

Hire the Right People

Customers come to food franchises for the food and for the experience, both of which depend on employee motivation. The core employees must have a positive, upbeat and can-do attitude and should share the franchisee’s dedication to perfection. These core employees should also be honest and committed to the business, because they will be tasked with budget planning, expenditure authorization and the hiring of other employees. Finally, they will compensate the franchisee’s lack of knowledge in certain areas and must offer sound judgment.

Show a Personal Commitment

Franchisees should always run the business themselves, and not hire managers. Their personal commitment will boost employee morale and improve customer satisfaction, as customers will feel important and valued. The owner’s presence can help cut unnecessary spending and stop undesirable behavior from employees. Furthermore, the franchisee can give his business small personal touches and improve the building’s atmosphere. With the owner present, he will have a say in all questions and will be able to avoid costly management mistakes.

Follow a Carefully Considered Plan

It is important to set clear business goals at the start of the venture. This usually involves capturing a share of the market within a specified time period and introducing new products and menu items. Then small steps should be taken towards these goals so that potential problems are detected and dealt with before they become big. This plan should focus franchisees’ attention to important macro-problems such as franchise reputation and finding cheaper suppliers.

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