Secrets to a happy franchise marriage
Relations between franchisee and franchisor have always been a make-or-break dynamic for restaurant chains. But the prescription for a mutually lucrative partnership has been scrambled a bit by the Great Recession.
With health and freshness two of the major forces driving menus today, produce is top on operators’ purchase orders. Indeed, restaurants have been making a big effort to put more fruits and vegetables on the plate. But this effort hit a roadblock with recent E.coli scares and salmonella outbreaks. As a result, food safety has become the priority for suppliers and buyers of fresh produce.
The August 2009 NRA expectations Index reported that “45 percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months.” Whether that prediction comes true remains to be seen. But this year’s crop of new products puts the emphasis on helping operators maximize every dollar.
Patrons may grumble when restaurants raise food prices, but they seem willing to spend more for better service. According to a survey of 500 consumers from American Express MarketBriefing, diners would spend more money for pleasant atmosphere, cleanliness and friendly staff than they would for healthier menu items or freshly baked bread.