More than 200 franchise brand websites were reviewed by industry judges, and 75 were recognized as best-in-class. Each of these categories were meticulously evaluated by a panel of 12 judges and given a score on a ten-point scale; the website rankings are based on a composite average of these scores. Rita’s Italian Ice was a “best of the best,” tied for 8th overall with a score of 7.25.
The judging panel was comprised of industry experts: Sean Fitzgerald, of 1851 Franchise; Nick Powills, of No Limit Agency; Batchelor, CEO and Jack Monson, Director of Digital Strategy, of Qiigo; Michelle Rowan, President of Franchise Business Review; Craig Slavin, CEO of Franchise Navigator; Jamshaid Hashmi, CEO of ClickTecs; Kay Ainsley, Managing Director of MSA Worldwide; Keith Gerson, President of FranConnect; Stan Friedman, President of FRM Solutions; Steve Beagelman, CEO of SMB Franchise Advisors; and Todd Bingham, President of Pinnacle. Each judge was tasked with judging hundreds of submissions, from which they awarded 75 standout franchise development websites with a gold, silver or bronze designation. The judges had this to say about Rita’s Italian Ice’s franchise development site:
Rowan: I love the webinar idea - it’s a very low-pressure way to educate candidates. Site is visually fun and conversational, which is consistent with the type of product the brand offers. Webinar invites are a great, non-invasive way to capture candidate info right away without hiding basic franchise info from them. The site overall is very clean and easy to read and navigate.
Ainsley: Straightforward, simple design with good top line information.
Beagelman: I liked the strong brand association, great movement, use of cutting edge and multiple graphical tools, and that it had lots of information.
Friedman: Modern look. I liked the layout of the information. The site incorporated videos nicely with text content.
Slavin: I’m not sure why I ranked this site so high as it is all about the company and not the benefits of owning. However, part of their messages is good.
Hashmi: The site is clean and information is easy to access. I liked the sticky bar at the top because it allows the user to easily ‘inquire'.