Sweetening The Pot
Ice cream giant Carvel Corp. plans to open 40 to 50 new franchise units by year-end in an attempt to make the company's products more accessible through sales at supermarkets and kiosks by allowing franchisees to become distributors.
"We now have a program that allows a franchisee to operate a production facility or master unit and supply other locations within the same area," says Greg Demadis, vice president of retail operations for Farmington, Connecticut-based Carvel. "This allows franchisees to expand into different facilities."
Carvel has also introduced a new ice cream cake it plans to market for childhood occasions such as first tooth and learning to ride a bike. The company is also working on a new logo design and store décor, hoping consumers will take a second look at its ice cream cakes. For franchisees, the new décor will foster greater store-to-store consistency, and the new cakes will allow Carvel to satisfy more consumers.
Lease Is More
PEOs make life easier for franchisees.
Franchisees have full plates. That's why they're increasingly turning to professional employer organizations (PEOs), leasing employees from them and letting the PEOs handle all the administrative tasks involved with managing employees.
The ServiceMaster Company is encouraging its franchisees to use PEO services through its recently acquired subsidiary, Certified Systems Inc. (CSI). "For a franchisee who only employs a small number of people, it's difficult in today's regulation- and litigation-heavy environment to afford all the information systems, human resources and legal advice it takes to do everything right in the area of employee administration," explains Jerry Mooney of Downers Grove, Illinois-based ServiceMaster. "CSI allows our franchisees to share the overhead structure of a large company."
CSI takes care of workers' compensation and health insurance, benefits plans, payroll and payroll taxes, and human resources needs. Since ServiceMaster began offering the service, more than 150 franchisees have expressed interest.
"Generally, if you can use a PEO and break even, it's a tremendous deal," says Mooney. "But the majority of the time, employee leasing saves small businesses 1 to 3 percent of labor costs, which is all the more significant because you're outsourcing a lot of your headaches, freeing up time to focus on the business."
Certified Systems Inc., (800) 878-3157