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Operations

What to look for in a franchise brand

Wing Snob
Photograph: Shutterstock

For would-be restaurateurs, there’s no shortage of options when choosing what brand to open a franchise with. From big, nationwide names to regional favorites, operators have a broad range to select from when they want to open a new eatery. Of course, not all brands are the same, nor will they all align with every restaurant operator’s dream, ideology and attitude. So when choosing a brand to franchise with, what should operators look for?

Differentiation

When deciding which brand to open a franchise with, operators need to consider whether it’ll be different enough for the area they plan to operate in. For instance, if the franchise options include a fast-food burger option, a quick-service pizza-by-the-slice brand and a unique chicken wing brand, it’s crucial for the operator to look at what already exists in the area—or go to a different area to ensure differentiation. When there are already multiple options in an area for the same type of food, it can be more difficult to get a new restaurant off the ground. Consider what’s in the area—as well as how a new brand would be different from what’s already there. At Wing Snob, for example, the brand offers different trending tastes and cheeky names for their sauce options such as a “Hot AF” sauce for the heat seekers and “Awesome Sauce” for the mustard loving BBQ fans, as well as offering a plant-based option, like their Cauli-Wings, for diners who want a meatless meal. “We are always working to offer something different than the existing wing chains. Everyone sells chicken, but by tapping into what the trends are as far as flavor and health are concerned, we’re able to offer our customers what they want and items they didn’t know they wanted—in turn, our franchisees see success through offering something that’s not already in the neighborhoods they serve,” said Jack Mashini, co-founder at Wing Snob. 

The brand’s vibe

Next, operators should consider the overall vibe or attitude of a brand. Is it a more casual eatery, or one with a more rigid atmosphere? It’s important that the brand an operator chooses to represent with their franchise is one that’s in line with their core values, lifestyle and more. Operators should have a vested interest in the brand’s success—and it doesn’t hurt to like the food that’s on the menu, either—when choosing what brand to open a franchise of. “At Wing Snob, we’re excited to offer our franchisees an experience unlike the one they’d get with another brand. We offer a fun, laid back brand—but we take our food seriously, so franchisees get the best of both worlds,” said Brian Shunia, founder at Wing Snob said.

Quality ingredients

According to Technomic’s recent Value & Pricing Consumer Trend Report, about a third of consumers (34%) say they are seeking out higher-quality menu items at foodservice than they did two years ago. For operators, this means there’s pressure to ensure the food being served at their restaurants is top-notch. When choosing a brand to franchise with, operators should ask questions about where the food is sourced from and how the brand ensures consistent quality from one location to the next. By ensuring that quality is locked down, operators can check one more thing off their list of “wants” from a franchise brand.

Employee loyalty and a good work culture

Beyond food quality, differentiation of menu and the brand’s vibe, prospective franchisees should take a look at employee loyalty and, of course, employee morale—both of which are intrinsically linked. Much like ensuring the brand has the right vibe, ensuring employees are on board with the brand’s mission is crucial to success, too. Be sure to look into turnover rates as well as if there are any team building practices in play already—and if there aren’t, consider adding them once the new location is open.
“Wing Snob offers employees a competitive opportunity in today’s landscape, and we absolutely value the well-being of our staff across all positions in the stores. It’s a point of pride for us as a company and we strive for our franchisees to uphold those values,” both Mashini and Shunia said.

By doing their due diligence when researching a brand to open a franchise under, operators set themselves up for success. With fewer surprises, operators can better plan for the future, and by walking into a partnership they’re excited about, the likelihood for success may be stronger. Wing Snob is proud to be a great franchisee partner—with unique sauces and foods that customers can’t find elsewhere, a dedication to serving quality food and employees that love their jobs, Wing Snob offers franchisees an exciting opportunity. To learn more, visit www.wingsnob.com.

This post is sponsored by Wing Snob

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