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8 questions every franchisee should be asking

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:

  1. What’s different and special about this food? How is it different from the competitors’ products? How dedicated is the brand to menu innovation?
  2. What is the operational system support? How do you help franchisees? How often do you come to franchisee restaurants?
  3. Do you have any metrics to compare one franchisee’s performance against the systems’?
  4. What kind of training will you provide franchisees?
  5. Are your restaurants profitable and how do you know that?
  6. 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?
  7. If the franchisor has private equity partners, ask what the equity partner already owns and what their franchise and foodservice experience is.
  8. If the franchisor is run by its founder, find out if they have a succession plan.

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