Tips on How a Franchise Brand Can Become a Top-Performer in the Franchising Industry

How a Franchise Brand Can Become a Top-Performer

By Ed Teixeira.
VP Franchise Development FranchiseGrade.com , Author, Franchise Expert, MA Economics, Industry Partner of Stony Brook University Center of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pace University Lubin School of Business Advisory Board

For a franchise brand to become a top performer, franchisors must adhere to certain operating principles. One of the most important ones is to grow the number of franchise locations to promote the franchise brand. In the case of certain well-known franchise brands, system size alone doesn’t always convert to a top performing franchise brand.

Franchisors that want their franchise to be recognized as a top brand need to follow a set of building blocks that can serve as the foundation for a successful franchise system. Utilizing these building blocks will strengthen the franchise program, provide its franchisees the best opportunity for financial success and help establish the franchise brand as a top performer.

1. Equitable franchisee ROI must be a priority

The foundation of the franchise program operationally and financially must provide franchisees an opportunity for success that does not require extraordinary performance. If franchisees follow the franchise program and do not earn an ROI commensurate with their original investment, then the franchise may be flawed.

2. If the franchise program is flawed, then it must be fixed

Franchisors should adjust a franchise program that isn’t “working.” There is no reason why a royalty or advertising fund contribution can’t be changed. If certain products or services aren’t successful, then find alternatives. Conduct franchisee surveys to measure franchisee satisfaction levels.

3. The franchisor must control the franchise sales process and adhere to its ideal franchisee profile

Establish a franchisee profile and if franchise candidates don’t fit this profile say no! If the franchisor utilizes brokers, the franchisor must maintain control over the franchise sales process.

4. Be transparent with prospective franchisees

Provide prospective franchisees full disclosure about the franchise opportunity and what’s needed to be successful. The franchisor sales staff should act as more consultant and less salesperson.

5. Franchisor leadership must be engaged in the franchise operation

Franchisor leadership should be accessible and involved in the franchise operation, so they are aware of franchise system performance. There shouldn’t be surprises when it comes to franchisee performance.

6. Franchisee input should be solicited for important operational and marketing strategies

Significant changes or alterations to franchise operations and marketing, should involve the franchisees. This can be done using the FAC, advertising committee or other representative body.

7. New products and services should be evaluated and measured by franchisees before introduction

The franchisor should test new products, services or equipment in representative franchisee locations before introducing them. This process leads to objective and credible results that will earn the franchisees buy-in.

8. Obtain financial results from franchisees on a regular basis

Use franchisee financial statements to identify individual and collective franchisee performance. A lack of important financial information prevents a franchisor from knowing which franchisees are profitable and which are not.

9. Uphold and protect the integrity and standards of the franchise program

It’s critical that the franchisor uphold the standards of the franchise. The franchisees that follow the program deserve it and the customers that use the product or services provided by the franchisees are entitled to consistency. Franchisors that don’t protect the brand are not respected by their franchisees.

10. Invest in franchisee training and support

Top notch franchisors have viable and effective training programs. Training and support don’t end with start-up franchisee training but should be a continuing activity. When franchisor staff identifies weaknesses in the execution of franchisee operational practices the Training Department should implement programs to address these problems.

To build a top- performing franchise program franchisors can use these 10 building blocks, which requires implementing policies, practices and procedures to improve franchisee performance and success.
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Learn more about the author and Franchise Grade:
Ed Teixeira.
VP Franchise Development FranchiseGrade.com , Author, Franchise Expert, MA Economics, Industry Partner of Stony Brook University Center of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pace University Lubin School of Business Advisory Board

How Do You Write A Good Brand Story

How Do You Write A Good Brand Story
By Jon Allo  

Your brand story differentiates you from everyone else. Otherwise, you’re just one more solution for the same old problem that customers can choose from, and usually without a standout differentiator they’ll base their choice on price. Most of the time, you do not want customers to choose you based on price alone. You want them to choose you because you’re you.
Telling your unique story starts with these questions:

When, Why and How Did You Start?
The best way to show authenticity is to be able to tell your audience when, why and you started doing what it is that you do. If you can tell your story in a way that your audience relates to you, and even roots for your success – even better.

How Do You Want Customers to View You?
As you write your story, it’s important to convey your values and ideals in a no-nonsense way. While you may be frightened of turning off some people, you really don’t need to worry about that. Those people aren’t your audience. Your audience consists of the people who can relate to your story, share your values, and want to be part of it.

