bannerPlayFranchisor Stories

A Conversation With: Kerin Zuger and Barbara Madison of Right at Home

Nick Powills and Charles Internicola are joined by Right at Home Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships Kerin Zuger and franchisee Barbara Madison to discuss how the franchise brand is dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

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 businesses through our A Conversation With webinar series.

In today’s morning webinar, Powills and Internicola spoke with Right at Home* Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships Kerin Zuger and franchisee Barbara Madison about how the in-home health care brand is dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. 

Here are some of the key insights from their discussion.


COVID-19 is affecting people differently across communities and states. Franchisors should recognize that franchisees in different markets need different levels of support, and they should enlist the help of experts to provide the best market-specific resources.

The Benefits of Franchising

Independently owned businesses are hurting more than franchise brands right now. They do not have access to the kind of support a franchise can provide, such as legal services and help navigating the CARES Act and assistance in acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE). Having a franchise family is a great way to maintain optimism. 

Franchisors may see even more gratitude from their franchise systems these days. Franchisees realize there is no way they would have been able to weather this storm without the franchisor’s support. 

The Value of Corporate-Owned Locations

Corporate-owned locations can offer an essential learning experience for franchisors, offering first-hand insight into the experience of franchisees. They help the franchisor walk in the shoes of franchisees and learn more about the challenges, struggles and limitations they face. 


This is a good time for brands to evaluate their processes, such as hiring and recruiting, and to pivot accordingly and see how those processes might change in the long term. 

Franchisee Engagement

Right at Home finds that franchisee engagement is higher at this time. More franchisees are attending town halls. Increased communication is a good idea at this time. 

Using the Opportunity

Brands should take this opportunity to change behaviors. With in-home care, for example, leveraging and integrating technology can be a challenge, as older customers may be tech-averse and find it impersonal. Technology, however, and additional resources can help with retention and engagement. 

Brands can also get creative and diversify revenue streams. 

New levels of engagement will also apply to relationships with customers and suppliers. People are using muscles they never knew they had.

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