10 Franchises Reveal What They Look for in a Franchisee An entrepreneurial spirit, leadership skills, a bubbly personality -- here's what brands from Cinnabon to Pinot's Palette look for in franchisees.

By Kate Taylor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Want to be a franchisee? Well, it takes more than just finding the right franchise for your needs and lifestyle. The process of becoming a franchisee is one that requires both the franchisee and the franchisor to feel like they have found the perfect fit. There are, of course, financial requirements, but most franchisors care about more than the figures in your bank account. Some want franchisees who are always enthusiastic, while others value level-headed people with business skills. Some are seeking entrepreneurs who will be ready to sign multi-unit deals, while others want a franchisee who approaches the business as a part-time job.

Here's what 10 franchisors at the International Franchise Expo told Entrepreneur they looked for in a potential franchisee. 

Related: 21 Success Tips for Young and Aspiring Entrepreneurs

1. Philly Pretzel Factory

"Someone who is willing to follow a system. We want someone who has the entrepreneurial spirit, but they have to understand that we have a proven model here."

– Daniel DiZio, CEO and co-founder 

2. Cinnabon

"Passion and enthusiasm in being a small business owner, and having the go-getter mentality… You've got to like people to do business at Cinnabon."

– Mark Hong, director of franchise development

3. French Fry Heaven

"I'm a guy who started a business, it went well, and people wanted to buy franchises. So, when I was looking for franchisees, I was like, [I want to recruit franchisees like] me… I screwed up."

"Now, we brought on a new president… He couldn't care less [about franchisees being similar to him]. He wants to know: Do you understand what you're getting into? Do you understand the work this is going to take? Do you understand it's going to be hard?"

– Scott Nelowet, founder and CEO

4. Lift Brands, parent company of Snap Fitness

"What I want is somebody who is a fitness nut: a personal trainer, somebody who comes from running a health club themselves. The economics of it are second to me."

– Joey Aunan, franchise development director

5. Burritobox

"Big time: somebody who is in to marketing…. The focus is on the human connection with the customer. That's what we don't have. The machine doesn't have that."

– Dennis Koci, CEO 

Related: 7 Chain Restaurants Where You Can Find Fourth of July Deals

6. Pinot's Palette

"We like people that are outgoing, bubbly. Our big thing is characters with character."

– Haley Connor, consumer marketing

7. Expedia CruiseShipCenters

"People that would be team leaders. Our franchise partners… recruit, train, mentor and motivate a commission-based sales team. So, the larger their team, the better trained and coached they are, the more successful they will be."

– Jeff Warkentin, franchise sales manager 

8. Mosquito Joe

"Someone who is interested in that work-from-home atmosphere. It's a good husband-wife, family franchise."

– Julie Green, marketing assistant

9. HipPOPs

"We're looking for somebody who is a go-getter… somebody who is involved in their community, someone with a really strong work ethic. What we're not looking for is someone looking for a get rich quick scheme."

– Anthony Fellows, founder 

10. Happy & Healthy Products

"Somebody part time, because we want to slowly build it. We want it to fit into their lifestyle, instead of taking it over."

– Tabitha Locke, national sales director

Related: The Most Important 20 Minutes of the Day

Wavy Line
Kate Taylor


Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

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