Where Do You See Your Business Down the Line?
This is where you’ll try to dream big, and let your audience know where you see your business in the future. It also gives you the opportunity to refine consumer expectations toward what you offer rather than what the competition offers.

How you answer these questions is important.
You’re going to have many opportunities to do so via every communication you have with your audience – be it your blog, social media or even through the types of products you offer.

With the answers to these questions you can start to form your story and weave it throughout everything you do.

Share through Story Telling
Using an honest, no-holds-barred communication style to tell your story, your customers’ stories, and the story of your products is a good start. Use case studies, interviews, and in-depth relatable blog posts to accomplish this.

Share through Doing Good
Get involved with your community to give back something that is noticeable. You don’t want to do this just to get noticed, but you do want to pick something that helps people understand who you are as a business owner and what your business stands for.

Share through Experiences
You and your audience likely share common experiences that should be discussed. The more ways you can relate to them, the more ways they’ll see your offerings as unique and different.

Share with the Truth
Don’t hype, and don’t “blow smoke”. Consumers are smart today. They want the black and white truth of the matter. If it takes 20 hours a week to do what you do, and you’re teaching them, tell them the truth. If you’ve had to stay up overnight to work around children’s schedules, say so.

Share Everywhere
Don’t just “tell” your story on your blog in the “about” section. Tell your story everyplace. Use infographics, memes, blog posts, guest blog posts, articles, testimonials, good deeds and every possible way to spread your story. Be your story by your actions.

Branding is important for small business owners as well as large ones. If you have a limited budget, smart branding is perhaps the most inexpensive business tool you can create. To learn more about how to make you and your business stand out, download my free checklist, Branding For Small Businesses at https://jonallo.com/branding

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jon_Allo/1079948

How Are You Handling Your Covid Financial Anxiety?

It is not worth the mental energy and distress to put pressure on yourself for what is out of your hands. Unproductive thoughts will put you on a never-ending cycle of “I have to figure it out, I have to figure it out.” That kind of spiraling activity just runs down your batteries.

Combating financial anxiety during a pandemic

Courtesy of BRANDPOINT
Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

(BPT) – In the face of a global pandemic, financial anxiety is an everyday reality. Concerns surrounding personal finances, businesses shutting down and market volatility have us navigating new waters, experiencing more acutely than ever before how our financial lives are intertwined with our mental health. Amanda Clayman, financial therapist and Prudential’s financial wellness advocate, works with people to better understand the emotional connection we have with money.

According to Clayman, financial stress, while it may be inevitable in these times, does not have to control our lives. Even in the midst of this crisis, we can practice good financial and mental health and grow in our ability to maintain calm.

How to ease your mind and overcome financial distress

Clayman offers the below tips on how to ease your mind and overcome your financial distress during the days of COVID-19.

  • Allow yourself to feel a sense of loss: These big market changes may throw a wrench in the vision you had for retirement or your 401K. This is a scary realization, and a sad one. It is natural to have an emotional response, so let those feelings come and acknowledge them as they do. By not bottling up those sensations you are better able to say goodbye to your former plans and move forward. Additionally, looking your feelings in the face and comparing them to the reality of the situation provides valuable perspective that is key in the healing process.
  • Embrace uncertainty as part of the plan: Concentrate on the here and now, and don’t think too far ahead. It is common to try to manage anxiety by making a plan, but that’s going to be challenging when the future feels so uncertain. Try telling yourself, “I’m going to make the best plan I can based on what I know now. Then I’m going to trust that I will figure out problems as they arise and ask for help when I need it.”
  • Let go of what you can’t control: It is not worth the mental energy and distress to put pressure on yourself for what is out of your hands. Unproductive thoughts will put you on a never-ending cycle of “I have to figure it out, I have to figure it out.” That kind of spiraling activity just runs down your batteries.
  • Be intentional, not impulsive: Anxiety floods your mind with fearful thoughts of worst-case scenarios, tricking you into believing immediate action is necessary to fix the problem. It may feel like you are making progress initially, but these are not emotionally grounded decisions and can lead to costly mistakes. What you need is space for perspective, to differentiate between internal feelings and external reality. Try stepping away from the computer or going for a walk before making big moves. Remind yourself that you are safe right here, right now.
  • Don’t be a hero: You don’t have to bear this weight alone. You may feel as if providing financial security is all up to you, especially if you’re a caretaker or your kids moved home to ride out the pandemic. But this is not an individual problem, it’s a collective one we can face together. So reach out — take care of each other and ask to be taken care of in return. In addition to sharing your feelings with family and friends, be in touch with creditors, landlords and service providers about your concerns. They may be able to offer a payment holiday, partial payment or interest-only payment.

