These 5 Companies Foster Loyalty and Success by Turning Exceptional Employees Into Business Owners Explore how these brands prioritize internal talent, empowering employees to become successful franchisees and fostering loyalty within their organizations.

By Clarissa Buch Zilberman

Key Takeaways

  • Promoting from within the organization to franchisee roles is highly beneficial.
  • Several franchises have effectively implemented strategies that encourage employee advancement to franchisee positions.
  • These franchises emphasize the importance of structured training programs and incentives to facilitate the transition from employee to franchisee.
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Promoting current employees to franchisee status and providing in-depth advancement programs can help foster loyalty, motivation and long-term franchising success.

Prospective franchisees — especially those chosen from within — possess institutional knowledge and tend to seamlessly transition into franchise ownership. Promoting and training from within also empowers individuals, creates a sense of ownership and strengthens company's culture. The result? Both the franchisee and franchisor will reap the benefits.

Check out these five examples of franchises that prioritize the path of employee to franchisee.

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now and take this quiz to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

Chicken Salad Chick

Scott Deviney is the CEO of Chicken Salad Chick, and he believes it's imperative to grow from within. "At Chicken Salad Chick, we believe in providing diverse pathways for growth within our franchise system, ensuring that the Chicken Salad Chick family continues to flourish."

In fact, Chicken Salad Chick has no shortage of examples of employees becoming successful franchisees. "There's the example of our multi-unit franchisee in the mobile market who mentored and provided the opportunity for ownership to one of their employees to become a co-owner in a location," says Deviney. "There is [also] the example of our Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas multi-market franchisee who supported one of our corporate trainers to become a franchisee partner in Arkansas. And [then], there is also the example of corporate employees who have become franchisees on their own."

Domino's

One of America's most convenient and trusted pizza brands is Domino's, so what makes franchising with Domino's so successful? Part of the success is that around 95% of franchisees began as part-time employees or delivery drivers.

Domino's only considers internal candidates as franchisees with at least a year under their belt as a supervisor or general manager of a Domino's location. There's even a fund to empower Black team members to reduce franchising obstacles.

Want to develop into a successful Domino's franchisee? Consider applying for the Global Operations Leadership Development program to learn more about taking the franchising leap.

Related: 10 Tips to Go From Employee to Boss, From Franchisees Who Did It

McDonald's

You can probably close your eyes and visually map out the path to the closest McDonald's. After all, you can be bustling in the busiest of cities or meandering in the quietest towns, and you'll most likely come across the golden arches of McDonald's.

So how does McDonald's ensure success across their vast enterprise? Before purchasing a franchise, candidates must complete the McDonald's World Class Franchise Traning Program. This includes seminars, classes, on-demand training and 12-18 months of training in a restaurant. Participants go from employee to franchisee/owner, and pass the buck forward by training the next prospective franchisee.

Jersey Mike's Subs

The tasty sandwiches you can bite into at Jersey Mike's Subs don't come cheap. We aren't referring to their prices—but rather to the investment that Jersey Mike's Subs puts into their prospective franchisees to deliver consistent quality and service.

At Jersey Mike's Subs, franchise candidates, both internal employees and external candidates, undergo eight to 10 weeks of classroom and in-store training. Jersey Mike's Subs believes that the more thorough the experience, the more successful the franchisee will be.

Related: Which Franchise is Right For You? Follow These Steps

Home Franchise Concepts

It's not just the food industry that wants to capitalize on internal talent. Jonathan Thiessen, Chief Development Officer at Home Franchise Concepts, shares the importance of their "Ownership Program" to retain key talent.

"At Home Franchise Concepts, we not only want our franchisees to hire great employees, but we also want to give them different tools to retain those employees for years to come. As we thought about the best ways to do that, we recognized the opportunity to develop something that is aspirational for their team members, and, at the same time, offers more support for our franchisees to recruit and retain the best talent in their local market. Our Ownership Program, where franchisees have the opportunity to nominate exemplary employees on their team to be considered for enrollment, allows us to recognize exceptional talent within our family of brands and provide them with the opportunity to buy a franchise at a discounted rate."

There is even a financial incentive for loyalty. "The longer the term of their consecutive employment," says Thiessen, "the more of a discount they will receive when purchasing any of the brands in our family: 20% off the total initial franchise fees, with an additional 10% earned per year of employment, up to 5 years or a maximum of a 50% discount."

Clarissa Buch Zilberman

Entrepreneur Staff

Freelance Writer, Editor & Content Marketing Consultant

Clarissa Buch Zilberman is a writer and editor based in Miami. Specializing in lifestyle, business, and travel, her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Realtor.com, Travel + Leisure, and Bon Appétit, among other print and digital titles. Through her content marketing consultancy, By Clarissa, she leverages her extensive editorial background and unique industry insights to support enterprise organizations and global creative agencies with their B2B, B2C, and B2E content initiatives. 

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