8 Things Every New Restaurant Franchise Owner Should Know
While choosing to own a restaurant franchise is generally less risky that trying to go out with your own brand or concept, there are still no guarantees of success. If you are thinking about starting a new franchise, here are eight important things to know about franchise ownership.
1) Don’t do it alone:
Investing in a restaurant franchise is a major decision, so getting the support and guidance that you need is critical. Get the guidance and expertise that you need to make more informed business decisions throughout the entire ownership process. Consider partnering with a restaurant franchise consultant who is knowledgeable and can guide you. A couple of franchise consulting companies to look into are Charter Franchise Group and iFranchise Group.
2) Make sure you are comfortable working under strict guidelines:
Owning a franchise requires the franchisee to follow strict and established instructions for operating the business. For some people, this may make them feel like their creativity is being hindered or limited but deviation from the guidelines set forth by the franchisor may result in serious penalties or fines. These guidelines are set forth in the franchise agreement. Don’t sign unless you are completely comfortable with the terms.
3) Get into the franchise business for the right reasons:
If you are opening a franchise just because you need a career change or are frustrated with being unemployed then you need to rethink your choice. Becoming a franchise owner requires significant upfront investments, commitment and a well-thought business strategy to succeed. Before taking the leap, be sure you are becoming a restaurant franchise owner for the right reasons. A franchise consultant can help you ask the right questions.
4) Choose a franchise concept that matches your personality and experience:
Should you open a pizza restaurant or Subway franchise? Get into a franchise concept that you are passionate about or a concept that matches your experience. For instance, if you love interacting with and entertaining guests, look into owning a casual dining establishment, not a kiosk or self-service business. Think about your personality and professional skills then find the best franchise to match what you excel in and love to do.
5) Don’t expect immediate or guaranteed results:
Certainly, operating under a well-known brand with an established set of systems that can be replicated reduces some of the risk of restaurant ownership. However, it isn’t a sure guarantee that your business will take off quickly or be a hit in the long-term. Like opening any new restaurant, you will face risk and setbacks, so be prepared to rise to the challenge.
6) Expect to work long hours:
The hospitality business comes with long hours. A franchise restaurant is no exception. As the owner of any restaurant, including a franchise restaurant, you need to be present and hands-on as much as possible. Even though a franchise comes with an established, turnkey system it won’t just run by itself.
7) Invest in a franchise that meets your budget requirements:
As with opening any new restaurant, starting a new franchise takes a lot of capital to get off the ground. Know what your budget is and then try to find a match based on what you can afford. Some less expensive franchise options may include self-service or quick-serve concepts, or a franchise that is less well known.
8) Think of every new customer as gold:
Your best customers are returning ones. Do whatever you can to make every new customer experience positive. Always adhere to the highest standards of quality and constantly raise the bar to exceed expectations.
In the world of franchising, knowledge, realistic expectations and passion are powerful attributes. Good luck in your new venture!