Explore new types of self-care

One of the most important lessons in combating any anxiety is to remember that you will not feel this way forever. In the meantime, let’s use these moments to explore new forms of emotional and financial self-care. With thoughtful reflection, we can foster a relationship with money that promotes mental health in even the most challenging circumstances.

MATTO FRANCHISE
A Revolution is Brewing
LEARN MORE HERE:
https://www.mattofranchise.com/

IFA Successful In “RED LIGHTING” FASB’s Revenue Recognition Rule

Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash

For all our franchisor subscribers; we think this is big news especially in these trying time. Robert Cresanti- President and CEO of the International Franchise Association (IFA) have just notched a major victory in the battle regarding ASC 606 and the Franchise Revenue Recognition Rule.
Below is the Letter Mr. Cresati emailed to IFA members announcing the good news.
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Dear IFA Member:
I am writing to share an important, exciting – and non-coronavirus – piece of good news. This morning, the Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB) delayed implementation of their ASC 606 revenue recognition rules for one year!

While addressing the economic impacts of COVID-19 has been our primary focus over the last month, we have continued to press forward with our other franchising priorities, particularly the 606 recognition rules as FDD filing deadlines loom ahead.

Over the last several weeks, IFA staff and members have had several important and direct conversations with FASB, including with the current Chair, Russell Golden, and other members of the Board and technical staff. Today’s announcement is the result of that – it’s even more impressive that this delayed implementation is exclusive to franchises!

Following this morning’s decision, FASB will begin the process of taking public comment on an alternative accounting standard for private sector businesses (an “expedient”) that will allow us to make the case that certain pre-opening costs are earned immediately and should be recognized as such. IFA will keep you abreast of developments as we prepare our public comments.

We appreciate FASB’s efforts to provide relief to the franchising sector during this unprecedented time and thank them for their unanimous decision. Understanding that many franchise brands have spent considerable time and resources on filings to date, we encourage you to discuss with your legal and auditing firms whether any amendments may be made to year-end audited financial statements.

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Suzanne Beall with any questions. We hope this bit of good news provides you with a little hope in the midst of the crisis.

Thank You,

Robert Cresanti, CFE
President & CEO
International Franchise Association

This Week’s Top Picks – Emerging Franchise Brands

If you’re considering entering the world of “Self Employment” one of the best way to reduce risk is to purchase a franchise. A franchise affords you the opportunity to join a company with a proven business model and a track record of success. It’s better than “going it alone” …When you consider the number of “moving parts” connected with starting your own business, franchising makes all the sense in the world. You’ll get a business system along with the guidance and experience of the franchisor. Here are just three brands in our portfolio that are featured as our Top Picks this week.

By Gary Occhiogrosso – Franchise Growth Solutions
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
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Skinny Pizza franchise

GET THE UPDATED SKINNY ON THIS FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY
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SKINNYPIZZA
* New Territories available
* Smaller retail footprint
* Lower cost of entry
* Great co-band opportunities

America has a real passion for pizza. Since the first pizzeria opened here in New York City in 1903, pizza has grown to the most popular food in America. An incredible 93% OF AMERICANS gladly admit they eat pizza at least once a month.

Our passion for pizza is staggering. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) indicates that pizza sales represent almost $38 BILLION IN AMERICA — over $100 BILLION worldwide. Where is our love for pizza heading? The trending is actually very clear.

The research firm Technomic® in their most recent “Pizza Consumer Trend Report” found that 41% OF AMERICANS say they would be happy to pay for healthier ingredients including ORGANIC TOPPINGS AND CRUSTS, as well as all-natural LOCALLY SOURCED ingredients.
What makes it SKINNYPIZZA®? We have spent years creating a thin pizza crust that has great taste and complements any topping. At the same time, we have carefully crafted our entire menu for those that are health- and environmentally conscious, as well as those that simply love great tasting pizza, salads and soups.

Our PIZZA CRUST is made with NO PRESERVATIVES or ADDITIVES. That alone is something that is incredibly rare, actually reserved to the top 1% of pizzerias. Our PIZZA SAUCE is made with 100% USDA CERTIFIED ORGANIC tomatoes.

