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A Conversation With: Akash Kapoor of Curry Up Now, Brett Larrabee of Little Caesars Pizza and James Williams of Mayweather Boxing + Fitness

Nick Powills and Charles Internicola are joined by Curry Up Now CEO and Founder Akash Kapoor, Little Caesars Pizza Director of International Development Brett Larrabee and Mayweather Boxing + Fitness CEO James Williams to discuss how the franchise industry is tackling the issues brought on by COVID-19.

The coronavirus continues to have dire effects on businesses across the country, and the franchise industry is no exception. Franchisors across segments are strategizing new ways to support their franchisees, keep customers satisfied, help local communities and come out stronger on the other side of this crisis.

To that end, 1851 Franchise publisher Nick Powills and Charles Internicola, founder and partner of the Internicola Law* Firm, are covering the coronavirus and its impact on the franchising industry through our A Conversation With webinar series.

In today’s morning webinar, Powills and Internicola spoke with Curry Up Now CEO and Founder Akash Kapoor, Little Caesars Pizza Director of International Development Brett Larrabee and Mayweather Boxing + Fitness CEO James Williams about how the franchising industry is responding to the crisis.

Here are some of the key insights from their discussion.

Leveraging Time 

This is a great time for brands to do things they haven’t previously had the time to do. Brands can do things such as review tech contracts and refine their third-party delivery operations. 

No more complaining. This is where we are at. Life goes on and everyone needs to adjust to a new normal. 

Capitalizing on Resources

Customers might see their favorite local businesses shut down permanently as a result of COVID-19. More people are on the internet looking for new alternatives, which is promising from a sales perspective. 

As businesses shut down, more real estate will become available. So will talent. Some brands are laying off executive team members. This is a great time to recruit top talent that was not previously available. 

There are two main groups of investors: those who sit back and wait for this to blow over and those who believe that now is the time to move forward and take advantage of the market. The competitive landscape has changed. 

Opportunity and volatility happen at the same time. It might be convenient to blame a lot of things that are happening right now on COVID-19, but people had a lot of the same concerns prior to this outbreak. Consumers, for instance, were already concerned with health and wellness and family time. Restaurants were coping with the demand for third-party delivery. COVID-19 magnified these trends. Solutions occur during times of crisis. When this is over, it’s not going to slowly go back to normal. Things will be different. 

When the economy was good, brands did not pay attention to certain matters. Now is a time to look at details and tighten operations. Brands that were already headed in the right direction operationally before COVID-19 are better set up for success. 

This is a time to become more intimate with your brand. Restaurant brands, for example, can build up their catering business and not just rely on third-party delivery or foot traffic. Improve packaging. Review recipes. If you don’t get better, you get worse. 

Building Trust

Trust is important in times of chaos, and not just for franchisees. It’s also essential for consumers. Consumers need to know that the service is safe, and the franchisor and franchisee need to be thoughtful in how they deliver their product. Franchisees are also looking to franchisors for leadership. This is a great learning opportunity for brands. 

Brands and leadership teams need to double down on providing support to the franchisees who put their money, trust and faith in them. Do not scale back on support. 

Franchising is filled with great people who are running and operating businesses under tremendous adversity. Be flexible in how you approach your messaging and business and listen. Have empathy for franchisees. Humility is powerful. Now is the time to expand relationships and have conversations with people. At the end of the day, people are going to work with people they trust.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.