Have you ever dreamt of owning your own restaurant? If the answer is yes, one common path to achieve this goal is to become a franchise operator (a.k.a. franchisee). We have all heard the term franchisee so we thought it would be interesting to take a deeper look at the definition to understand how this business model has made such an enormous impact on the U.S. economy.
Owning a franchise means you have been given the right to market a company’s goods within a certain territory or location. The biggest advantage is that you start off with an already thriving business concept that has an established customer base. Franchisees normally pay large franchise, royalty, and marketing fees to a corporate entity (a.k.a. franchisor) for benefiting from large-scale marketing campaigns, brand recognition, well-known products, territory rights, and structured operating/training procedures. In return, the franchisor expects the franchisee to maintain the integrity of the brand by providing high-quality products and exceptional customer service.
Ever heard this little jingle before? “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun…” For most of us, this song conjures up images of a McDonald’s Big Mac, crispy French fries, and an ice-cold drink. In fact, McDonald’s was one of the first franchises in the fast-food industry and now has over 37,000 restaurants worldwide. Franchising started to really blossom in the post-war 1950s and 1960s, as restaurant chains searched for additional capital to expand their distribution channels. Thanks to the expansion of franchising, common brands such as 7-Eleven, Subway, Wendy’s, and Jack-in-the Box are in nearly every city and recognized from coast to coast.
Markon and our member distributors understand what an important role the franchisee plays for the multi-unit concepts we serve. Selling to both the franchisor and franchisee presents a unique challenge. It is critical to get the franchisor to believe in the benefits of the Markon produce program from both the consistent quality and food safety standpoints, but it is just as important to work with the franchisees on an individual level. If franchisors merely mandated the use of our products it would never work over the long-term. That’s why we spend extra time sharing our produce knowledge with both groups to ensure they know what a pivotal role fresh fruits and vegetables play in their businesses.