But the SKINNYPIZZA® concept does not end there. Along with the best tasting pizza you will ever eat, we have carefully developed our menu to complement our healthy approach to great Italian fast-casual dining.

To Learn More About SkinnyPizza Click Here https://www.skinnypizza.com/franchise.html

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Ice Cream Franchise
It’s always a good day to…GOFER Ice Cream

IT’S ALWAYS A GOOD DAY TO …
GOFER ICE CREAM

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Our Brand is based on the simple premise of selling high quality American Style ice cream in clean and inviting retail environments, without the use of gimmicks or catering to the latest ice cream fad.We focus equally on hard hand-dipped and premium soft serve ice cream products. Our menu also includes fat free treats like “Gofer Lite” and new innovations like Plant Based ice creams and “Gofer Bites”. We also feature ice cream cakes, party boxes, online ordering and catering options for multiple income streams.Our shops are bright and family oriented.

Warm welcomes by our staff are often accompanied by the smell of fresh made waffle cones, which are created several times a day.The concept, from a franchisee’s point of view, is to be a quick service and efficient operation. The system allows for a typical shop to function with minimal staff led by a motivated owner operator.

We support our franchisee partners through the entire process.
* Site selection
* Design and Construction
* Comprehensive training
* Grand opening
* Marketing Programs
* Benchmarking with industry experts

We teach you everything you need to know to open and operate your own Gofer Ice Cream shop.

To Learn more About This Sweet Brand Click Here: https://goferfranchise.com/
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Acai , franchise, profit

Acai Express
Be in the Business of Better…
* Better for You
* Better for the Planet
* Better for Franchisees.

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Our Beginnings

Not long ago, I was just like you. Smart, savvy, and tired of working hard for someone else’s benefit. I spent 10 years in the traditional restaurant business and knew the hard work I was doing could be made simpler with a system, made more enjoyable and less complicated, and better fit my lifestyle. My dream was to be able to put my experience to work in an easy and fun restaurant concept and support my family doing something I love. Acai Express is that.

When Passion Turned to Profit

I’ve always been an active guy who loved surfing and perfecting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in my native Puerto Rico, but finding healthy and delicious food on the go and at the beach was a challenge. So, I started selling my own homemade organic super food bowls and smoothies. I used only the freshest ingredients and the centerpiece of all my creations was the 100% organic Grade A acai berry, a rich anti-oxidant stone fruit that grows on trees in the Amazon river basin. I just knew then that it was packed with flavor and goodness, but today the acai berry is considered a benefit to all kinds of health and well-being: cognition, heart health, aging, and weight loss. My acai-based menu got so popular, I started adding to the menu and selling out of my own food truck. When the number of my trucks went from one to thirteen and were located throughout Puerto Rico, I knew I had a business concept that small business owners anywhere could use. And, one that could marry an active lifestyle and career with an appreciation of honest, organic and nutrient rich foods. That’s the best part of Acai Express for me. I was able to be successful on my terms without sacrificing my intrinsic values.

Join the Family
When you become a member of the Acai Express family, even though our system is simple and easy to follow, you’ll work one-on-one with me and my team of franchisees and employees to ensure your success. We’re not some faceless corporate giant, we are the guys who get it done, and like you, are committed to success. Because your success is our success. You’ll also benefit from our hard won knowledge of what works, how to market and what consumers want. And, you’ll be part of a healthy lifestyle movement that has quickly gone from trend to established consumer demand.

To Learn More About this LifeStyle Brand Click Here: https://acaiexpressfranchise.com/
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TO SEE ALL THE BRANDS IN THE FRANCHISE GROWTH SOLUTIONS PORTFOLIO CLICK HERE: https://www.franchisegrowthsolutions.com/clients

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Franchise Disclaimer
None of the communications on this website should be construed as an offer to sell a franchise. We will not offer any franchise for sale: (1) until your state has duly registered our franchise offering or duly exempted our franchise offering from registration, if your state requires registration or exemption; and (2) until we have duly delivered our franchise disclosure document to you in compliance with applicable law.

The Japanese Curry Craze

The Japanese Curry Craze
By Tomoko Omori – CEO Go!Go!Curry America

Japanese curry has been around for over 140 years, and people are still catching on to the curry craze. So let’s get you up to speed. Curry introduced to Japan during the Meiji era (1868–1912) when India was under colonial rule by the British Empire. By the 1870s, the curry was being served in Japan and became a staple in the Japanese diet. Since its introduction, curry has been completely adapted to the tastes and spices of Japan, making it something entirely native to the East Asian island. It isn’t hard to understand why people in Japan look for the comfort of curry at least once a week. The taste of curry, warm, and rich in flavor coming together with rice or udon to lull you into a happy food coma. Every region boasts its curry recipe with preferred pairings. Still, none are as unique as the curry rice recipe hailing from Ishikawa’s capital city, Kanazawa.

