There’s no shortage of franchising opportunities in the restaurant realm but not all are created equal. Varying levels of support, expansion options, and financial requirements mean that what works for one franchisee may not necessarily be the right fit for another.
FOCUS Brands recognizes the myriad of challenges surrounding franchising decisions. With seven diverse brands under its umbrella—Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba Juice, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s, and Schlotzsky’s—FOCUS offers potential franchisees a wide variety of quick-serve and fast-casual investment options. Over the years, the company has developed a fine-tuned system that offers franchisees an impressive level of training and ongoing support.
Kenneth Vance, who owns six Moe’s franchises (four in northeast Tennessee and two in St. Louis), says this support has been essential to his success in both territories. “They have franchise business consultants (FBCs) who are on call 24 hours a day,” he says. FBCs aren’t just for when problems arise—they are tasked with periodically visiting stores and liaising with franchisees to keep them abreast of developments and changes within the brand. Franchisees also have a high level of access to FOCUS executives. “We have access to everyone from the president of the company to the vice president of operations. It’s fairly easy to pick up the phone and speak to whoever you need to speak to at corporate,” Vance says.
It’s not just in-the-field support that makes FOCUS stand out. The company also provides marketing and technological support. “They engage on social media and have an amazing digital department that keeps our brands fresh,” says Steve Foltz, who owns 23 Jamba Juice and three Cinnabon locations throughout Southwest Washington and Oregon. “They also have some great people on the public relations front.”
Both Vance and Foltz have plans to open more FOCUS franchise locations in the future. Foltz is opening a new Cinnabon location in Roseville, California, and a Jamba Juice at the University of Oregon in Eugene while Vance’s next project is a complex featuring Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Jamba Juice, and Carvel in a development in Bristol, Tennessee.
Foltz reminds potential franchisees that even though they are buying into a franchise, they own and run their own business. “You are responsible for its success or failure,” he says. “FOCUS Brands goes above and beyond to support you in every way possible and offers buying power you would never get on your own. They will help train your team and offer new products and marketing campaigns to drive your business—but you have to be the one to follow through.”
For franchisees who are searching for that perfect mix of brand name recognition, training, and marketing support—plus the satisfaction that comes with on-the-ground sweat equity—FOCUS brands may be the franchising opportunity they’ve been looking for.
By Davina van Buren