What's Hot in Multi-Unit Franchising Concepts?
What's Hot in Multi-Unit Franchising Concepts?

These franchise concepts are making a big impression.

When we turn on the TV or check out our Facebooks, the first question we ask ourselves is, “What’s trending today?” Whether its celebrity gossip or politicians sticking their feet in their mouths, people are curious about what’s new.

When it comes to franchising, determining what’s hot can be easier said than done. Some people look at the demand for a service while others visualize the potential growth of a business concept. Either way, everyone wants to know what’s next.

Some of the latest franchise trends to keep in mind deal with supplemental education, health and wellness concepts and brands that deal with potatoes (yes, I said potatoes).

Anything that enhances children’s lives automatically gains the interest of parents – a demographic nearly every brand wants to appeal to. Over the past year, STEM education has skyrocketed and in Q1, Sylvan Learning Inc. launched its Sylvan EDGE Program, a new enrichment program focusing on STEM-based learning through robotics, math and coding courses aimed at elementary and middle school students.

Sylvan has created fun and interactive courses to help children understand STEM materials. By offering EDGE, Sylvan will become the largest national supplier of STEM-based education.

“We are thrilled to not only witness Sylvan's overall expansion, but also the increase in interest and enrollment for our STEM education classes as well,” said Sylvan Director of Franchise Development Georgia Paulding.

Health is something everyone is concerned about and entrepreneurs are taking notice. By focusing on bettering individuals’ overall health, brands such as GYMGUYZ and Smoothie King are standing out.

The idea of bringing a gym to clients has helped GYMGUYZ experience amazing growth in Q1 by adding their first location in multiple states, including Illinois and Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, with an inventive menu, impressive growth and strong same-store sales numbers, Smoothie King is gearing up for its strongest year in franchise sales. With the company’s focus on aggressive growth goals, the franchise system aims to have 1,000 locations by the end of 2017, with more than 700 currently open globally.

“With Smoothie King, franchisees can build their business and at the same time be proud of the work they are doing, which is a win-win for all,” said Wan Kim, CEO of Smoothie King.

Potatoes (yes, potatoes)
Due to the lower costs of potatoes, the potential to make 2015 the “it” year for spuds is clear. There are a handful of new franchises that, much like Regina George in Mean Girls, are focusing on an all-carb diet.

French Fry Heaven is a top contender in the French fry franchise world. The company entered franchising in 2012 by opening two locations, one in Jacksonville, Fla. and the other in St. Augustine, Fla. As its website states, French Fry Heaven has 40 more franchised locations opening soon all across the United States.

CEO and FG (Fry Guru) Scott Nelowet mentioned how this concept is popular throughout Europe and inspired him to develop it in the states.

“There are only a handful of us doing what we do,” Nelowet said. “We do not look at others entering the fry industry as competition, but we welcome them as entrepreneurs who are helping expand the idea.”

For now, anyway, he said jokingly.

Nelowet also stated that even when the cost of potatoes does rise, “You still have nice margins to work with. It is when we incorporate meat in our higher level loaded fries that that we see a difference in price. Our snacks are almost 100% vegetarian.”