Franchise Tip #3: Take time to hire the right people.
This sounds like common sense for any business, but it can be crucial to the customer experience, whether or not they will return, and it can even impact a franchisee’s bottom line. Hiring practices vary from owner to owner, but one of the most important things they can do is spend a good deal of time with the process, especially if they have never been an employer before, say two seasoned franchisees.
Rich Ryan, a multi-unit Menchie’s yogurt franchisee in Lehigh County, Pa., considers hiring to be one of his best practices and he ranks interviewing potential employees right up with careful site selection as the two most important things an owner can do to start the business on the right foot.
“Although with hiring people, it’s a little more difficult than site selection,” Ryan said. “The key to the whole Menchie’s business concept is creating an experience for people to want to come back. That’s very difficult to do without team members with the mindset to do that.”
That’s why he advises franchisees to spend a great deal of time with the hiring process to get to know the applicant thoroughly and whether they will fit the culture of the individual franchise, fitting in with the rest of the staff, as well as the company culture. When he opened his second unit, he and his son Kevin spent as many as 80 hours interviewing people for 15 positions that were open.
“Menchie’s has given us a lot of guidelines,” he said, “but I think a lot of it comes down to judgment by the franchisee. Is this person a smiley, good fit for Menchie’s?”
Roger Wilder III, owner of 10 Smoothie Kings in Louisiana, has been distinguished with an Outstanding New Franchisee Award, Franchise of the Year, and Store of the Year by the company. He agrees with Ryan that hiring is among the most important aspects of a business and that the investment of time in the process by the owner or manager can make all the difference when it comes to being successful. Wilder employs about 10 people per store and keeps 2-4 on per shift, depending on the time of year.
“Who you hire is paramount,” he said. “That is the face of your business. I see a lot of people just take this for granted. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if they have tattoos and earrings coming out from everywhere. You need to spend time on the interview process and then train them, empower them, and get out of their way. It starts with your team.”