Panelists Share Tips to Ease Costly Rollouts with Franchisees
Communication is key when franchisors roll out changes that cost franchisees money, according to a panel exploring the topic, “What do franchisees want?” at the Franchise Finance & Growth Conference Tuesday morning in Las Vegas.
“One of the best things they should do is pilot it in stores and have test cases,” said Jeff Kiecke, owner of Bandon Holdings, an Anytime Fitness franchisee in Texas. “The biggest deal is communication. There’s nothing worse than being told, this is the way it is, and have fun.”
He said sometimes franchisors don’t consider regional differences when launching initiatives. For example, Minnesota-based Anytime Fitness launched free outdoor workouts in May to raise awareness of the 24/7 fitness clubs. “In Minneapolis, I’m sure May is great, but in Texas it’s not,” he said. “So having the ability to shift messages depending on where your market is,” is important. “You can’t get everyone’s buy-in, but at least listen to what the franchisee has to say.”
Tabbassum Mumtaz, CEO of Ampex Brands and a large Taco Bell and KFC franchisee, advised franchisors to test a new initiative in major franchisees’ markets, “so the advisory board is aligned, and so the franchisees in a larger concept have the confidence.
Kiecke said one thing he wants from his franchisor is information. “One thing I love is data. What is the top quarter doing across the stores? Everybody always wants to be getting better, and it’s hard to know where you stand unless you have that information available.”
He also likes when his franchisor introduces successful franchisees across the country to each other, to share best practices.
The Franchise Finance & Growth Conference, presented by Franchise Times, continues through Wednesday morning at the Encore at the Wynn.