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Colleagues Share Best Practices
One of the most obvious benefits to multi-unit ownership comes from marketing efforts, Chasteen said. Advertising the grand opening for one unit, for example, also promotes a franchisee’s other stores, building brand awareness within the territory.
Chasteen meets regularly with other Moe’s owners in Florida to discuss various aspects of operations, sales, marketing, and other matters, as well as to share best practices.
Those meetings have led to cost savings at his stores, he said. When the various owners began comparing paper costs, they realized differences between various territories. That led Chasteen to switch to a new vendor who was able to serve various franchisees, increasing efficiency and reducing paper costs by about 2 percent.
The Moe’s franchisees in Florida also formed a statewide marketing co-op in the Sunshine State, partnering with its two most beloved football teams, the Gators and Seminoles, on a promotion that gave fans who responded to a contest the opportunity to watch a game from the announcer’s booth at the stadium. The Moe’s logo would appear during broadcasts and re-broadcasts of the football games, providing statewide exposure for the brand, even in markets that have yet to see a Moe’s outlet open. The informational spots also drove customers to existing locations by encouraging participants to visit a Moe’s restaurant to register for the contest.
Sharing information with other franchisees about operations and best practices and comparing financial statements can be crucial to a store’s success, Chasteen believes.
“I feel like the ones that don’t do this are the ones that are more likely to get in trouble down the road.”
Where to Put the Next Restaurant
A conversation with any franchisee talking about his or her business inevitably turns to the topic of site location, considered the No. 1 factor in determining success.
“You can make up for a bad brand with a good location,” Chasteen said, “but you can take a good brand and put it in a bad location and you can put yourself out of business.”
“You want to be in what I call the synergy zone. If you find a great location but the top national brands are not near you, then you’re probably in the wrong location, because there is a synergy that’s created when those brands cluster together.”