Successfully launching a new franchise brand

I've worked in the franchise industry for more years than I care to mention! During that time I've had the privilege to launch numerous franchise brands to the market, and have learned what works well and what doesn't.

Successfully launching a new franchise brand

I’ve worked in the franchise industry for more years than I care to mention! During that time I’ve had the privilege to launch numerous franchise brands to the market, and have learned what works well and what doesn’t. 

Burger & Sauce originally launched during the Pandemic. Despite facing some of the toughest challenges the quick service restaurant (QSR) market has ever seen, the first restaurant turned over £1.5 million in its first year and we now have 20 stores set to be open by the end of 2023. However, I didn’t come on the scene until it was time to launch the concept as a franchise last spring. 

A well planned launch meant it was an instant success, generating many new franchisee enquiries. This was due to multiple factors which I believe other organisations serious about franchising, should be able to learn from. 

Firstly before the brand was franchised financials were sound and existing sites had a strong EBITDA performance. The management team are able to provide accurate profit and loss reporting so any new franchisee can see precisely what they are buying into. 

Time was also spent developing a robust franchise agreement well in advance of the franchise launch. A suite of literature was also created with concise detail and information which included the franchise prospectus and a landlord pack for restaurant sites, plus a detailed operations manual and reporting structure. Because the plan was to expand rapidly, it was necessary to ensure the infrastructure to expand the network in terms of resource and personal were also in place early on. 

For Burger & Sauce, like any QSR expansion it was essential time was spent to understand criteria for the business and a plan for new territory allocation as this would be key to successful expansion. 

Training plans and a franchisee opening support plan and package plus operations and audit plans were developed in advance, as was a marketing and PR programme. This requires investment in both time and budget and there are no shortcuts, particularly when it comes to great marketing and PR execution, so don’t! 

It’s also important that when you have begun to attract great new franchisees that you have already had discussions with Banks and specialist funders who are ready to support new franchisees starting out. 

Specific to success in the QSR market, is finding the right locations for new stores, ensuring the design and layout looks amazing and that you are working with approved contractors to fit out to required specification on behalf of franchisees. A design manual for stores can help with brand guidelines. 

IT infrastructure is also critical for franchisees and customers too. Any tech needs to be ready to go and user friendly. This even comes down to the franchisee’s experience during the online application process. Make sure the website is designed for ease of use. 

The last success factor I believe is the culture created within the franchise organisation. Franchisors need to embrace a real partnership approach with new franchisees. Burger & Sauce’s mantra is involve to evolve. Franchisors also need to be able to refine and change when a better way presents itself. 

Quality also counts. Don’t be afraid to say no to new franchisees if they won’t fit your franchise culture and don’t have the potential to become a great ambassador for your brand. Don’t forget franchising does not mean growth at all costs, and one bad apple can ruin your organisation’s hard earned reputation. 

Burger & Sauce attended to all the elements discussed and since the franchise launched in the summer of last year, we have generated hundreds of franchise enquiries and from those, been able to sign some great franchisees. We are now looking forward to continued expansion of the brand as a franchise.

Anthony Round
Anthony Round