Is Food And Beverage Franchising Right For You? The food and beverage sector is among the most popular for those who consider franchising. But does everyone have what it takes?
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
It's undeniable: you say franchise, people think "McDonald's" — and it's true, food franchising is among the most recognizable and popular when it comes to piquing interest in prospective franchisees. However, food and beverage franchise concepts only make up a small percentage of what's out there, and require a unique skill set to ensure success. If you're considering a food and beverage franchise, ask yourself these questions before narrowing your search.
Can you think on your feet?
With anything in the food and beverage industry, you're going to have to be a problem solver. While the franchise model allows for defined roles and rules of operation to ensure success, there will be countless incidents wherein you, as the business owner, will have to think on your feet, be strategic and act fast. "You can have the most well-oiled, detailed plan from a franchise but stuff is going to happen," says FranCoach founder and CEO Tim Parmeter. "As a franchise owner, you have to be able to figure your stuff out, and you have to be able to do it quickly, especially in an industry that's going to be as fast moving as food."
What do you want your day to look like?
When considering any franchise concept, you need to interrogate what kind of business owner you want to be, and the level of involvement that entails. With food and beverage franchises, you're going to have to consider the amount of people you'll be hiring and working with. What kind of people do you want to be around? With food, you're more than likely going to have a manager or managers in place — can you manage and can you delegate? Furthermore, when narrowing your search, these questions are crucial, as some concepts require more involvement than others. Still, the food and beverage space will always involve a certain amount of human contact, which is integral to the experience. "It's the teacher mentality: if I can positively affect even one person, I've really done something great," Parmeter says. "And some people are going to think that sounds awful, which is fine, but that person probably doesn't need to be in food, because that's a big piece."
Do you have a growth mindset?
While some franchisees are satisfied with owning one unit and meeting their goals, in most cases with food franchising, owners are going to be multi-unit. Although it's not essential, it helps to have a growth mindset when it comes to food and beverage franchising, as it certainly aids long term profitability and scalability.
Similarly, can you carry that mindset when it comes to staff and building a team? Solid management is crucial for running a successful food and beverage franchise, and you have to carry that vision forward to build a strong empire.
How are your finances?
Here's the less fun reality of food and beverage franchises: you're going to need a little cash. While there are several low-cost concepts in the industry, most food franchises require a steep buy in, plus additional, ongoing costs along the way. It's wise to review whether this investment is feasible both now, and in the future.
When it comes to the best franchise concepts by category, Entrepreneur has you covered. We have business opportunities to share from over a dozen industries. Everything from automotive, home services, and childcare to food, health and beauty, and everything in between. To see what's in our franchisor database, be sure to check out Entrepreneur's Best of the Best Rankings.