How One Company is Celebrating Franchisee Creativity and Gaining in the Process
Most often when we think of franchising, we think of a static set of rules. Franchise businesses
that perform X, Y, and Z, and do so over and over again to achieve the same growing results. And sure, a few things can be changed here and there – but only that which is approved and has still shown proven results. That's franchising history as we've known it – for years. And folks have just accepted that understanding as a static norm. No one thinks anything of it.
This status quo movement also sounds pretty boring, right? Who wants to do things in just the same ways that everyone else has done them? Sure it's important to prove worth and to plan for success, but that doesn't mean following an exact mold, either. Instead, it's all about finding a balance between the two – a plan that's going to provide for a profitable business, as well as one that provides for creativity and fun.
Can it Be Done?
Depends on who you ask, of course. There are the set-in-their ways folks who say that business is business and there's a way to do it correctly. Then there are those who go too above the crowd with their zany ideas and find little success with their efforts. But as it turns out, one very company, Teriyaki Madness, has been able to track down the best of both worlds. They've combined success with elements of franchisee individuality.
Teriyaki Madness has locations across the country, and has brought in sales growth between 10 and 23% for the past five years. In 2014 and 2015 alone, they doubled their number of locations.
What's With the Creativity?
The brand makes it a point to focus on franchisee happiness, as well as customer satisfaction. Of course they're branding a great product, marketing how fresh their foods are, how Teriyaki Madness (TMAD) is an industry leader and a "hot food alternative" or Asian-cuisine franchising. But they're also working to make things a little different – in a good way – for the franchisees themselves.
TMAD starts with each franchisee by telling them what's expected of their location. Certain parameters, like recipes and service standards, as well as signage and brand colors simply cannot be messed with. However, everything else – in theory – is up for negotiation. The brand works individually with each franchisee to determine an outcome that will best meet their needs, and that will have the largest amount of success.
The brand says that by focusing on transparency and collaboration, they create a group effort toward reaching a unique goal that all parties are happy with reaching. This includes individual freedom to implement new procedures or ideas. Basically, if your idea doesn't mess with the brand's core rules, it's open for discussion. The only protocol requiring that such ideas must be submitted, talked over, and worked on in a group setting that includes both the individual franchisee and corporate workers. That way, ideas can be looked at from a big picture point of view, then narrowed down in a way that will essentially "work" for the brand, they said.
Why They're Doing It
Rather than offering a cookie-cutter experience (for customers or for franchisees), TMAD says they want to work toward a more individual experience. One where each location offers something "a little bit different." This helps as it lets customers know they will still be getting the same delicious food, but likely with some type of interior twist. (And to not shy away from that twist.) However, it also allows business owners to act as individuals and to think up and implement their very own ideas. Not only does this add individuality and ownership to the location, it allows owners to become more invested in their daily tasks, as well as their TMAD location as a whole.
With all of the growth that TMAD has seen, it's important to note that yes, successful franchising creativity can be done. Brands can allow for freedom and individuality and still show incredible growth rates. So long as the proper steps are taken, there's no reason you can't do things right, while also letting franchisees do it their way.
To learn more about this groundbreaking mantra, or how to implement it for yourself, get in touch with us today!
To learn more about Teriyaki Madness click the link below.