The three biggest franchises in the world are all in the food industry: McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King. Together, these chain restaurants have over 78,000 branches across the world. And in the U.S., industry statistics estimate that there were over 194,000 restaurant franchises in 2019.
These numbers show that food-related businesses are always in demand and profitable. But it takes more than a guaranteed market or audience to succeed in running a food franchise.
If you’re thinking of pursuing this venture, whether you want to franchise a big chain restaurant or a more niche offering like a grazing table business, you have to have the following skills to make your franchise successful:
Knowing how to market your menu is crucial to the success of your food franchise. Without marketing skills, you wouldn’t be able to reach the right people, much less let them get a taste of what you have to offer.
On the contrary, if you know how to market your food business, you can build up enough following that opening a franchise wouldn’t be a problem. There would be people in other areas who would want to try your menu and the new franchise locations will be able to answer that demand.
Business Owner Mentality
It’s important to see yourself as the owner instead of an employee working for something bigger than you to become a successful franchise owner. When you have a business owner mindset, you can work on the business instead of in it, allowing you to delegate and manage tasks instead of performing them yourself.
This is an important skill because overseeing the operations allows you to focus on the bigger picture instead of the minute details of running your franchise. With this mindset, you can focus on finding ways to move your food franchise forward and expand it further.
Following a System
Not every entrepreneur is built to follow an already established system. But as a franchisee, you need this ability.
Food franchises do not become franchises just because they share a name, a logo, and a menu. At their core, food franchises succeed because the original store has built a system that allows it to be profitable and adaptable to different areas.
As a franchisee, you can’t simply run the business based on how you want. While you can tweak things and adapt based on your location or your customer base, following the system that’s been proven effective through years of the franchise’s operations is the best way to ensure success.
According to the National Restaurant Association, the turnover rate in restaurants was 74.9 percent. This is alarmingly high when turnover rates should ideally be below 15 percent. With turnover rates this high, you’d be spending a lot of resources, including time and money, doing hiring and training.
Apart from the resources, you’ll be spending to make up for attrition, a revolving door of employees can also mean inconsistent service.
No matter how much you train a new staff member, they may still be doing things different from the standard. This can mess up the consistency of your service and the system you need to adhere to to ensure success.
This is why employee management skills are crucial in the foodservice industry. If you know how to manage your people well, you can put together and retain a team of employees that will help keep your franchise business running because they know it like the back of their hand.
While being a chef or some culinary professional isn’t a requirement for running a food franchise (remember, you’re not the employee but the owner), knowing your way around your own business’ kitchen is a valuable skill.
It’s a way to personally ensure that you know the quality of food you want to serve. Knowing the ins and outs of your own kitchen also helps when you’re interviewing potential staff. You can personally attest to their skills and make sure that they can work at the capacity and quality that the franchise’s tested system requires.
If you’re not a culinary professional, you can take culinary programs based on the niche of your food franchise business. Apart from honing your food skills, you will also get a first-hand view of how the food industry works, where your business can fit in, and how you can make it stand out.
All the above-mentioned skills are crucial to ensuring your food franchise business has a solid foundation. Like any business, franchises face challenges. But with these skills, you can face these challenges head-on and come out successful.