(Continued from page 2)

Will the past few years’ fluctuations in consumer confidence, commodity and real estate costs, or uncertainty over the Affordable Care Act change the way you support franchisees in your new role?

Arrowsmith, Captain D’s:
I think in today’s world, it’s critical to make sure your brand is a compelling business model. You have to have a business model that makes sense and that a franchisee can understand and evaluate quickly. They need to know they can make money and serve customers easily and efficiently. That’s also key to getting financing: Banks want to understand your business model.

Cheek, Toppers Pizza: These things involve all restaurant categories, and we always find a way to figure it out. When gas went to $4 per gallon years ago, we figured it out. I’ll continue to interact with our franchisees as partners, with their franchisee advisory council and marketing advisory board giving us a way to let them into our decision-making process. Whatever comes up, we’ll work with them to figure that out. One of the things that put us on equal footing is that our company-owned restaurants pay the royalty as well, and we’re the largest operator of the brand today.

Leone, Trufoods: I was with Energy Kitchen for 16 years, starting it and building it to a whole system, just doing everything. I’m taking all those learnings and applying them to these concepts. As an entrepreneur, I think I’m bringing a level of knowledge of building a brand and the challenge of running day-to-day operations. I’m most focused on coaching franchisees to run their units and develop their people in the right way.

McFarlin, HoneyBaked Ham: For me, the essentials are always the same. What works is having the conversation with the franchisees and making sure that I tailor my conversations for what their goals are. We’re always changing what tools prospective franchisees need, so whether it’s pulling together projections and P&Ls for banks, or helping them with demographic information and the processes for pre-opening, those have changed for the better over the past few years.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN