These days, franchisors are relying on franchisees more and more to sustain a brand’s growth. Franchisees carry a lot of power in this new order. During a panel discussion at the National Restaurant Association show, Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of the the company that franchises Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, recommended what franchisees should be asking of their potential franchisors:
- What’s different and special about this food? How is it different from the competitors’ products? How dedicated is the brand to menu innovation?
- What is the operational system support? How do you help franchisees? How often do you come to franchisee restaurants?
- Do you have any metrics to compare one franchisee’s performance against the systems’?
- What kind of training will you provide franchisees?
- Are your restaurants profitable and how do you know that?
- Have you provided Item 20 of the franchise disclosure form, which includes names of other franchisees past and present, including those who have been fired?
- If the franchisor has private equity partners, ask what the equity partner already owns and what their franchise and foodservice experience is.
- If the franchisor is run by its founder, find out if they have a succession plan.