3 HOW CRUCIAL IS IMAGE? Your restaurant’s image plays a crucial role in franchising success. Try to think like an outside investor. As
you step into your restaurant, ask yourself some probing
questions. Is it clean, neat and well-organized? Are the
employees behaving like professionals and treating customers correctly? Does the decor truly reflect what you
want the next 50 stores to look like? Would you invest
in this company?
Decor is a very important piece of the puzzle. ;e
overall appearance and ambience generated by your decor
will make or break a lot of franchise sales. If your pizzeria
looks too “mom and pop,” you will have a di;cult time
selling franchises. It needs to look and feel new, sleek and
marketable, with digital elements or signage that project
a modern, appealing image. Hiring interior designers to
achieve the right look can be expensive, but creating an
image that sells is mandatory for your success.
4 WHAT KIND OF EXPENSES WILL I FACE? No doubt about it, franchising is expensive. To
sell a franchise, you must have a Franchise Disclosure
Document (FDD) and a Franchise Agreement. Together,
these documents can run up to 200 pages. Whenever you
speak to a potential franchisee about franchising, you
must give him a copy of these documents and have him
sign o; on them. Creating these documents can cost a lot
of money. When I first started, I found a company called
FranDocs that sells boilerplate franchised documents for
significantly less than a lawyer would charge. I took the
documents and spent about three months completing the
agreements with Romeo’s Pizza specifics. I then took the
document to an attorney for a legal review. One thing I
have learned is that it’s a lot cheaper to have an attorney
review something than it is to pay him to create it for you.
Franchisees also expect—and deserve—a support team
paid for by you, the franchisor. In the beginning, the
Romeo’s Pizza team consisted of myself, my partner and
one other person. Unfortunately, providing franchisee
support took all of us away from our regular full-time
responsibilities to the company. We had to hire additional
personnel to fill the gaps. We now have a sta; of about
12 people providing support to our current franchisees
and recruiting new franchisees. We have teams in place
for training, marketing, operations and brand protection.
Our goal is to give our franchisees unparalleled support
so they can run their businesses e;ciently and profitably.
Royalties sound nice and easy, but until you’ve got
multiple locations up and running, most of that revenue
—and then some—will go toward providing support for
your franchisees and developing your brand.
One more thing: It’s crucial to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the many
legal issues pertaining to franchising. You can do your
own research—there are a number of books about the
legal mechanics of franchising—but always have a lawyer
review everything you’re doing to avoid costly lawsuits.
5 WHO’S THE IDEAL FRANCHISEE? Finally, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is
finding the right franchisee. At Romeo’s Pizza, our most
successful franchisees have certain qualities in common.
First and foremost, they all have entrepreneurial mindsets.
;ey want to have their own business and make their
own way in life. But they also want a system that they
can follow and learn from. ;e smartest people are those
Kerry Maher presses out dough for another pie at Romeo’s Pizza in