(Ambrosio’s note: Welcome to this week’s edition of Fro-Yo Files, an exclusive bonus series for Platinum subscribers of Franchise Chatter. Today’s post is the second of three parts. Stay tuned for Part 3 to be posted tomorrow.)
Fro-Yo Files: Interview with Dan Kim, Founder and Chief Concept Officer of Red Mango
Dan Kim, Founder and Chief Concept Officer of Red Mango frozen yogurt, candidly admits that he has a personality trait that some might consider antithetical to characteristics necessary for someone overseeing a burgeoning franchise empire.
“I’m a control freak, which is actually competitive with the idea of franchising in a lot of ways,” he said recently in an interview. “I guess the most difficult thing for me was everything that comes with growing a 5-store or 10-store chain to a large company.” But grow that company he has, learning along the way to hand control over to hundreds of franchisees who share his vision for the brand.
Attracting the Right Franchisees
One of the aspects of growing the business that made it easier for Kim to relinquish control and cut his business baby loose for others to take over individual outlets was his faith in the franchise plan that the company has in place.
Red Mango actively recruits franchisees with a formal franchising department. It advertises in the trade press to attract potential candidates and even hosts what it calls VIP “red carpet” events, inviting potential franchisees to learn more about the company.
“In terms of who we’re looking for, it’s someone who understands the potential of the brand and what we’re all about,” Kim said.
He identified four main characteristics that interested franchisees should possess: First, he said, they must have a penchant for healthy living in order to promote his brand, which is marketed as a healthy alternative to other frozen dessert treats. Secondly, they must understand the importance of marketing and branding. They should also be prepared to be active owner-operators who are personally involved with the business; and, finally, they need to have good knowledge of the area where they wish to open a store.