Heavenly Ham Boxes Up New Strategy to Target Potential Franchisees <b></b>

Roswell, Georgia--Heavenly Ham has rolled out a newprogram targeting potential franchisees. That means the chain istargeting its customers.

During the past few years, the Roswell, Georgia-based HeavenlyHam has changed from a strictly specialty-meats shop to asandwich-café operation. It has more than 200 franchised unitsin 32 states, and 70 percent of its franchisees are loyal customerswho decided to become owner-operators, according to Wade H. BrannonJr., senior vice president of franchise development.

"It's due to brand awareness," he says. "Ithink people try our products and somehow or other find outwe're a franchising opportunity."

Because Heavenly Ham believes it gets a higher quality offranchisee from among its customers--and because some customersaren't aware of the franchising opportunity--new packaging forthe chain's box lunch will include a number to call forinformation.

The program has the potential to reach millions of possiblefranchisees. Last year Heavenly Ham sold between 4 million and 5million box lunches, Brannon says. The lunches consist of asandwich, side dish, cookie and drink for less than $7.

"Our box-lunch business is 40 percent of revenue, and, as aresult, we knew there was a marketing opportunity for people whoweren't aware that we are a franchise company," hesays.

Soliciting franchisees through information on packaging is aninexpensive alternative to recruiting through traditional ad andWeb site venues, which can cost $20,000 or more to convert a singleprospect into a franchisee, says Brian Schnell, co-chair of thefranchise practice group at Gray Plant Mooty, a Minneapolis lawfirm that represents companies in their franchising activities.-Nation's Restaurant News

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