The critical difference of Kanazawa curry is its caramelized color and flavor, giving it a delicious melt in the mouth effect that you don’t find in other curries. Every recipe for this pot of pure indulgence suggests that in Kanazawa, the idea is to let the subtle notes of sweet ingredients catapult the savory and smoky flavors. Kanazawa curry is meticulously placed over every inch of Koshihikari rice. Then, it’s generously topped with crispy yet juicy katsu and drizzled with sweet and smokey tonkatsu sauce. Adorned with perfectly sliced cabbage for a mild crunch factor, completes this classic serving of Katsu Curry. This plate of food that will make you miss your mom. When people recount having Kanazawa curry rice, they always end with,
“I swore to myself I would never eat that much again, and then I was craving it days later.” It appears that the comforting nature of Japanese curry is what makes it so addictive and gives it foodie staying power.

If you want to learn more about great tasting curry, click here.

About the Author
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Tomoko Omori, CEO of Go!Go!Curry was born and raised in Japan. She came to the USA alone to become an actress, where she received an AA degree from college majoring in Drama. She received a scholarship to study music at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. When she was performing in an Off Broadway play, her residential apartment was burned in a fire and she lost everything.

Tomoko was then hired to work at a Japanese TV station that broadcast major league baseball. At the time, she had no idea about the rules, but learned from zero. After 4 years of traveling nationwide about 2/3 of the month, she met the perfect man in her life. However, he wanted her to stay at home, so she became a housewife for 3 months. Tomoko and her husband decided it would be best if she returned to work, so she obtained a position in advertising/sales at a local Japanese publishing company. 3 years later, she created a free magazine called Chopsticks NY to introduce Japanese food and the culture.

Now, Tomoko is working in her fourth carrier as a restaurateur. Her restaurant is called Go! Go! Curry, a grab-and-go Japanese comfort food restaurant. There are over 75 locations in Japan, and the first location in the USA was established near Times Square on 38th St. and 8th Ave. in 2007. At that time, Tomoko helped the company with their advertising in her magazine. Five years from their first establishment, in 2012, she was asked to be President and joined their company.

When Tomoko took over as President, the restaurant was not making any profit. With only $30,000 in the bank, no credit history, and no systems in place, their 5 employees were afraid the restaurant would close at any time. Tomoko used her personal credit card to build the second restaurant and leased the equipment needed. Within 4 years, she opened 5 more in NYC and one in Cambridge, MA, and is now supporting new franchisees to expand nationwide.

She says, “Our mission is to serve our tasty curry nationwide in USA and Canada to enrich people’s food lives and make all our employees happier and richer lives both physically and spiritually. Our vision is to make many Go Go Curry locations where we make our customers smile when they eat our curry at where the people who work with smile and pride. I’m visioning all our employees’ children are proud to say their parents work at Go Go Curry.” Tomoko received the Nikkei BP Woman of the year award in 2015.
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None of the communications on this website should be construed as an offer to sell a franchise. We will not offer any franchise for sale: (1) until your state has duly registered our franchise offering or duly exempted our franchise offering from registration, if your state requires registration or exemption; and (2) until we have duly delivered our franchise disclosure document to you in compliance with applicable law.

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franchise, fast food, Japan
www.gogocurryfranchise.com

WELCOME TO Go! Go! CURRY USA Franchising. Since 2007 we have been serving our Japanese Curry to our hungry customers, and are proud to be at the forefront of the growing Japanese Curry craze. Over the last decade, Go Go Curry has established itself as the industry leader in this emerging culinary market which brings a unique style and flavor to the fast casual industry. Click Here For Franchise Information
OFFER BY PROSPECTUS ONLY

SUBWAY – A Bite Of The Sandwich From Both Ends?

According to a NY Times interview with Ms. Husler, she said her boss tasked her with specific instructions to find things wrong. “I was kind of his hit man,” she said. Ms. Husler went on to say that Mr. Patel considered his own interests when determining which stores were to be sent into arbitration.

