Franchise Development Players: Kevin King
Franchise Development Players: Kevin King

1851 Franchise connects with Smoothie King’s Chief Development Officer Kevin King to hear more about how he fell into franchising.

Franchise sales is a leading factor in whether a franchise will grow and prosper. In order become a national or international success, each franchise needs a strong franchise development team behind it, selling the idea of franchise ownership over and over again. There are several franchise development players in the franchise sector, but a few stand out as the go-tos when it is time to grow. Smoothie King’s Chief Development Officer Kevin King is a Franchise Development Player.

King’s time with franchising started long before he joined the Smoothie King team. After working in operations with Domino’s Pizza, he traveled within the pizza segment and moved to Donatos then to Papa Murphy’s International, and finally Project Pie. With each concept he became even more of a major player in the franchise development space, making him one to watch when it comes to growing a franchise.

How did you fall into franchising?

I really fell into franchising by accident. I was in operations and found franchise development extremely interesting. After a few years working to support franchisees, I took a role development a franchise program for a small chain called Donatos. From there, I really was a student actively learning the business by reading and working with leaders in the industry.

What makes you love franchising?

I love seeing people fulfill their dreams by owning their own business. Talking to prospective franchisees in the early stages of the decision-making process and helping them walk through the process is extremely fulfilling. Then, it’s always rewarding connecting with the same franchisee a few years later, hearing about growth and success since they originally signed on.

Franchises ultimately succeed by growing through the addition new units, so it’s very exciting and rewarding to be a part of the growth. At every new store that we open there is so much energy and excitement from the franchise owners, the team members in the store, and the customers – it’s exciting to see It all come together.

What do you wish you could change in franchising?

I would love to see less regulation and litigation. I know a certain amount of this protects the industry, but I think it has gone too far. It takes money, time and energy away from the industry.

What makes a great franchisee?

A great franchisee is a person who has passion for the brand they represent. They become ambassadors for the brand and generally excel at meeting the guests’ needs. Good franchisees come from all walks of life and are always a pleasure to be around. A great franchisee is self-motivated and not only open to constantly learning, but actively seeking opportunities to learn from others and improve.

What’s the number one thing that sells franchises?

This is a tougher one to pinpoint one answer to, but I think it is ultimately unit level economics. The single most important factor to selling to new franchisees is that the franchisee has to make money. Profitable franchisees are interested in growth. After economics, it is about having a great product that consumers love.