Which Wich’s Senior Vice President of Franchise Development explains how the brand’s distinct vibe fuels its successful franchise development efforts.
For the past decade, Jeff Vickers has been helping Which Wich make a name for itself in the highly competitive sandwich industry. Since its founding in 2003, the brand has managed to separate itself from other major chains in the increasingly popular segment through its quality products and commitment to making a difference in the local communities where it operates. Which Wich has also built an impressive system of passionate and dedicated franchisees all over the globe.
1851 Franchise recently spoke with Vickers to learn more about Which Wich’s unique vibe, as well as what’s next for the brand as it continues to expand its reach to new markets in the months and years to come.
What makes Which Wich’s franchise development process tick?
Our franchise development growth stems from having a successful brand and strong company culture. But what makes our actual franchise development process tick is franchisee validation. Our candidates speak to existing franchisees about our support systems, business model and overall feeling of participation before ever joining our system. We communicate to our existing franchisees on what to expect from candidates, and also make sure that our prospective owners understand and respect the time of our franchisees as well as the system that we’ve created for this process to follow.
What have been some of Which Wich’s major milestones?
Which Wich has experienced incredible success since its founding in 2003. The first major milestone that kick started those development efforts happened in 2005, when the brand franchised its first restaurant. Five years later, Which Wich’s 100th store opened up for business. That ultimately paved the way for us to open our first international store in 2013. Since then, our development efforts have really taken off—this year we opened up our 400th store.
What are you most proud of in terms of Which Wich’s development efforts?
I am most proud of the fact that Which Wich’s growth has come organically. We have built great relationships with our franchisees, and without those partnerships, we would not be able to grow the brand in the successful and consistent rate that we’ve experienced to date.
What specific steps do your most successful franchisees take in order to build and grow their respective businesses? And what do you do to set them up for success?
Our most successful franchisees have embraced our culture—or our “Vibe”—and have committed to executing it at the store level. Which Wich’s “Vibe” is the positive energy that’s evident at every single one of our stores. It isn’t something that can be taught—it’s built within their core. Our “Vibeacious” franchisees are committed to extraordinary customer service, lead by example and encourage their teams to exemplify these similar traits.
What are your goals for Which Wich in the next few years and how do you plan to grow the brand?
Our goal is to paint the world “Black and Yellow.” Ultimately, Which Wich will continue to grow the brand with those individuals who are committed to our culture and who embrace our proven franchise system.