Question: How should I assist my franchisees with the operations of the franchised location?
Answer: Systemized Operations … the hallmark of a successful franchise system. What are “systemized operations?” Since you are in the restaurant industry, you probably notice the little things when you visit restaurants. When you visit a franchised restaurant, you probably notice that the layout is the same or substantially similar, the decorating is consistent, the menus are consistent, the uniforms, bathrooms, kitchen equipment, counter tops, POS system, trash cans, and hopefully, food quality, is consistent across the brand … meaning that if you go to a franchise restaurant in San Antonio, Texas, it is the same or substantially similar to the same brand in Detroit, Michigan. That is the implementation of the franchisor’s systems.
You must first determine the unique things that make your brand special and design your systems to highlight the operational features of your market specialty. You should make note of every detail of your operations because you will need to document these details for your prospective franchisees. With these details, you will create your system’s “Operations Manual.” This is the document you will provide to franchisees that to teach them how to duplicate your restaurant and operate your system.
As you develop your systems and Operations Manual, produce them with future franchisees in mind. Remember that your systems and Operations Manual are, in part, what your franchisees are purchasing. In evaluating whether a prospective franchisee will want to purchase your systems, the prospective franchisee will evaluate the strength of your systems against other options. Detailed and well documented systems will help you sell franchises … because prospective franchisees will see the value in purchasing them from you, rather than developing their own systems.
I am proud and honored to co-present a seminar at the MRA’s Show on October 16, 2012 with Dave Hood, President of iFranchise Group from Chicago, Illinois (www.ifranchisegroup.com), a national and international expert in franchising and systems development. Dave and I will discuss the importance of documenting your system in preparation of franchising your business. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about documenting your system from Dave!