Updated: May 6, 2019
Franchise concepts vs Non-franchise concepts
Having assisted in 1000's of store openings we have seen the best and worst of both.
“I thought it once impossible to predict what concept would take off and have 100+ stores and what stores would close, now I can clearly see what concept can be franchised and which ones will simply die trying to grow.”
Most if not all franchisee concepts start out as a single store tucked away in a strip center and by lots of hard work, develop into a growing brand that everyone wants a part of.
Frozen Yogurt in 2008
We were very lucky during the recession, when many design firms were struggling, we were perfecting our design skills. Frozen yogurt was the "next big thing", landlords were struggling and giving the best locations to Froyo brands around the country instead of the typical ice cream shops. We had a key role with opening ice cream shops throughout the US and when those openings slowed, we rolled up our sleeves and developed the design for one of fastest growing Froyo concepts. We transformed the interior of a typical "mom and pop" concept, with 3 locations, into a fun and friendly store and in a few short years we completed over 400 projects throughout the world.
Now in 2019, most of the Froyo concepts are struggling and awaiting the next new concept to take over the lease. Rents are high again and the landlords can pick and choose what they want in their centers. I thought it once impossible to predict what concept would take off and have 100+ stores and what stores would close, now I can clearly see what concept can be franchised and which ones will simply die trying to grow. I now know that it has a lot to do with the CEO of the brand, their vision, the design of their store and the quality of their product. The CEO has to be engaged 100% and know what they are good at and what they need to let another team handle.
I have been in a lot of corporate meetings where the goal is to get 100's of stores opened in a year, but if that is the main focus the concept will fail. Signing franchisees up in mass numbers is problematic because it creates a nightmare for corporate's construction teams and if the brand is not properly set up, it too will fail.
I honestly see no slowdown coming in the next couple of years as there is no shortage of amazing concepts and great locations throughout the country.