The franchise business model is an attractive option for Hispanics and other minorities to consider owning, because it is a strong avenue to take for financial success. According to the 2007 Franchised Business Ownership survey conducted by the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Educational Foundation, minorities made up 19.3 percent of all franchisees, and Hispanic-owned franchises were 5.8 percent of the total. And the survey reported that Hispanic franchisees prefer owning quick-serve restaurants.

The quick-service industry should see this as an excellent opportunity to tap into the Hispanic demographic, and minorities in general. The Hispanic population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, makes up 15.1 percent of the population. It is estimated that this figure will double by the year 2050. Statistically, Hispanics are the fastest-growing population in the U.S.

Investment in a Hispanic-owned franchise makes good business sense. And several quick-serve franchisors, such as Green Leaf’s and Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen, are starting to understand why they should continue to promote minority business ownership and include Hispanic franchise owners in their corporate portfolio.

On the operator side of things, franchises have structure and offer Hispanic franchisees more stability than independent restaurants. A franchise is prepackaged and termed as a turnkey business because the franchisor does all of the initial work to open the business and the franchisee is trained to operate and run it on a day-to-day basis.

Profits generated from a minority-owned or Hispanic-owned franchise stay in the community, creating more stability.

The Hispanic culture is family centered and franchises simulate this structure. Like family, franchisors assist their fledglings, franchisees, with support and specialized training for success. Hispanic franchise owners can feel comfortable with open dialogue that addresses their specific issues and concerns. The use of the Internet allows franchise owners to easily share insights, give encouragement, lend support, and offer guidance to one another.

Opening a franchise creates jobs and opportunities for those who live, work, and play in the same community. Profits generated from a minority-owned or Hispanic-owned franchise stay in the community, creating more stability. Financial sustainability is the byproduct of an economically sound community. The franchise itself becomes the hub where people informally gather, and they also use it as a community room to host meetings. Extracurricular activities, like sports, are often supported by a local franchise.

A Hispanic-owned franchise may be located in a particular community, but its influence can extend beyond the limitation of its physical location. The franchisee can showcase his concept’s successes and serve as a sort of classroom for other minorities, as well as the Hispanic community at large. Everyone can learn and experience diversity while gaining insight about the Hispanic culture by eating, working, and hanging out in that franchisee’s store.

Franchisors have recognized the role Hispanic franchisees play in diversifying their brand. They have used target marketing to attract Hispanic customers with Spanish-speaking print, radio, and TV advertising, but Hispanic franchisees can help the brand take the next step by actually being in the communities it’s reaching out to.

The future for potential Hispanic-owned franchises looks bright with more Hispanics owning businesses. As the population grows, the demand will increase for those who want to achieve financial success. Although the economy is struggling to recover, franchises are more appealing to Hispanics who favor safer investments.

So how can you get started with recruiting Hispanics to your franchise? Some companies in the fast food industry are partnering with next-generation bilingual franchise portals to gain access to a large pool of U.S. Hispanic and Latino entrepreneurs. You could also use targeted Hispanic next-generation channels or build strategic alliances with major Hispanic organizations and media across the country.

Further, have a presence at the major franchise events and shows in high Hispanic population metropolitan areas, and reach out to Latin American investors and operators looking to relocate to the U.S. Finally, consider translating your franchise opportunity listing into Spanish for use on your own website or on Hispanic Web portals.

Jose Torres is principal partner and founder of and, Spanish and English language online market places for aspiring Hispanic and Latino entrepreneurs looking for business opportunities and franchise companies looking to tap into this community.
Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Outside Insights, Story