SETTING AN EMERGING FRANCHISE UP FOR SUCCESS: HAVING THE RIGHT SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES IN PLACE

Franchise Development

By Renee Israel, CFE, Modern Market Eatery

Four ways to become a franchise-ready brand.

The brands within an industry are the ones that define it and they’re also the ones responsible for its evolvement throughout the changing times. The restaurant business consists of many categories and avenues – but those who want to remain competitive and grow must step up to meet the demands, wants and needs of consumers. Brands in this sector are also often faced with significant navigational transitions where leaders choose to implement major strategic initiatives, such as becoming a franchisor.

Enter Modern Market, a health-conscious restaurant brand known for its nurturing and delicious food options. We’ve positioned ourselves as an industry leader with continued success guided by conscious leadership. Having an authentic, open and curious mindset as a conscious leader enables a company to embrace communication, innovation and engagement for leaders, team members and entire organizations.

Innovation should be kneaded into strategies of any emerging franchisor to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Innovation should be kneaded into strategies of any emerging franchisor to differentiate themselves from competitors. For established brands, having the right systems and processes in place ahead of launching a nation-wide growth strategy is a key component that will set you up for success. Below are a few tips brands should weave into their efforts as they work to become franchise-ready.

Invest in the Right Technology

Integrating new technology where possible allows for more opportunities to make your brand interactive and convenient for the consumer, but also provide ease of operations for franchisees. The world has become much more reliant on technology, whether it’s advancements in mobile vehicles for more efficient rides to speaking questions into our phones and having an answer within seconds. These innovations are seen as conveniences for consumers and operators alike, ultimately leading to further streamlining and more sales. A core strategy in any industry is to meet guests wherever they are and offer something that is user-friendly. Always keep a pulse on industry trends and base innovation strategies around that. 

During the pandemic, Modern Market saw an opportune time to invest in the right technology to offer safe ordering systems for the modern diner as well as digitally-managed kitchens – but still present a level of customer service that is unrivaled. To maximize efficiency, we allowed guests the option for dine-in, curbside pick-up, third-party delivery and mobile orders via our app or website. Because of this omnichannel approach, Modern Market was able to grow during this challenging time, ultimately paving the way for an enduring national growth strategy.

Evangelize Your Differentiator Purposefully

In order for your brand’s positioning to resonate with franchise partners, the vision must first be owned by leadership and embraced by team members and customers. This could be done at all levels of your organization with refined hiring and strategic training techniques but also, with simply leading by example. Incorporate this differentiator into all messaging that surrounds your mission, vision and values to further create an experience that pulls customers in and keeps them coming back, as well as attracts and retains employees.

A core strategy in any industry is to meet guests wherever they are and offer something that is user-friendly.

For Modern Market, this meant committing to scratchmade cooking, clean and sustainable ingredients and owning an elevated space as a health-conscious fast casual brand. We’re engineered to adapt to the ever-changing needs of our guests while offering nourishing food at a reasonable price with unbeatable levels of hospitality.

Obsess Over the Numbers and Model

In order to compete and scale in a way that’s relative to your bottom line, you need to get meticulous over the numbers – specifically product cost, wages, speed, etc. Dig into financials and successful techniques of public companies in your industry to replicate in the best way that fits your brand.

It may take years to build, operate and perfect every aspect of your model – but it is necessary to check all of these boxes in order to become a stable franchise operator. Evaluate every level of your labor model and other KPIs for your business. Leverage proprietary programs and ensure you are getting the most out of your current resources to meet the demand of your industry.

It may take years to build, operate and perfect every aspect of your model – but it is necessary to check all of these boxes in order to become a stable franchise operator. 

Look Beyond the Industry Norm 

When looking to franchise, you need a solid business that works in multiple models and markets. Outside-the-box strategies come from having the right leaders and stable processes already in place. Prioritize a focus on untapped markets where there is a demand and need for the products you offer. Aim to target underserved, mid-sized metropolitan areas as well as potentially expanding to non-traditional or off-premise locations.

Modern Market operates in several states and has licensed partners in non-traditional locations, including Notre Dame University’s Student Center and Denver International Airport. Having experience entering new markets and operating in various types of street and non-traditional spaces has cultivated more opportunities to grow in similar venues across the U.S. and grow our brand nationally.

As we enter an entrepreneurial boom, becoming franchise-ready could position some emerging brands to evolve their businesses, allowing them to expand their customer reach, bring new revenue streams and get set up for long-term success. There is no better time than now to home in on your franchise strategy and utilize a combination of these steps to ensure a smooth transition into the world of franchising.

Renee Israel, CFE, is the chief franchise officer at Modern Market Eatery, the healthy fast casual restaurant brand that makes eating delicious, scratch-made food fast, convenient and affordable. For more information and franchise opportunities for International Franchise Association (IFA) franchisor member Modern Market Eatery, visit franchise.org/franchise-opportunities/modern-market-eatery.