bannerFranchisee Stories

What is Discovery Day, and Do You Need to Attend?

Discovery days are a chance for prospective franchisees to get any lingering questions answered while gaining a better understanding of a brand’s culture and vision.

Discovery days, a crucial step in the franchise process, allow prospective or freshly signed franchisees to get an immersive look into the brand. 

Prospective franchisees, and oftentimes their family members, are brought to the brand’s corporate office for a day of interactions and education. The franchisor will use this time to prove that it is the best option for attendees to invest in. In some cases, discovery days are conducted after a franchisee has signed to teach them about the system.

Discovery days are also what Austin JamesDirector of Franchise Development at Buzz Franchise Brands, calls a “two-way interview” between the franchise brand and franchisees. Much like a job interview, the events are an opportunity for someone to find out if a brand is a good fit for them and for the brand to determine if that person matches what they have in mind. 

“Discovery days, or what we call ‘Meet the Team’ days, are essentially the final step in the approval process,” said James. “When my franchise development team is working with candidates, we take a few weeks and educate them on the brand. Once we’re feeling comfortable with that individual, we invite them to meet the broader team.” 

Candidates have likely already spent a lot of time learning about the brand before discovery day. However, there is now a chance to sit down with the team and ask more in-depth questions. If there are any lingering thoughts or concerns about the business, this is the time to get those addressed by the appropriate team members. 

From the franchisor side, they are going to use this time to learn more about the potential franchisee and to determine whether they are going to move forward. That’s why it is important not only for candidates to attend but to put their best foot forward. 

“It’s a two-way street,” said James. “After our Meet the Team days, we speak to every single person on our side that the candidate met with and get feedback about that individual.” 

Additionally, James stressed how discovery days are a chance to really understand a company’s vision and culture. Potential franchisees should find out how the brand envisions its next five to 10 years, as well as its growth strategies and how it will support its franchisees to get there. 

“We're both going to be working with each other for the next however many years, so making sure that you're identifying a team and a culture that you want to be a part of is huge,” he said. “It’s about making sure that you're getting all those questions answered that are giving you some hesitations about moving forward, but it’s also about making sure that you're comfortable with the team and can see yourself working with them.”

That is why some franchisors might use some of their time to mingle with potential franchisees outside of the business environment. Discovery day is already filled with plenty of business conversations, so there are times when a brand may transition into a more casual space.  

“Getting out of a ‘business atmosphere’ and into a more casual setting is key,” Andrew Titus, executive vice president of development at United Franchise Group, previously explained to 1851 Franchise. “The conversation at lunch shouldn’t involve much talk about this business. I like to use this time to get to know the prospects better.”

Franchisees should use the same logic and use the time to better get to know the brand on a personal level. After all, they could be spending the next 10-plus years with them. 

Franchise Times points out that, though it can be tempting to sign after an exciting day of learning about the brand, candidates should still sleep on their decision after discovery day. The brand will likely follow up a day or two after to give and receive feedback. Prospective franchisees should use this time to gather their thoughts and decide how they want to move forward.