Food Franchising Feature: Part 1
Everyone loves to eat - it’s not just a means of survival, it’s a way of life. Americans have taken food to the next level and made it an experience, rather than a necessity. Whether it’s fast food on the run, or high dining in a romantic setting, it’s one of the most enjoyable parts of the day.
The food and drink industry reached over $745 billion in the US in 2015, 20% of Americans visit a quick service restaurant once a week and 20% also visited a full service restaurant. With people paying money for experience, rather than goods and tangibles, the industry is rising.
More people are opting to eat out and take in moments, rather than wasting time cooking and cleaning. Consumers have embraced the idea of paying for convenience as well as a means to save time to be with their families and friends. The food industry not only offers a service, but provides an experience for customers to sit back and relax with the people they love.
There are a huge amount of franchises specializing in food and drink and its expanded its doors well beyond the fries and burgers. From speciality kiosks and food trucks, you can’t walk a block without smelling something delicious. The competition may appear thick when you see the many venues available across any given community, but people tend to try them all out, more than once.
If familiarity and consistency is something you find comfort in, than a fast food franchise might be the best bet. It has a large start up fee, and you have to secure a spot in the territory of choice (there might already be several fast food restaurants in that area), but the profit is nearly guaranteed.
Fast food is familiar and reliable in America, it’s lined along the highways for long drives and family trips and it’s propped with a drive thru for those quick fixes. Nowaway days, fast food restaurants come with more than burgers and nuggets, but appeals to the masses with smoothies, desserts, salads and wraps. The menu is larger to garner even more customers and its accessibility keeps people coming in for more.
The branding alone brings in many people on a day to day basis, in the case of fast food, people like to know what they are getting. They appreciate the value of the experience, but also will pay to get the exact same thing they got the last time.
According to one study, 85 million Americans eat fast food everyday (source). People are busy, working hard and spending time on the road, making room for quick and fast meals to become a part of everyday life. This ongoing trend has created a well known profit in the franchising world - it brings in over $570 billion (source) - the money alone speaks for itself.
With some coffee being sold at just $2 a pop - it’s hard to imagine such a small cafe creating success and it seems like there are places to get your caffeine fix saturating the place. Yet, if you walk by a one at any given time, the seats are full and the lines are long. With the ability nowadays to order from your phone to grab a quick latte or have it delivered to your door, the customer base is even higher.
The coffee shop competes with small businesses owners, but similar to the fast food restaurants, people do appreciate the familiarity. They know what is on the menu and what flavours to expect from a franchise. Americans consume 40 million cups of coffee a day, (source) and that’s not a luxury they are willing to give up. Just like food, it has also become an experience - a time to catch up with friends, or a small moment away from work or to treat yourself after a long day. You can pop in for a visit or order at the drive thru, it’s catered to the many desires of everyone.
Food trucks used to be a rare site with deep fried food served at festivals or lined up on the streets of downtown. There’s been a change in the food industry to be more unique, more palatable, and fancier even in the smallest spaces. What once served fries with gravy and hot dogs with a few fixings, is now showcasing menus with variety and flavour in a more gourmet style. Lunch on the side of the street never tasted so good. The industry has risen 12.4% and there are approximately over 4,000 food trucks in America. Franchises have recognized the increased need and expanded to the food truck industry. Some options come directly from well known restaurants expanding their business to the street, while others are only known in the food truck industry.
For those looking for a smaller start up fee and a mobile business in the food market, this is a great choice that is gaining more and more customers and profit. People are ordering food trucks for parties, and weddings or expecting certain options at festivals and community events. The initial door opening might need an extra push but that's where franchising allows an upper hand compared to small businesses. A franchisee will support you with your customer base and reputation through marketing and advertising. Easy branding comes through in social media posts made by locals for free and hashtags linked to your business.
This type of food franchise would be well appreciated by someone involved in the community and willing to work hard for word of mouth credibility. Though the food truck could be a limited business for those living in areas with a harsh distinction between the four seasons
What was once considered to be pizza joints and walk-in family restaurants, is now a huge category of franchising with many options. Those interested in taking a bite out of the food franchise ave a lot of different options to consider. The market has been flooded with easy and quick franchises that cater to the busy lives of Americans, while also appealing to the many taste buds, with a high end gourmet choices at a great price. People appreciate good food, while franchisors appreciate a great profit, which can come easy with the most suitable franchise in the food market.
Take the time to look over the territory directly and speak with locals about their expectations and where they currently enjoy eating to get a sense of demand and flavour within your community. An area assessment of your surroundings can help narrow down the path you would consider before investing.
There’s more to bite off than chew in the food industry; you just have to pick one that best appeals to your senses.
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.