Aspiring entrepreneurs are always on the look-out for new and exciting business opportunities, and the restaurant franchise industry is one of the most lucrative options. There are hundreds of franchisors across the United States, ranging from small local chains to global giants like McDonalds and Starbucks. But before getting their feet wet, many restaurateurs-to-be have questions and concerns about the franchise process. The International Franchise Professionals Group (IFPG) and its 1,300 members represent one of the largest franchise broker groups in the US, offering guidance to entrepreneurs looking to invest in a franchise. Here, the IFPG provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about investment in restaurant franchises.
What Options Are Available?
Although many people may think of well-known national and international chains when it comes to restaurant franchises, there are actually a lot of smaller, regional franchisors out there. There are also a number of “ghost franchises” – restaurant brands that are created, owned, and operated by local restaurateurs without an institutional franchisor. Deciding which type of restaurant franchise to invest in is the first step in the process, so familiarizing yourself with the different types of franchises out there is a must.
What Do I Need to Consider?
Once you’ve identified a restaurant franchise that you’d like to invest in, it’s important to be aware of the financial, legal, and operational responsibilities. Before you can begin the process of investing, you should know and understand the investment requirements, such as the initial franchise fee and royalty structure. Other essential questions to ask include the level of support provided by the franchisor and the size of the territory allowed by your agreement, as well as the operational systems used, the marketing program, and the expected returns on your investment.
What Are the Risks & Rewards?
The risks of investing in a restaurant franchise will depend on the franchisor and the market you’re operating in. You may also face competition from other local franchisors in your area, so it’s important to check the competition levels. The rewards of investing in a restaurant franchise, however, are numerous. As a restaurateur, you can take advantage of brand recognition, established franchisor-provided operational systems and marketing programs, and the support of the franchisor in helping ensure success. Additionally, you can benefit from the collective buying power of the entire franchise system, which can result in lower costs for key products and services.
What Else Should I Know?
It’s important to recognize that investing in a restaurant franchise is a significant commitment, so it’s essential that you are properly prepared to tackle the franchise process. In order to make the right decision for your business, you should develop a checklist of franchise selection criteria, do some market research to assess the competitive landscape, and evaluate any potential franchisor or franchisee obligations. With careful consideration and due diligence, you can rest assured that you’ll make the right choice for you and your business.