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Joe Mathews, a self-proclaimed “franchise junkie,” knows so much about the industry he could write a book. In fact, he has. He co-authored “Street Smart Franchising” and is now using his insights in recruitment efforts for Menchie’s frozen yogurt as vice president of franchise development.
With a degree in graphic arts and marketing from the University of Connecticut, Mathews’s first job out of college was with Subway, which he saw expand from 400 units to 3,000; he has also worked for Blimpie and was chief operating officer of the Entrepreneur’s Source, a franchise brokerage.
But even with all his franchise experience, Mathews, 49, says Menchie’s is an anomaly for him.
“In my 25 years of building franchise brands, I’ve never seen a brand accelerate as fast as this one,” he said. “The vision of management is very strong. They know what they want to create. They’re not feeling their way around. They started out from Day One with world-class branding and world-class economics, and a very strong idea of what does and what doesn’t work in the marketplace.”
Industry High Rank
Indeed, Menchie’s is ranked among the top 20 fastest-growing franchises for 2013 by Entrepreneur magazine and is currently No. 127 on the magazine’s Franchise 500 list of top franchises.
Founded in May 2007, Menchie’s began franchising in 2008 and has grown to more than 250 locations in five years with another 250 in the pipeline, Mathews said.
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“Five hundred is the magic number in the United States where you’re like ‘Cheers’ — everybody knows your name,” Mathews said. “Like Starbucks, it’s a force to be reckoned with.”
“Starbucks is really good at what they do, creating an experience for the customer. So Menchie’s is more like Starbucks and everybody else is like Dunkin’ Donuts. Menchie’s doesn’t sell yogurt, they create smiles. So everything they do is designed to make the customer smile. There is a particular attention to customer experience that you don’t see anyplace else.”
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Indirectly or directly comparing Menchie’s to Starbucks is the biggest joke in the history of the world. Menchies and Starbucks shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence. Menchie’s is far from being a household name.