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Top Franchise Development Website: Number 5 — Southern Steer

A panel of eight franchise industry experts judged more than 200 franchise development websites and ranked Southern Steer’s site as No. 5.

By Justin Wick1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 11:11AM 12/17/21

As part of 1851 Franchise’s annual Franchise Development Website Awards, our countdown to number five on our list features one of the finest sites in visual engagement and effectiveness. A panel of eight expert judges took a look at more than 200 franchising development websites, evaluating sites based on first impressions, quality of content and ease of use. They ranked neighborhood butcher shop Southern Steer at number five on the list.

On a one-to-five scale, Southern Steer’s franchise development website ranked an overall 4.4, jumping a list of seven sites with an overall score of 4.3. The brand’s website featured a first impression ranking of 4.5, a content ranking of 4.0 and an ease-of-use evaluation of 4.3.

Liane Caruso, senior vice president of Entrepreneur Media, served on the adjudicating panel for this selection and cites the brand’s use of imagery as an instant selling point. “When you immediately land on the website, it makes a bold statement about why the brand’s concept is intriguing to a prospective candidate,” she said. 

The use of easy-to-load video footage helps lure in prospective franchisees, too. “The corresponding video shows enticing images of the food served and lightly conveys the customer-centric values that are at the core of the brand,” Caruso added.

1851 Franchise formulated its first impression ranking based on factors like site performance, mobile platform accessibility, user interface integration and general usability. With so much visual stimulation available on a franchising development site, a detailed approach is necessary to ensure all prospective franchisees see what they are investing in. Southern Steer has ensured this understanding is fostered from the beginning, placing it at the forefront of investor interest as soon as they inquire for more details.

With a content ranking of 4.0, Southern Steer was able to display some serious information on their site without deemphasizing the visual appeal that can often have prospective franchisees sold. Despite a lower content score than first impression score, the brand is still able to introduce a conversation as early as a first click, luring in potential investment dollars while still presenting availability to address all sorts of customer needs.

“As you scroll, the messaging supports a ‘why us, why now’ storyline and reasons to invest,” Caruso added. “The home page tells the story of the brand while sharing the vital details to want to learn more. The whole site has sharp messaging and branding throughout that are consistent with the ideals of the brand.”

Southern Steer’s site has some of the most cleanly-worded drop-down menus alongside some full-scale blog posts. This angle toward a development website can ensure people find exactly what they are looking for in a franchise, while distinct SEO optimization could come into play next season.

There is contact information aplenty on the Southern Steer website. A chat box, phone number and email addresses for the brand is meant to lure in franchises, while direct brand application is able to give brand members some instant acclaim in a new territory.

A clearly-marked FAQ section is a unique provision surrounding the Southern Steer site, walking through a step-by-step analysis for anybody who may be unfamiliar.