What should I expect from a franchiser

I am wanting to buy a pizza franchise from a company who has many stores but none in my area. I have no experience in food service with the exception of working at Pizza Hut in college 20 years ago. What should I expect from a franchiser? What should I ask the company? How can I tell if it is a good option or not? Am I crazy for even trying it in this economy? Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

I am sure the independent owners on this board are independent for a reason. They want to call the shots.
Franchise provides you - one with no experience - a good base - good instruction and hopefully good name recognition.
But you are still only as good as your last pizza.
Franchising costs you anywhere from 5-10% of your gross sales in franchise fees and advertising fees.
Franchising costs you in creativity - you have to follow their lead whether you like or not.
Franchising will limit your growth or your area of growth if you want it down the road.
Franchising can make you a ton of money as well!
There is always pros and cons - weigh them carefully.

As one who has fairly recently franchised his concept but not yet sold a franchise to an outside “franchise owner”, my perspectvie is obviously limited.

I think I’d be most concerned with the quality of the franchised product and the mission/vision/values of the franchise organization. Marketing is great but it won’t overcome an average product and/or a mission which is at odds with your values and vision.

Having recently gained a competitor (franchise)in my market (I have over 15 years of experience), it has been interesting to take notes on what I perceive as strengths/weaknesses of the model.

I think if I were going to choose a franchise, I would add to the two points already made the aspect of REAL support. Many smaller franchises IMHO try to reach out into distant markets and don’t have the support structure to really help the franchise owner when he needs it. As a prospective franchisor, I would not consider locations outside of a certain radius of my current territory, in order to guarantee a certain level of support as well as name recognition.

I would contact existing franchise owners and solicit their input. Are they happy with their choice? Would they do it again? Did they get their money’s worth?

I would definitely look at more than one franchise and I wouldn’t let price be the determining factor. Many times, you’ll get what you pay for.

Good Luck!

I can tell you that i am in a small locally owned franchise and its great.

I cant speak for the big dogs.

But the guy who started our franchise helps out alot, all he does is try to better our stores and our businesses

He does not mark up our food and fights for better prices all the time, we only pay a 3% fee no advertising fee’s

We are allowed to do owner specials on pizzas and make our own coupons and deals ETC.

We have about 20 stores in our state, and for the most part they do great.

We save or 3% in food cost and bulk advertising costs. IE We pay 1.7cents for our menus and .13 cents over block on cheese.

So im my mind its worth it for me

Find out what “their” qualifications for “you”. Most of the time people do not even qualify for franchises.

Second concern is what kind of roi can I expect? What do I care beyond that if this is not right??? Get examples to visit and observe. Talk to people in the stores to verify.

Opening a new location in a territory without name recognition is tough going. Here you would need to know what kind of support to expect to build up that brand image. Costs involved?

What is involved in the training process? Costs involved? This would probably entail working in existing stores and training your employees there as well.

Personally, I think you should really believe in the concept beyond what I have mentioned. Imo, its tough to work something you don’t believe but just felt was financially sound.

“If this list proves anything, it should be that entrepreneurs might do well to avoid pizza franchises.”

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