(Ambrosio’s note: I know that a lot of readers have found this blog by searching for information on Edible Arrangements. I’m so excited to share with you more details on this franchise opportunity from the person who knows the business more than anyone else — its Founder and CEO, Tariq Farid. Hopefully, the information you find in this exclusive interview will help you decide if Edible Arrangements is the right franchise for you.
I always find it inspiring to learn how an entrepreneur was able to grow a successful business from a simple idea to a chain with over a thousand locations around the world. Thank you, Tariq, for sharing the Edible Arrangements story with us!)
1. What made you decide to start Edible Arrangements?
I was in the flower business for many years and really loved the idea of bringing people joy with floral arrangements. When people started looking for healthier foods, I realized that the skills I had building floral arrangements could be applied to fruit arrangements, and Edible Arrangements was born. They are just as beautiful as flowers, but deliver even more of that “Wow” factor because you can eat them.
2. Why should someone interested in owning his or her own business consider a fruit arrangements or special occasion gifts franchise?
You couldn’t ask for a better business. You get to make people happy every day, and you get to make money while you’re doing it. And it’s a healthy, guilt-free product that’s actually good for you. Franchisees are proud to offer a nutritious product to customers.
3. What sets Edible Arrangements apart from your competitors in the fruit arrangements or special occasion gifts industry?
Lots of things! We have years of experience specializing in premium quality fruit and only fruit! We have over 1000 storefronts, so even though our customers can take advantage of the convenience of ordering online or using our toll free number anytime, they can also go into our locally owned and operated locations and see and taste our products before they buy them. Customers like the idea of supporting local businesses run by their neighbors instead of just shopping with a faceless warehouse. And our franchisees are known for giving back to their communities: donations of excess fruit, supplying arrangements for local events and charities, and volunteering their time.
4. What qualities do you look for in a prospective franchisee?
Passion! If franchisees have passion for what they are doing and what Edible Arrangements as a company is doing, they will have the other traits that are necessary to be successful in the business. They must commit to making the best product every time because it is being delivered to someone for a special reason. Even if it’s for no holiday or occasion, it needs to be created as if it is the most important thing that person will make today.
The ideal prospect understands customer service and appreciates the value of being part of a growing franchise business — that they are buying into our national marketing expertise and funding, economies of scale, and a proven business model.
We recently introduced a grab and go line of Fruthy’s (our fresh fruit smoothies), fresh fruit salads, sundaes and parfaits, and fresh fruit beverages to complement our arrangements and dipped fruit concept. These products make high traffic areas ideal for Edible Arrangements stores.
6. Based on your observations, what concrete steps do your most successful franchisees take in order to build and grow their businesses?
Our most successful franchisees use local store marketing to supplement our national advertising campaigns. They make sure that customers in their area know who they are and where they are. They also plan to expand into multi-unit ownership to take advantage of economies of scale. And finally, they know their business and when to expect high volumes, like on holidays. They plan to do extraordinary amounts of business in short spurts and are successful at it because they take the necessary steps to execute the plan.
On holidays, customers need us because they want emotional gifts for their loved ones, and so these are our busiest, most challenging times. Our franchisees meet the challenge and service every consumer every time. They are rewarded by having that customer return to them again and again with repeat business.
7. What kind of ongoing support do you extend to your franchisees to help them become more successful?
We start them off right with corporate training and in-store training when they first open. Then we provide national marketing and tons of materials to support it – TV, radio, print – for their use at the local level.
We have a Store Support Team in the corporate office that is available all day every day, and staff in the field: Trainers on the road visiting stores five days a week, and Field Business Consultants who provide higher level business planning and financial management. Our Customer Experience Manager’s sole focus is helping stores understand the importance of pleasing every customer every time.
And we use technology to keep franchisees informed and up-to-date on products, procedures, and policies. We have a patented computer software system in every store for ongoing, real time training and we constantly review and revise our other computer systems — from our Point of Sale system to Internet technology to electronic communications — to make sure we are utilizing the latest in technology to assist franchisees every day.
8. What would you tell a prospective franchisee who wants to know about the profit potential of an Edible Arrangements franchise?
That our franchisees don’t just go to the store to make arrangements, they go there to make money!
There is no such thing as a typical day! I am on the road a lot, either visiting franchisees or lately, traveling overseas to meet with potential Master Franchisees and explore opportunities for international expansion.
10. Is there anything else that you’d like to share with us about Edible Arrangements?
We are the leaders in fresh fruit bouquets because we really are fruit experts. We have been around long enough to be able to establish relationships with growers who know that we can commit to buying their products. These growers know that we only accept premium quality fruits and they want to achieve the degree of excellence that will enable them to be a supplier for Edible Arrangements.