3 Potato 4: It Is Easy Being Green!
Offering an eco-friendly, biodynamic approach to a national franchise brand, 3 Potato 4 is serving up delicious organic, baked not fried potato fries in its streamlined 1950’s themed restaurants. Today the clever franchise is looking to grow with those who understand the need to be green.
Featuring a variety of gluten-free, 99 percent fat-free, non-GMO, hot ‘n’ crunchy potato snacks, along with the popular super food, all menu items are vegan or vegetarian, including the 50 innovative made-in-house signature dipping-sauces, dairy-free soups, fair trade beverages, and desserts.
In business since 2012, a high volume of interest in the restaurant resulted in 3 Potato 4 franchising in 2013. Today the restaurant has shops in San Francisco, Las Vegas, and New Orleans, with locations soon to open in Pasadena and Oakland, California. “So many tourists, schools, medical institutions, veterans, and independent business owners have expressed their love for the concept and desire to bring it to their areas,” says Guenevere Blanchard, founder of 3 Potato 4.
The 3 Potato 4 concept originated out of necessity: A place where everyone could eat regardless of food allergies or personal beliefs. Recently cited in the Huffington Post: “Today the gluten-free food market is a $4.2 billion dollar industry and interest has extended to the restaurant industry as well. A recent study done by The NDP Group found that 200 million restaurant visits in the past year included a gluten-free order. ‘The number of U.S. adults who say they are cutting down on or avoiding gluten is too large for restaurant operators to ignore,’ said Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant industry analyst for NDP.” Another study done by Vegetarian Times shows that 7.3 million Americans are vegetarians, and an additional 22.8 million follow a vegetarian-inclined diet, while Google Trends states public interest in a vegan diet is higher than ever before. In addition to the huge consumer demand for gluten-free products, the simplicity behind creating a vegan/vegetarian menu that offers a variety of healthy, tasty treats with a product that is already so widely loved made it easy for 3 Potato 4 to fill the niche in these markets.
3 Potato 4 restaurants are decked out in a 1950s sci-fi theme. Based on the notion that in the fifties people were eating organic, GMO-free potatoes, it speaks to how the idea of eating organic today seems futuristic, while the sci-fi traits tie in to appeal to all generations. Above all else the brand offers low-pressure, educational advertising that is fun for everyone. 3 Potato 4 restaurants feature fun, informative posters, boosting facts such as, “One Potato Has More Potassium Than a Banana,” and “Potatoes Have 37% of Your Daily Vitamin C.”
Today 3 Potato 4 is looking for franchisees to expand in areas throughout the western states, key markets include California, Oregon, Colorado, and Louisiana. Seeking individuals who have a great work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit, candidates with backgrounds in marketing, management or customer service are a great fit for the type of innovative food concept the business offers. “Someone who believes in the benefit of providing their community with healthier food options is also key,” Blanchard says, adding that the company has recently been receiving a lot of inquiries from professionals who have been laid-off and are now considering 3 Potato 4 franchises for job stability and a productive use of working capital. As banks are also lending less today, the low investment of a 3 Potato 4 franchise is considered a lower risk. 3 Potato 4 franchises start at $80,000.
3 Potato 4’s franchising process involves a step-by-step mutual evaluation designed to provide both parties with the information needed to make an educated and informed decision as to whether or not the company is right for the individual, and vice versa. Once a candidate shows interest in owning a franchise they will chat with a franchise agent to learn more about the opportunity. Following up with a non-disclosure document, further discussions are held before candidates attend a Discovery Day, and review the FDD. If a match is made, the new franchisee signs the franchise agreement and begins training.
Offering a very hands on program, 3 Potato 4 supports the franchisees throughout their pre-opening, grand opening, and provides super assistance with site selection. “We run a lot of demographic studies in the areas franchisees request to open in, then we cross reference the results with population, foot traffic, public transportation, schools, property availability and cost per square footage,” Blanchard explains. “We go through a check list to help encourage franchisees to open in an area that is really going to work for them by supplying a fluid customer base.” Hosting training at the franchisee’s space station, Blanchard travels to their location so they can become comfortable in the new environment. Training covers everything from online education, operational support, customer service and practices for training staff, and financial, management, and marketing tools. “We guide our franchisees to running and maintaining their 3 Potato 4 location using our streamlined operating system,” she says, adding, “We know that our success is dependent on their success, that is why we have great interest in being there when they need help and support.” 3 Potato 4’s current veteran applicants love the company’s efficient and streamlined approach, as well as the ease of operations. “We provide detailed operation manuals and ongoing training, and our veterans are quick learners,” Blanchard says.
Setting the quick service restaurant apart from its competitors is its creative approach towards organic stability. “Our mission is to provide food friendly options in an environmentally friendly way,” Blanchard says. “3 Potato 4 offers something for everyone from the energetic kid who loves fries to delicate digestive seniors who grew up on the crop.” 3 Potato 4 serves the renowned, high-fiber food and turns it into an eco-wise product with lots of specialty add-ons such as vegan bacon bits, Ghost Pepper, and Black Lava sea salt. Potato options include; russets, redskins, sweet potatoes, crinkle cut, purple potato medleys, or curly-Qs.
Highlighting its streamline set up, 3 Potato 4 restaurants can operate in 300 to 1000 sq ft locations, making rent considerably lower even in major metro areas. The small space also means most locations only require one operator, so labor costs are also low, resulting in higher margins.
A member and supporters of green business and shop green initiatives, “Sorry Kermit, it is easy being green,” laughs Blanchard, noting the vast variety of cost-efficient, recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable packing available today. 3 Potato 4 serves customers the organic product in a biodegradable paper cone, and the to-go containers, soup bowls and coffee cups are made out of potato starch. “The entire business is biodynamic in that everything we’re serving our customer is consumable, compostable, recyclable or bio-degradable,” she explains, adding, “We’re using the potato from start to finish.”
Wishing to share her winning concept, “If you have a business that is eco-wise, streamline, and serves a healthy product that people already know and love, you’re off to a good start,” Blanchard says. “Many new franchise concepts are clever and efficient, replacing the archaic concepts that have been done over and over with a new name. Consumers are asking for healthy options, and we’re listening!”
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