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How To Succeed as a Multi-Unit Franchisee: Dustin King, Multiple Snack Brands

As the owner of nearly 60 snack brand franchise units, Dustin King is dominating the snack industry. Here’s how he became a successful multi-unit owner of several delicious concepts.

By Sarah Brown1851 Franchise Copy Editor
Updated 9:09AM 06/17/21

At just 33 years old, Dustin King has quickly become the king of the snack franchise industry. Franchising is in his blood — he is a third-generation operator of his family’s multi-brand business. Today, he has expanded his portfolio to include Auntie Anne’s, Häagen-Dazs, Cinnabon, Planet Smoothie, Jamba Juice, Nestlé Toll House Cookies and Carvel.

King started off with a single brand: Auntie Anne’s. And when he wanted to pursue multi-brand franchising, he looked for other brands that would complement Auntie Anne’s. “We knew we wanted to stay in the snack category,” he said. “And we’re primarily mall-based, so we would look at brand’s traffic counts and where they were located in the mall to see if they would fit.”

King believes his success comes from working with great people and not just from having great brands. “We have great brands, but in order to operate those brands, we rely on our people in the stores,” he said. “Although we’re in the franchise business, we’re really in the people business — it’s about finding great people and training them to the brand’s standards.”

His advice for franchisees wanting to grow their portfolio is to put passion first. “Go after something that you are passionate about, but also that you align with as far as their product or service goes.”

As a multi-brand franchisee, King looks for an exceptional multi-unit package deal when seeking out other brands. “There needs to be growth opportunities with the franchisor, but there also needs to be an incentive,” he said. “Ask yourself important questions like, ‘How are they nimble? How do they pivot when they need to? And how can you be successful with that brand?’”

Watch the full interview above, or click here to watch it on YouTube.

To check out more multi-unit franchisee success stories, click here.