“… We feel with a long road ahead before we can truly go back to our old ways of life, people are going to prefer safer drive-thru and walkup options like those offered at Fosters over dining in.”
To accelerate the turnaround, Neal and Nimesh used the tools they learned while working for major global corporations that know the industry. With such wisdom, the brothers were effective in working with operators to grant development/territory rights, roll out remodel obligations, negotiate with suppliers, and more.
However, the most important learning was creating an optimal relationship between franchisor and franchisees. That’s what makes a franchised system run, according to the brothers.
“They thought we were going to try and make all these changes,” Neal says. “And as we worked with them, we were more one-on-one personally working with them to make them understand. Now they understand the model. They're more likely to work with us and implement these changes versus ‘I don't believe you. Show me. Show me at first, and then I'll do it.’ So we have a lot of our franchisees that are doing these remodels understanding why we're doing things the way we're doing them. So far, they've seen positive results.”
Because of the success, the Dahyas often hear, “When are you coming to my state?” They know the demand is there, but they’re adamant about growing strategically. The key will be starting in the West Coast and expanding into Arizona and Nevada markets.
The goal is to go nationwide, but starting close to California will be the initial benchmark. Nimesh says there’s many residents in Arizona and Nevada who grew up with Fosters Freeze that are still attracted to the ice cream flavors and hamburgers. That makes for ideal markets, plus the added ease of logistics and distribution capabilities.
“And with headquarters nearby, the brand’s newest franchisees can look to corporate to be on-call for an added layer of support,” Nimesh says. “So we just want to be strategic on when, how, and where we expand Fosters Freeze.”
Neal describes Fosters Freeze as having a rich history. The brand at one point had more than 300 locations across multiple states, and the brothers believe they can reach that mark once again as the chain meticulously expands from West to East.
And unlike five years ago, franchisees have faith in the mission.
“We believe that Fosters Freeze has the potential to grow exponentially and have a presence across the country,” Neal says. “More importantly, Fosters Freeze can bring people in the community together and have a whole new generation of followers. Ultimately, we think there is no limit to how far we can take this. … Folks have moved from the West Coast to the East Coast and Midwest and they still know the brand and they want the brand.”