Multi-unit franchisees are arguably a franchise concept’s key to success. These owners have proven they can do it right, over and over again. They have passion for the brand, believe in the brand and want to see it grow. That said, becoming a multi-unit owner is not easy. 1851 Franchise Magazine connected with three multi-unit owners from different franchise concepts to hear more about how they were able to convince the franchisor that they were ready to become a multi-unit owner with the brand, which came down to three crucial steps.
1. Come up with a business plan
Chad Trollinger started as a single-unit owner with Welcomemat Services, but had expressed from the get-go a desire to grow with the new mover marketing and technology franchise.
“Ever since my training week, I always had the goal of being a multi-unit owner,” said Trolling. “For my second location, I came up with a business plan highlighting everything that made my first unit so successful. I put in the same effort that I did in my initial market, which led to the corporate team putting me in front of the opportunity of multi-unit ownership.”
Kate Gould of Mosquito Joe had a similar experience when she inquired about purchasing a second location with the mosquito control franchise.
“From the corporate perspective, I believe there is certainty with us that is unknown with other prospects,” said Gould. “We were driven from the start, worked hard to accomplish our list of ‘must-do’s’ and reached out for guidance whenever we needed it.”
2. Utilize previous experience to operate at a higher level
Todd Geatches with Toppers Pizza took a different approach to multi-unit ownership. With seasoned experience in the fast-casual franchise space, when he approached Toppers as a prospective franchisee, he knew he was ready to be a multi-unit owner right off the bat.
“Having experience with restaurants in a variety of markets and catering to a wide spectrum of customers allows my team and I to see outside just one town or one group of customers,” said Geatches. “We are focused on what is best for growing the entire system and know if we operate at a higher level, it will help our group and the entire Toppers family grow.”
3. Follow the guidelines and proven system
Above all, the franchise model is there because it lays out a system that has been proven over and over again. While opening a second, third, or tenth location adds additional obstacles, multi-unit owners are able to have an assist with this model.
“A good multi-unit owner is someone who follows the guidelines of the franchisor,” said Gould. “I believe that corporate saw that we followed this model and are comfortable with us.”
Geatches has a similar appreciation for the system that was in place.
“Since joining Toppers, we’ve opened seven restaurants in less than six months, with plans to open many more than our original 27-unit commitment,” Geatches said. “The key to our success was planned by the Toppers team long before we made our first inquiry, by the infrastructure the founder Scott Gittrich built.”
While there is not one single mold that makes a multi-unit owner, and they come from all different backgrounds, there are definitely guidelines that franchisees can follow to take that first step at becoming a multi-unit owner. Ultimately, a franchisor wants to find those key individuals that will grow alongside the franchise concept, and by coming up with a plan, operating at a higher level and following the proven model that was put in place for a reason, franchisees have a shot of becoming those lifelong partners.