A Bite Of The Sandwich From Both Ends?
By Gary Occhiogrosso – As seen in Forbes.com

Like a “Player/Manager” of a baseball team, there are often conflicts that never seem to settle and resolve. The recent news that Subway, and it’s “Development Agents” are allegedly “pushing out” other smaller Subway operators is not unlike the player/manager deciding to bench a good teammate so he can get more playing time. As a 35-year veteran of the franchised restaurant industry, I know I am not alone in my opinion. You can’t play both sides of the fence then expect not to run up against motives that may sometimes appear to be questionable.
Subway has grown to its behemoth size by employing a program whereby some franchisees are also sales agents and operational support personnel for the parent company. They are titled “Development Agents.” On the surface, it seems like a good idea. It seems to make sense to appoint brethren franchisees to help build out territory by recruiting new owners and then assist them in setting up their shops and growing their business.

Cutting the Sandwich Business Into Pieces
Subway divides its roster of sandwich shops into more than 100 regional territories. These territories are controlled in part by a development agent. The development agents are responsible for recruiting new franchisees and finding & approving buyers for existing shops. As compensation for this sales effort, they receive a portion of the upfront franchise fee for a new shop or transfer fee if it’s the sale of a current location.

Also, for a share of the company’s royalty fee, they are obligated to visit shops and conduct shop audits focused on operational compliance. This inspection task is carried out through the use of inspectors — known as field consultants. The question of conflict comes up when you consider that many of the development agents are also franchisees themselves. As this is the case, it’s hard to separate the idea of running their own shops, and be responsible for inspecting shops which directly compete with them. The question of motive grows more plausible when you add in the fact that these development agent’s shops are self-inspected by their own paid staff members.

Is Rapid Growth Always a Good Thing?
Consider the history of Subway’s voracious appetite for growth and the lack of exclusive territories granted to their franchisees. In my opinion, all franchised units regardless of the brand, should have a protected territory. These protections help prevent the parent company from encroaching on the trade area of an existing operator and hurting their sales. This protection is not the case with many Subway franchises. There is not exclusive territory protection. The location of a new shop is at the discretion of the company. So it should come as no surprise that the brand has overdeveloped in certain territories. These saturated markets are at a point of sales cannibalization. Mr. Deluaca’s dream of 50,000 Subways has now left some franchisees feeling like their local development agents are pushing them out of business to gain market share for themselves.

Case in point, as reported in the NY Times, Subway franchisee Manoj Tripathi felt that someone had a vendetta against him. The 20-year franchisee noted that each time the inspector arrived, she would find more and more minor infractions. Things like fingerprints on the doors or vegetables cut incorrectly or the wrong soap in the restrooms. On one visit, Rebecca Husler, the Subway inspector who worked for Chirayu Patel, a Development Agent in the Northern California region, noticed that a single light fixture needed a new bulb. Mr. Tripathi replaced the bulb before she left; nonetheless, it was a violation. Mr. Tripathi wasn’t overreacting to his feeling of being set up to fail, as it turns out within a year he was terminated, and he lost his shop.

According to a NY Times interview with Ms. Husler, she said her boss tasked her with specific instructions to find things wrong. “I was kind of his hit man,” she said. Ms. Husler went on to say that Mr. Patel considered his own interests when determining which stores were to be sent into arbitration. Mr. Patel made it “very clear that his stores were to pass” and that “the people he wanted out of the system were to fail out of the system.” she said in the interview. The light bulb incident gave her pause to say, “We’re ruining these people.”

Systemic or Isolated?
One of the people on the company side of this debate is Don Fertman. Mr. Fertman is Subway’s chief development officer and a veteran of the company for 38 years. He claims development agents owning restaurants helps give them “a better understanding of all aspects of owning a small business.” He went on to explain that the company reviews the agents’ work and expects them to uphold ethical standards, dealing with violations “on a case-by-case basis.” He continued by saying, “Our business development agents are well-respected members of our business community,” he said. “And when we hear these allegations, I would say that they are false.”

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My takeaway is not this stunning revelation of alleged unfair business practices, but instead that it’s taken this many years to consider that Development Agents competing with other franchises might abuse their position when auditing competing shops in their region. As a former franchisor and development consultant, I do see merit for brands to use the development agent system. I believe there needs to be a robust system of oversight by the parent company to prevent abusive business practices by development agents. This is not to say that Subway corporate hasn’t developed a system of checks and balances, but the allegations from its franchise community leave one to wonder how vigorously it is employed.

Given the number of Subway units in the USA, this may only be the beginning from Subway franchisees who feel Subway is taking a bite out their business.