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Top Franchise Development Website: Number 1 — Wienerschnitzel

A panel of eight franchise industry experts judged more than 200 franchise development websites and ranked Wienerschnitzel as the No. 1 site.

The 1851 Franchise’s Franchise Development Website Awards are back once again to celebrate the most effective and engaging development sites in franchising. This year, a panel of eight expert judges evaluated each franchise development site according to three criteria: first impressions, quality of content and ease of use. Sites were scored on a five-point scale in accordance with these three criteria, with the overall website rankings based on a composite average of the judges’ scores. 

At the very top of the list, in the No. 1 spot, is Wienerschnitzel’s franchise development site, which received an almost-perfect average score of 4.7. The beloved hotdog concept secured an average score of 4.7 for its website’s first impressions (the highest of any site), as well as a 4.5 for content and 4.8 for ease of use (also the highest of any site). 

The first impressions metrics for each franchise development site are broken down into five subfactors: usability, UI/UX design, site performance, SEO and mobile accessibility. The Wienerschnitzel site excelled in this category, offering visitors natural navigation, a non-cluttered format, a sleek design and easy accessibility, as well as user-friendliness from a design and technical standpoint. 

“The first thing that stands out about the Wienerschnitzel site is that it is bright and vibrant, which really catches your attention,” said Liane Caruso, senior vice president of entrepreneur media and one of this year’s judges.  

The content metrics are determined by the presence and strength of three subfactors: motivating content, calls to action and reasons to buy now. Franchise sites that excelled according to this criterion told compelling stories that are specifically designed to drive action, and Wienerschnitzel does so in a way that is simple, engaging and well-organized. 

“The site sets Wienerschnitzel up as transparent, fun and modern, while also matching it with the branding of an old brand name,” said Michelle Rowan, president & COO of Franchise Business Review, another one of this year’s judges.

In addition to best-in-class introductory video content, the Wienerschnitzel site features high-quality graphics at the very top of the page, easy-to-digest text and infographics, eye-popping awards and its very own franchise podcast. There are also sections specifically dedicated to blog posts and press articles where prospects can read more about the brand’s latest news. 

“They use a mix of infographics, storytelling and videos to appeal to different types of candidates, knowing that some people are number-driven, while others may be more driven by emotion,” said Rowan.

In terms of numbers, a franchise development website should clearly outline costs, requirements and business model specifics, while also appealing to emotion through content and a strong Why You, Why Now? proposition. The Wienerschnitzel site does both, presenting analytics, numbers and people-driven information in a clear and consistent format, while also dividing it up into designated sections based on each individual ownership model — New Conversion, Construction and End Cap. 

“The video at the top of the page explains a lot about operations, which also ties into the headlines throughout the page, making it easier to digest the information,” said Caruso. “All of the information you need to know is concise and to the point, right on the home page.”

Lastly, the ease-of-use metrics score was determined in relation to location, depth and ease of application. The development website should provide a simple, navigable form so that prospects can quickly tell franchisors that they are interested. The form to request more information should be easily accessible on every page and easy to view, as can be seen on the Wienerschnitzel site.

“There is a form immediately under the banner video, which is a smart design,” said Caruso. “The site also immediately explains the "Why" right under the contact form.”

Rowan added, “I like that the phone number front and center and the form across the top makes them seem very accessible and eager to talk with a candidate.”

The three metrics of first impressions, content and ease of use offer a streamlined way to analyze the effectiveness of a franchise development website. As the winner of this year’s awards, Wienerschnitzel’s website demonstrates how these three factors can come together to create a starting point of the franchise development process and the primary entry point into the brand.