Franchisee’s are partners in all food organizations albeit skeptical most of the time. They are on the front line, most working the stores and talking with the customer. When sales are going well they are a bit less skeptical. However working, living and shopping in the community they understand the needs, wants and expectations of there customers. Some of the industry most celebrated, profitable and long lasting products have come from “renegade” franchisee. The most famous is the Big Mac a mainstay of McDonalds menu. Long gone are the days of the hands on CEO who enabled and empowered success; utilizing a balance of both IQ & EQ for what in hindsight was a perfect and much heralded decision.
Recently we in the industry have watched many blame all results on the economy, there are those who are growing in units, in marketshare and both top and bottom line. Some are in the same niche as Taco Bell. Franchisee only act as a “renegade” when there is an absence of leadership, sales results or open dialogue. Success leaves clues in our global environment many franchisee companies allow a disproportionate numbers of menu variations in global markets than they do in the US market. Why? Is it appropriate? No one can tell me that the marketplace of Tustin, California, Mankato, Minnesota and Portland, Maine are equal in demographic composition. If they are not, then menu augmentation should be permitted. What kind of leadership, vision and understanding will Yum, Brands exhibit with this store in Tustin any ideas?
Franchisee companies should focus on a menu mix for a country not a fixed menu. When leadership is compliance and results are mediocre marketshare is sure to be capitulated. Rare is it today that companies have leadership with that balance of both IQ & EQ. I know of one in the same niche and it is marketshare gainer Chipotle. Interestingly Chipotle is interactive and participatory for the consumer empowering the consumer to design a “perfect menu item” BRAVO! Success leaves clues and the times they are a changing. There is a difference between transitional and transformational times. What time is it for your company? Contact me for more at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or leave a comment below. Foodservice Solutions is located in Tacoma, WA