Are you showing your franchisees enough love?

Patrick Pleiss, the co-founder of Hyperlocology, and Justin Bartek, director of Marketing for JINYA Holdings, reveal a bit about what they’ll be discussing during their panel at the annual Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit next month in Nashville. Execs from Chick-fil-A, IHOP and PF Chang’s will also be on the panel.

As we celebrated Valentine’s Day, we were reminded of just how important every relationship is in our lives. Whether personal or professional, the most successful relationships are based on open communication, transparency, and trust.

In the restaurant business, this is particularly true for franchise brands, where the relationship between franchisor and franchisee is mutually beneficial and dependent on the other. The most successful franchise brands remember that relationships are a two-way street.

Here are a few reminders to keep the franchisee-franchisor love alive all throughout the year.

1. Without great communication, there is no real relationship.
Poor communication can make or break a relationship. If a franchisor fails to explain key business strategies, or the franchisee doesn’t have the ability to easily communicate their restaurant needs, the relationship will surely suffer.

Marketing-focused communication efforts between franchisee and franchisor can truly affect growth. With the overall goal of driving new and more frequent customers, both parties have the ability to provide complementary knowledge to drive increased business results.

The key is two-way communication. Like in any relationship, if communication breaks down, a breakup could be evident.

“We look out for our operators and learn about the unique ways that each of them is successful or where they could use help,” said Justin Bartek, director of Marketing for JINYA Holdings. “We always try to show them the love, from local marketing and grand openings to recruiting.”

2. Finances are the #1 driver of relationship stress.

JINYA Ramen Bar took a tech-first approach to national and local advertising by leveraging a multi-location marketing platform that clearly states the marketing budget of each restaurant location and how it was allocated. This takes the burden of submitting receipts or pulling numerous reports, off the shoulders of both parties so each can focus on growing and nurturing their business relationship. It’s hard to keep the relationship chill when each party has to continually prove they held up their end of the deal.

And that leads us to….

3. Trust is key.

It’s critical that both the franchisee and franchisor begin from a position of honesty and trust. Franchisees must trust franchisors to provide strategic guidance and the tools to launch and grow their business. Franchisees have to know that the brand will support their restaurants individually. Franchisors rely on franchisees to represent the brand accurately, market their restaurants, and follow established guidelines for success

“We empower our franchisees to spend additional advertising funds where successes are realized or growth is needed,” Bartek said. “Our operators have options. If they log in and see their ad fund dollars working to drive new biz in their marketing they tend to want to add a bit more gas to the fire….and that’s what we want. This means we earned their trust.”

The best approach to the franchisee-franchisor relationship is to find a middle ground. If you want to learn more about strengthening your franchise system relationship, directly from franchisees and franchisors, including Bartek, attend the Restaurant Franchising Innovation Summit, March 30-April 1. Register here. Bartek’s and Pleiss’ panel, Finding Middle Ground: Franchisees and Franchisors Weigh In, also includes:

  • Amy Ohde | Executive Director, Launch Support | Chick-fil-A
  • Adenah Bayoh | Founder, Franchisee | Cornbread, IHOP
  • Kristen Briede | Senior VP of International & Global Brands | P.F. Chang’s

Patrick Pleiss is the co-founder of Hyperlocology, a multi-location marketing platform that brands to centrally control local advertising, across the most powerful digital channels, for their hundreds or thousands of restaurants. Hyperlogology’s best-in-class technology includes automated local advertising campaign builder, restaurant-level analytics, community data, and per-restaurant insights to drive meaningful business outcomes.

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