How To Choose a Fast Casual Franchise: 5 Signs of a Good Investment
Not all fast casual franchises are created equally. Here’s what to look for — and what to avoid when choosing a franchise opportunity.
Opening a fast casual franchise with a proven brand takes out a lot of the startup legwork you would have to tackle on your own as an independent restauranteur. The market research, product creation and assessment, location optimization and more are rolled into the initial costs of opening a franchise, backed by the brand’s experience and success.
Initial startup costs are typically lower for opening a fast casual franchise location than that of an independent or even a fast food franchise, and with a franchise disclosure document (FDD), the costs are broken down in a clear way that shows you exactly what your investment is paying for.
Many restauranteurs need loan assistance, no matter the type of restaurant they choose to open. SBA loans, for instance, have strict eligibility requirements, but because they reserve a portion of their loan allotment specifically for franchisees, it may be easier to qualify when your goal is to open a fast casual restaurant franchise with a proven track record.
Another benefit of investing in a fast casual franchise is the fact that franchises provide you with built-in name recognition from day one, something that can take a lot of time (and advertising money) to build on your own. When customers see your restaurant’s name on the door, they already know what to expect, which is major value added.
Fast casual franchises can promote their brand, and in turn, your business, through far-reaching marketing campaigns via online advertisement, television, radio, and other highly visible platforms. These brands have the funds and the resources to keep the business growing. As a franchisee, you will benefit from the experience and expertise of a dedicated marketing team whose sole job it is to build the brand.
The most successful franchises are constantly growing brand awareness through consistent, evolving marketing campaigns at national, local, and even global levels, considering emerging trends and customers’ shifting needs and cravings.
TRAINING & SUPPORT
One of the biggest draws of opening a fast casual restaurant within a franchise system is the benefit of an established training and support network. Franchises are made successful by their proven methodology and business model, which can be replicated and shared to maintain a sense of continuity between all outposts.
A fast casual franchise will give you all the tools necessary to help you run your restaurant as smoothly as possible from the start, with training on everything from leadership methods to daily operations to customer service. There is no need for trial and error, as a franchise will already have the techniques to best optimize your business.
When you’re evaluating fast casual franchise opportunities, it’s important to consider whether the opportunity is worth the investment. Determining the profitability and growth potential of a franchise isn’t an exact science, but a few factors to examine include:
- Unit growth. Determine how many new locations have opened in recent years, as well as how many have closed and why.
- New franchisee success rate. Franchises have a higher success rate than independent businesses, but not all franchises are destined for long-term viability. Look at the percentage of new franchisees within a given system who are still operating after their first year.
- Franchisor’s financial statements. Analyze the FDD to find average sales per unit. While these figures are not a guarantee of your own success within the brand, they can be an indicator of the brand’s record of financial performance.
Teriyaki Madness is completely transparent about our average unit volume (AUV) and welcomes any prospective franchisee to take a look at our income statements to further indicate what makes TMAD such a winning business opportunity.
JOIN THE FAST CASUAL ROCK STARS AT TERIYAKI MADNESS
As one of the fastest-growing big restaurant franchises on the market, TMAD offers a low-risk, high-reward entry into the fast casual restaurant industry. With low investment costs, comprehensive training, unrivaled marketing support, and a winning concept, TMAD is attracting both new and experienced entrepreneurs across the country who know a good deal when they see it.
To learn more about how you can partner with the hottest name in the fast casual industry, download our free franchise report.