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How Chick-fil-A's Secret Sauce Can Help Entrepreneurs Pick a Winning Franchise How to use Chick-fil-A's strategies for success to identify emerging franchise brands that could be worthy of investment.

By Ruth Agbaji

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When I speak with individuals considering investing in emerging franchise brands, they often express excitement about the opportunity to be a part of building a brand from the ground up. However, they often need help determining how to assess the brand's potential for success effectively. "Will this brand be the next Chick-fil-A?"

By understanding the strategies that have contributed to Chick-fil-A's success, you'll be able to make an informed decision on whether a particular brand aligns with your goals and values and has the potential to be a success story.

In this article, I'll share six key strategies that have made Chick-fil-A a household name, and how you can apply them to evaluate emerging franchise options. Let's explore what it takes to choose a franchise that has the potential to be a success story.

Related: Chick-fil-A Has the Country's 'Slowest Drive-Thru,' But It's Still Bringing in Major Profits

A strong brand identity

Chick-fil-A has a solid and recognizable brand identity that has been built over the years through its focus on quality food, customer service and religious values.

As an entrepreneur looking to invest in a franchise, you can learn from Chick-fil-A and focus your search on brands that have developed or are developing a unique and compelling brand identity for their franchise. By creating a distinct and consistent brand message that appeals to a target audience, entrepreneurs can create an emotional connection to the brand and attract loyal customers willing to pay premium prices for products. For an entrepreneur, this is the ideal scenario.

A limited menu does wonders

Chick-fil-A's menu is relatively limited compared to other fast food chains. This allows the company to focus on perfecting a smaller number of items. As an entrepreneur researching franchise options, you can take note of this strategy and consider focusing on brands that offer a limited number of services to their clients. It all really comes down to quality over quantity.

Limited services can also help manage overhead costs more efficiently and reduce operational complexity. Furthermore, studies have also shown that limited menu and service options can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Brands that take this approach find that less is more when it comes to creating a successful franchise.

Related: Chick-fil-A Is About to Sell Its New Chickenless Sandwich. What's In It?

An emphasis on a specific niche

Chick-fil-A has built its success through its focus on chicken, a popular food item in the fast food industry. Emerging franchise brands can learn from this by finding a niche or specialty they can focus on and excel in. This will help them stand out in a crowded market.

Developing a unique selling point and mastering it can also generate a higher profit margin for you, the franchisee. By focusing on a specific niche, you, as a potential franchisee, will also be able to cater to a particular customer base and be more efficient with any marketing efforts. Work smarter, not harder.

Using strategic expansion

Chick-fil-A's continued growth in the U.S. and internationally is a significant factor in its success. As an entrepreneur looking into different franchise options, it's essential to consider how a brand approaches growth. Not only should you look out for expansion opportunities, but you should also make sure that the brand is expanding responsibly.

As a potential franchisee, you want to check that the brand has the necessary support team and resources to sustain growth. On the other hand, stagnant growth or lack of growth is also a cause for concern. The key to growth, just like Chick-fil-A's, is to expand sustainably so that the franchise doesn't outgrow its support infrastructure.

By understanding the brands' growth strategy, you'll be better equipped to choose a franchise that has the potential to become as successful as Chick-fil-A.

Related: Chick-fil-A Franchise Cost and What to Know Before Investing

An emphasis on customer service

Chick-fil-A is renowned for its superior customer service, which contributes to a positive customer experience. As an entrepreneur looking into franchise options, it's essential to seek out brands that highly emphasize customer satisfaction.

Providing a welcoming and prompt service can assist in attracting and retaining customers for a franchise. Simple gestures can go a long way in creating customer loyalty and a positive brand image. Brands that heavily invest in employee training and incentives can foster a culture of exceptional customer service, leading to increased customer satisfaction, repeat customers and revenue.

Furthermore, building a reputation for outstanding customer service can also lead to word-of-mouth advertising and a positive overall brand image, which is critical for any franchise's success.

Adept at implementing unique marketing campaigns

Chick-fil-A has been known for its creative and out-of-the-box marketing campaigns that have helped the company stand out from the competition and create a buzz. As an aspiring franchisee, it's important to look for a brand that is constantly experimenting with new and unique marketing tactics to attract customers.

This can include using clever slogans and creating viral social media campaigns and events. By analyzing a brand's marketing efforts, you'll be able to determine if it is a creative approach to standing out in a crowded market, which can ultimately drive foot traffic and revenue for a franchise.

Chick-fil-A's iconic "Eat Mor Chikin" campaign is a great example of this. By using cows to promote chicken instead of beef, it created a memorable and impactful campaign that is still being used after 20 years. Additionally, creating campaigns that tell a story or evoke emotion can also be a powerful tool in building a strong brand and creating a connection with customers — vital for any business's long-term success.

Related: 25 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Chick-fil-A

It's crucial to do your research and not be swayed by sales pitches. Investing in an emerging franchise can be a thrilling opportunity, but it's vital to ensure the brand you choose has the key attributes of long-term success as outlined above.

Ruth Agbaji

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Nerd In Chief at Code Wiz

Ruth Agbaji is a 2019 IFA NextGen winner and the founder of Code Wiz, award-winning afterschool centers that teach children and teens to explore their creative side and learn problem-solving through coding and robotics. Find out more at https://codewizfranchise.com/

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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