Most Innovative In Franchise Development of 2015
Most Innovative In Franchise Development of 2015

A number of franchise brands tried new things to increase their presence in 2015.

When starting out in the franchise world, one of the most daunting tasks may be deciding what type of business to get into. Picking the wrong franchise to invest in is usually the first domino to fall for a declining business. It’s a tough world to navigate and seven out of 10 new employers don’t make it past the first two years in business, and only half make it to the five year mark, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

But when a franchisee finds that perfect franchise match, there’s a good chance their business will be around for a long time. In order to achieve sustained success, a business needs to adapt with the times. Sticking with the same outdated business model can be a downfall, and implementing a few fresh ideas will help you stay out of a rut. A franchise doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel in this situation, but trying something new is a risk worth taking. Here are some brands that tried new innovative concepts in 2015:

Pizza Hut
Radically changing a menu can be a death sentence for some franchises. Adding too many things may leave the customers confused. Some brands this year, such as McDonald's, went back to the drawing board and actually cut down their menus considerably.

Pizza Hut decided to buck that trend by offering appealing, yet unusual new items to their menus. Along with their new dresser- inspired “Triple Decker” pizza promotion, the brand introduced a whole new way of ordering your standard pie. Customers can choose from a varying degree of crusts, including hot dogs and a honey sriracha flavor, and Skinny Slices, which include a thinner crust to help those cutting calories. The Texas-based brand went all out in their menu overhaul, and it worked—it got people are talking.
The standard convenience store doesn’t offer up much room for innovation. What’s there to change about being open at crazy hours and offering a bevy of items such as lottery tickets, ice cream and laundry detergent? The mainstay of this industry, 7-Eleven has made adjustments to the items it carries in its stores, but it’s also changing up the way they’re being offered—the brand recently launched an online ordering app at eight colleges in five states. Getting those late night bags of Doritos will be a cinch now for those looking to surpass the “Freshman 15.” The brand knows what it is good at, providing items quickly, and it has innovated its long tradition to fit today’s needs.

Anytime Fitness
Franchises that have lofty goals for expansion can take their business to the head of the pack in the industry. Minnesota-based Anytime Fitness is one of those brands that don’t just have plans for expansion in the U.S.—they’re eyeing the entire world. Personal gyms are always a hot commodity in the franchising world. Who doesn’t like having the convenience of a gym right by their door? Anytime Fitness keeps this sentiment in mind as they target expansion in Asia. The brand hopes to open 45 branches in the Philippines in 2016 and 75 gyms over the next five years in India.

“Nearly 1/3rd of all Anytime Fitness gyms are located outside the United States, which is proof that our business model is attractive to potential franchisees and consumers worldwide,” House of Fitness Private Limited Managing Director Vikas Jain told Franchise India.

Getting fit is a universal language and Anytime Fitness’ tenacious expansion plan is helping them spread that message.

Fixing a menu has proven to work for some companies, but scaling down is also an innovative tactic to help a brand grown. A more condensed or healthier menu can make it easier for customers to order, and in return, help boost sales. Subway is hoping its new, healthier meat selection will contribute to this.

The brand will be phasing out the use of turkey and chicken that have antibiotics in it. Subway isn't stopping there—they hope to be completely antibiotic free over the next few years. Everyone tries to be healthy by checking calories, but some consumers are starting to monitor the harmful materials that are in these low calorie foods. By pledging a commitment to use new and healthier meat, the brand will increase their profile even more.