FOOD FRANCHISING FEATURE: PART 1
Some consider the first franchisee of America to be John S. Pemberton who invented Coca Cola. Pemberton set the path forward for a different approach to business that included mass marketing and production.
Coca Cola is associated with the food industry, and a lot of restaurants align themselves with a specific soda brand or market directly off the brand name of the beverage. Pemberton truly had a great influence on the food franchise of his future and the food industry is now considered one of the most recognizable franchises in America.
In fact, the largest franchise chains are primarily restaurants because it’s become a vital part of the American economy and it's in demand. The golden arches of the McDonald’s restaurant mark every corner of Main Street, with a Starbucks mermaid posed as its friendly neighbor. The food industry is familiar, plentiful and comforting.
Which also means it’s profitable. With a definitive branding and highly established reputation, the food franchise is one of the easiest markets to consider as a new franchisee. The process has become tried and true for the consumer, it’s quick and easy to learn and already a part of the country’s culture. Plus, everyone eats and will always have to eat in order to survive. It’s a win win situation with never ending demand.
The success rate is almost guaranteed and therefore it comes with a price; start up costs are pretty hefty. As someone considering a food franchise as a career, the cost is worth considering but you wouldn’t want it to be too big of an investment that you couldn’t catch up with after the fact. Though the money would eventually come back around, consider all the numbers before committing fully.
Another downfall is the over saturation of the great food franchises. There is likely a lot of well known restaurants directly in your desired neighborhood. Consider a lot of research of territories and locations that would be best for a work life balance. A lot of home offices are open and accessible to a lot of interested investors making research simple. Discussing the process with current franchisors should be considered before investment as well.
Franchise names are now competing with small business restaurants. Local chefs and professionals have decided to step outside of the franchise and start their own food business. These restaurants are becoming more popular with the use of social media and though they are a competition within the field they have not had much of a hit on the food franchise. These are specialty restaurants with less frequent visits, while franchises have a constant flow of customers who come for all meals at all times of the day.
That being said, local restaurants are usually situated within the same area with high foot traffic. Is it best for a brand named restaurant to be within this neighborhood or veer outside the strip of local cuisine to get a leg up on the competition?
One of the biggest food franchises is the fast food industry. The American family is busy and strapped for time, especially in bigger cities. Working families are stuck in traffic and need to eat quickly. For the most part, mealtime has become a necessity in the day-to-day life, rather than an enjoyable and lengthy moment.
McDonald’s changed the way food was produced, making its mark as a quick and easy means to access food. The McDonald brothers transformed the food economy into a quick service production and by last year the restaurant had 14, 155 restaurants in the country and 22, 744 locations globally. Not bad for a barbeque joint in the 50s.
The success has many factors behind it including recognition, affordability, brand name and consistency to name a few. Many other chains have followed suit in the McDonald’s success template: from the Big Mac to the Whopper, from Ronald McDonald to Colonel Saunders, kid’s meals toys and drive thrus – the big league fast food industries have formulated a guaranteed process.
For a safe and profitable franchise, this is the way to go. In 2015, the fast food industry produced $200 billion in revenue in the US. If you’re looking for an easy transition, a quick process, a great success rate, it’s the best option. Of course, no great feat comes without its work. Though most fast food restaurants have great supports, training and marketing, there are times franchisees will have to put the work in. The industry employs over 4 million people, but it has a fast turnover rate, keeping a committee and consistent staff makes it difficult to step away from the plate and allow the business to run itself at all times.
That being said, the supports are a safe and sure way to keep the work life balance at its peak. Most fast food franchisees can live a comfortable lifestyle, checking in from time to time, while enjoying the perks of a profitable business.
There is no need for past experience or understanding of how such a restaurant operates, but a passion for the food industry would be helpful. Just like its food, the running of fast food restaurants is quick, easy and consistent.
There are over 200, 000 restaurants to choose from and research would be the best way to narrow down your top choice. Reaching out to current owners, the community and franchisors would help a franchisee determine what market best suits them. Though a lot of the franchises run on the same platform, their structure and expectations might differ.
The franchising world has been redefined and recognized mainly as a fast food industry. Though there are many franchises to consider, fast food restaurants are the top guns. Their reputation alone is enough to keep them well ahead of the game. Though some have gained a negative connotation as being an unhealthy food choice, a lot of adhered to the demands of its consumers and offered a healthy choice option. They tend to cover a lot of bases: breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that are enjoyed by all family members. Though it’s taken a hit for being unhealthy, many Americans are still enjoying it. About 50 million people eat at a fast food restaurant everyday in this country alone.
If profit and success are your main goal with easy and quick training, the fast food industry is your fit. If your pockets are big, but your dreams are even bigger, it’s the best first line franchise to consider.
LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEXT SPECIAL FEATURE: FOOD FRANCHISING PART 2
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: After receiving an English Degree, followed by a Journalism Diploma, Gina Gill became a freelance journalist in 2008. She has worked as a reporter and in communications, focusing on social media. She currently works as a community information officer with Epilepsy Society, while pursuing her writing career at the same time.