When researching a potential franchise opportunity, there’s plenty of research and due diligence to be done, but it can be overwhelming and sometimes prospects forget to dial it down to the basics.
We some straight forward questions to Famous Toastery founder and CEO Robert Maynard about why a prospect should buy Famous Toastery, and here’s what he had to say.
1851: What is the number one reason someone should buy Famous Toastery?
RM: We’re not a restaurant brand, we’re a lifestyle brand. For people who have restaurant industry experience, or even for people who don’t, but desire to be in the industry -- this is one of the only franchise opportunities where you can still be in the restaurant business and be home to your family by 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon. With our niche being breakfast and brunch, our business model only requires one shift a day, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s perfect for restaurant industry veterans who still love the business, but also want a family-friendly lifestyle, and it’s also a great transition brand for executives that want to be in the restaurant business. It keeps them working during the day, on a schedule they are already comfortable with.
1851: What are the benefits of buying into Famous Toastery now?
RM: From a business perspective, breakfast is the hottest thing right now and it will be for the foreseeable future. It’s a fairly untapped market, particularly for a model like ours. We’re beating out the “competition” right now on every level, from real estate options to food quality. We’re a better breakfast concept that is not limited to upper class clientele, but attainable for the masses with an average ticket price of $12.50. None of our food is frozen, nothing comes from a bag. Everything is homemade, in-house, every morning. In addition, unlike burgers or pizza for example -- things that people might eat once a week -- everyone eats breakfast every day, whether it’s a yogurt or a full meal, so a high percentage of our customers come in 4 or 5 times a week.
In terms of territory, we’re very young, so the sky's the limit in terms of territory, and we’re not doing any reserving of hot territories for corporate locations. We’re leaving them wide open for the right franchise partners. Right now we have six locations open and we receive a lot of inbound calls from people who have experienced the restaurant and want to bring it to their hometown. Getting in now, you’re still getting in with us at the ground level, where you have free reign to map out the territories you’d like to develop and grow alongside the brand.
1851: What type of support do franchisees receive from the corporate team?
RM: We’re [the corporate team] heavily involved from day one. We can be extremely helpful in scouting real estate and aiding in negotiations to ensure our franchisees end up in the best possible location. We do have a 6-week training program, however most of our franchisees we have now had a three or four month training period with us. We don’t care how long it takes, our goal is to make sure each of our franchisees are 100% confident and ready when they open up their restaurants. Once our franchisees are open, we are by their side, ready to support them if and when they’re ready to start expanding their business by opening additional locations as well.
1851: During the discovery process, what do you find typically appeals to franchise prospects the most?
RM: Two very specific things actually: the service and the food. We [co-founders] both come from an entertainment background, and we’ve somewhat inadvertently incorporated that into the service aspect of Famous Toastery. Our motto is “Every server is your server,” and if you eat at one of the restaurants, you’ll notice it’s almost as if the staff is putting on a show. It’s very busy and fast-paced and we’re not divided into sections or stations. You may have one server bring your drinks, another take your order and yet another bring out your food -- and you can ask anyone for anything at anytime. It’s a team-oriented vibe and everyone works together like a well-oiled machine.
Second is the food. The product speaks for itself. We are in a way the antithesis of the “greasy spoon.” For an affordable price you can experience a new breed of breakfast and brunch and it’s a completely different experience than a diner-style breakfast. Everything is fresh daily vs. being frozen or coming out of a box or a bag. Our customers feel good about knowing where the food comes from, it tastes great and it’s priced to create repeat visits.
1851: What’s your vision plan for Famous Toastery over the next five years? Ten?
RM: I could sit here and say we want to have 600 locations by next year, but that would be a vision statement focused on our success as a franchisor, and that’s not what we’re about. Yes we want to grow; I'd love to bring Famous Toastery to every town in America, but only if the shoe fits for the right franchisee. We are focused on helping franchisees open and operate successful restaurants, whether that means we have 50 or 700 in any given amount of time. What we’re looking for is not just people who want to make money, but people who have a passion for serving other people. We’re a lifestyle brand, and we need people that share our vision for the lifestyle Famous Toastery represents. At the end of the day, we will be defined by the success of our franchisees. While we of course are always open to new partnerships with the right people, our primary focus is the success of our current franchisees and providing them with the support they need to continue growing.