If you have started and built a successful restaurant, now might be the time to explore the franchise business model as an expansion vehicle. As you may be aware, there are many restaurants which successfully franchise each year. We have put together this article as a starting point to help guide you through the initial steps of franchising your restaurant.
One of the best signals your restaurant might be ready to franchise is when you have customers asking you, “Is this a franchise?” If a customer is asking you this it generally means that you have created an environment which looks, feels, smells, and tastes like other restaurant franchises. Most likely you have done a great job on creating uniformity and consistency. This means uniformity in branding, processes, systems, and procedures. You may have some of your procedures and processes written down and some of it not yet. That’s okay. This is why franchise consultants like Big Sky Franchise Team exist to help you with things like this.
While customers asking you if your restaurant is a franchise is a good first sign, it is not the only indicator as to whether or not you should be franchising your restaurant.
Other factors to consider include:
1. The profitability of your restaurant
2. Your willingness and ability to train a franchisee or is an employee on your team able to do it?
3. The overall start-up costs and investment into opening one of your restaurant franchises
4. Your understanding that supporting a franchise system takes time and requires attention
We also strongly encourage scheduling a free consultation with one of our franchise consultants to talk further about how to franchise a restaurant. This will give you additional insight prior to making the decision to franchise your restaurant.
After you decide to franchise your restaurant you will need to understand that you are no longer in the food business. You are in the franchise business. Your job as a franchisor is to sell, train, and support franchisees. That is it. Pretty simple and, yet, very challenging at the same time.
When you embark on the move to franchise your restaurant you will need to create your Franchise Blueprint ™. At Big Sky Franchise Team we prepare a Franchise Blueprint ™ which includes figuring out your franchise fees, royalties, advertising fees, territory structure, training and support structures, cash flow projections, and other critical franchise details to help you in determining and assessing the best steps for your restaurant franchise expansion efforts. These strategic franchise decisions need to be evaluated and reviewed with experts.
Following the development and creation of your strategic guidelines and franchise business plan you will need to have your franchise disclosure document completed. The Uniform Franchise Disclosure Document is the federally required document to have prepared prior to offering and selling franchises. There are several states which also require additional filings or registrations with the specific state prior to offering your restaurant franchise for sale.
We had mentioned earlier in this article about needing to have processes and systems in place. Part of those systems will include the documentation of those systems. Having a franchise manual prepared to help train, support, and hold your franchisees accountable. Part of our process is to help you in creating this document. The great news is that you don’t have to do this alone.
Finally, you will want to prepare a marketing and sales strategy for launching your restaurant franchise efforts. Preparing a marketing plan to generate leads of interested franchise candidates as well as creating a franchise sales process will be critical in franchising your restaurant.
Franchising your restaurant can be a tall task to complete if you do not have the right franchise documents put together and the guidance from franchise experts. We believe that following a proven system to franchise a restaurant is critical to helping give you the best chance at making your franchise model work. Remember, there will be work involved and it most likely will be a grind for the first few years, probably like when you first opened your restaurant.