Darrell Johnson, CEO of Frandata, a franchise research and consulting firm, believes that data holds the key to franchisor control over brand standards.
“We are seeing a change in the franchise relationship. It’s like a pendulum. It had swung too far [toward] giving control to the franchisor. That may have to do with some of the expectations that franchisees had of franchisors around sharing best practices [and] training. [With NLRB regulations,] if franchisors are at risk of litigation around ways they control franchisees, they’ll stop doing it. But it’s part of the relationship, the franchise model. That control is being helpful. So the pendulum may swing too far into franchisee control before it normalizes,” Johnson says.
“It’s likely to stabilize if we can get better comparative performance data. Measurement of the outcomes you want to get will be embedded into the process. That’s what’s going to keep the pendulum from swinging too far the other way.”