Here's What Multi-Unit Owners Look for When on the Hunt for the Right Restaurant Brand
Here's What Multi-Unit Owners Look for When on the Hunt for the Right Restaurant Brand

Multi-unit franchising brings greater stability and an increased sense of independence. But before a franchisee takes the leap, a brand needs to first have the right support system in place.

It’s relatively easy to understand why the multi-unit model makes sense for a restaurant franchisor—it provides power in numbers and reliable, steady growth.

There’s a huge benefit for franchisees when it comes to multi-unit franchising, too. This type of ownership brings with it potential for a much higher reward and, of course, more profit. Multi-unit franchising also creates greater stability and an increased sense of independence. But choosing the right brand can be a challenge. Aside from understanding the cost and return on investment when buying into a multi-unit opportunity, there are a number of other things potential franchisees should consider when looking into restaurant brands.

For multi-unit MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes franchisee, Jeff Kullman, it was about finding a business opportunity that fit his family’s goals.

Kullman spent 30 years in residential home building and both of his sons, Jason and Josh, received degrees in Hospitality Management, pursuing careers in restaurant management after graduation. Kullman immediately recognized an opportunity for mass development.

“Because of their significant education, training and seasoning in hospitality, we felt our family composition and entrepreneurial DNA was in place to execute at a necessary level to expand and grow,” said Kullman. “In 2009, as a family, we opted to pursue a business path of our own and chose the franchising route to further enhance our chances for success.”

However, it was also about finding a brand with a unique business model and a superior product.

MOOYAH is a tremendous brand, offering high quality and fresh food served in a family-friendly, fun environment,” said Kullman. “From a business perspective, I liked the idea of a fast casual burger concept and noticed that it was very similar to what I had worked on in home building. Looking at everything they had to offer, it was a simple model that held a lot of value. We felt the efficiency of the operation couldn’t be beat in the industry. We were also very impressed by their exceptional customer service and, frankly, the product is delicious.”

Saurin Patel had previously been a multi-unit owner with Subway and Pita Pit before signing a multi-unit contract with Wing Zone. He was seeking a franchise brand that offered the opportunity for the quick growth he craved without the challenges he faced while operating a down-the-line concept.

“I was looking for something in the fast food industry, but didn’t want to have to make food in front of the customer as I had with Subway and Pita Pit,” said Patel. “Wing Zone’s corporate team offered the right kind of structure and support. Plus, with an Atlanta-based headquarters, I thought the brand had an opportunity to take off.”

But it’s not just about having a recognizable brand name and solid business structure. Many multi-unit franchisees want to know that a company’s operations management and leadership team are strong and experienced, too.

“The ability to hire, train, motivate and retain associates in a highly competitive industry is at a premium,” said Kullman. “We look for associates with a winning attitude, strong work ethic and a passion for helping people. We focus on treating our associates with dignity and respect, while looking for a strong team to transfer this subculture into the guest experience.”

For Patel, employee engagement was also a main focus, but to truly know that this multi-unit venture would be a success, he ultimately sought out a brand dedicated to its industry and its customers.

“Although I’ve been guided through the process, what I’ve learned independently is that customer service has to be your main priority on the back end and the front,” said Patel. “You need to be ready to work long hours and deal with employee management until you find the right people you can rely on to work with your customers. I didn’t have restaurant experience prior to opening my first franchise, but once I was able to understand the complexities of a franchise, it was much easier to scale up and expand.”