"Even though we serve bigger portions than other fast-casual restaurants, you're talking about the cost of flour, sugar, coffee, and smaller portions of meat—so food costs are lower," he says.
Potential franchisees are also attracted to Rise's small footprint (the average store is 1,200 square feet) and 7 a.m.–2 p.m. operational hours. "People are looking for more of a balanced lifestyle," Ferguson says. "Having a business you don't have to worry about 24 hours a day, seven days a week is a big selling point."
Another bonus: Rise is uniquely positioned to weather the post-Covid landscape with ease. From day one, the brand was built for takeout, and in 2019, it fully embraced the delivery concept. Ferguson and his team hired a company to consolidate and send orders from multiple delivery platforms to a single iPad, which was routed to the brand's Revel POS system. This customized ordering funnel saves a significant amount of time and labor and was implemented company-wide in February 2020. To minimize contact, there are no in-store cashiers—customers use kiosks, curbside delivery, or pick up their food at their convenience from Amazon-style "hot lockers" inside the store.
"Rise had already positioned itself as a restaurant to do well during the pandemic through the establishment of online ordering and kiosk ordering," says Parker Simon, a franchisee who currently operates one store in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but has plans to open five more stores in the future. "This further highlighted for us that we had made a good decision. We are in our third month of business, and our team is already operating at a high level. This is a testament to the transition ground-work that Rise as a corporate entity has provided to our new business."
With 16 locations in seven states, Rise is entering an active sales period targeting the top 40 media markets. "We didn't close or lay off anyone throughout the virus—we continued full steam and had a lot of growth during this time," Ferguson says.
Franchisees can expect to receive robust support from Ferguson and his two partners, who visit every store at least once a year. The team assists franchisees from start to finish, including site selection, store build-out and construction, training and operational support, vendor and equipment selection, marketing, and more. Rise boasts simple operations, premium products, and strong consumer demand, but Ferguson says what really sets his brand apart is the people.
"I believe that ultimately, other restaurants will catch up to us technology-wise—the main difference between us and other brands is inside the store," he says. "Rise is focused on creating a culture built on accountability and responsibility, wrapped in love and respect for everyone. When those things work in harmony, it creates the type of environment people like to work in."
For more information about Rise franchising opportunities, visit https://fransmart.com/rise-biscuits-chicken/.
By Davina van Buren