burger franchise
How to package your burger franchise and build a powerful federal network
You will find the most successful franchises in the food service industry. And even more specifically, in the fast food industry. Sometimes it seems to me that franchising was invented specifically for the fast food industry, so well are franchising tools suitable for the fast food industry.

If we look at the top franchises, we will see a couple of top three fast foods in the leaders, but with a high probability, the leader of this rating will be McDonald's, which achieved its recognition and popularity by selling burgers. Our article today is dedicated to the kings of fast food, the kings of franchising - burgers. With this article I want to reveal why burger franchises are so popular? What traits does a burger franchise need to have to be successful? Let's look at several foreign cases of burger franchises.

But our main task is to highlight the path of franchising for burger owners as a way to achieve market leadership and a way to scale their business.
My experience in burger franchises
It would probably be worthwhile to outline my experience and my background in this matter, so that the reader has an understanding from what particular positions I will cover this issue. I was the director of franchising for the brightest burger brand in Russia, “Black Star Burger.” I packaged this franchise and sold the first few dozen franchises of this brand to all major regions of the country. The recommendations and advice that I will give you in this article are based precisely on this practical experience.
Craft and mass burger restaurants
It is obvious that the burger market in Russia is free. Foreign brands are leaving, consumer demand is growing, we need a large, recognizable brand that will occupy a half-empty market. The burger market can be roughly divided into mass popular burger shops and craft burger shops, the prices of which are higher than average and they are aimed more at a premium audience. Both segments have the potential for creating and developing a franchise in Russia. The only difference is that craft burger joints are more similar in their features to the restaurant segment, while mass popular burger joints have their own special unique features and must develop according to their own special rules and laws.

Craft burger joints are usually presented in the form of intimate establishments for their own, which, as a rule, build their product and their concept around high-quality meat, a special cooking method and some kind of trick in serving and preparing burgers. In short, the core of the whole concept is a cool, special product. Craft burger joints are often single-product, that is, there may be nothing else on the menu other than burgers.

The main challenge in scaling a craft burger restaurant will be precisely this transition from a lamp establishment to a large chain.
One burger shop may rely on the experience of the chef and his team, but when the chain is built, other talents will come first: how to manage a large chain, how to ensure standards are met, etc.

What we called mass burgers is, in fact, fast food in its purest form. This is a format that will appeal to businessmen, retirees and students, because everyone will find a dish to their taste and budget and will be satisfied with the level of service.

If we agree with this formulation, then we face a significant challenge to make the highest quality product at the lowest possible price. It is for this reason that McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's are popular and loved by their consumers; they have found their formula for a mass-produced tasty and cheap product.

Mass-produced burger joints like the ones I've listed are more like food preparation factories, where the staff is more like factory workers who must strictly perform their duties and follow processes and rules.

Hence this process automation. Chances are you won't find a mainstream burger joint with a non-automatic coffee machine. All equipment is as automated as possible and should require minimal talent to use. For a massive, large burger franchise, it is advisable to reduce the human factor to a minimum.
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Burger franchise package
Typically a burger franchise package includes the following elements
  • The one and only burge
    Achieving consistent quality across all franchise locations is a paramount challenge for any burger franchise. It's crucial to ensure that the unique and delicious burger that customers have come to love tastes the same every time, regardless of the location.

    To ensure that the burger tastes the same every time, regardless of the location we must implement standardized recipes, equipment, the necessary skills and knowledge of employees
  • Supplies of meat for burger shop
    The quality of your burger depends directly on the meat you use. You must find a way to supply raw materials to your franchisees without losing quality and presentation.
  • Burger brand
    All significant burger franchises are large international brands. It’s hard to imagine McDonald’s without the famous “golden arcs.” Black Star Burger is inseparable from the image of the label and the label’s artists. A mass fast food chain implies a mass brand.
  • Equipment and technology
    The equipment directly affects the final product. You must find the optimal set of equipment and recommend it to your franchisees.

    It is important that this equipment is not difficult to find in the country where you will open partner outlets.
  • Burger staff training
    The burger shop staff is a well-coordinated team of professionals. Working in fast food requires coordinated actions at high speed. All operations and actions of personnel must be practiced and brought to automaticity.
    Naturally, a single point will spend many years searching for its own method of work, its own standards and rules.
    As a franchise founder, it is up to you to find the best way to operate and transfer that knowledge to the franchisee in the best way possible.

    Large chains usually have training centers and internal academies in which employees of their own establishments, as well as employees of franchised establishments, study.
    It is important to add that training is required not only at the start of the establishment, but also during the operation of the establishment. Employees leave, standards are updated, and therefore training must become an ongoing process within the company.
  • Discounts from suppliers of equipment and ingredients
    Making purchases for a large network is significantly more profitable than making purchases for one point, and this is obvious. The network has leverage over suppliers. By buying a lot, the franchise network can dictate its terms and skimp on its prices.
    It is beneficial for franchisees to be part of a network and make purchases on network terms.
    When setting up a franchise, make sure your chain receives the best terms possible.
    Make sure your partners earn maximum money working with your franchise.
Burger franchise support
You need to have staff who are trained in your burger preparation standards and will do it the same way as in your own locations.
After knowledge transfer and final certification, the team is ready to implement the transferred standards.
Your task as a franchisor is to monitor the quality of the product and service on an ongoing basis.
I have already written an article about monitoring standards. I won't repeat myself.

Technology Upgrade
The task of the franchise founder is to keep up with the times, constantly look for ways to strengthen the brand and product, constantly find solutions to become stronger, tastier, and more profitable.
A larger network has more impressive budgets for company modernization. A single burger joint cannot afford to hire a foreign technologist or travel to exhibitions around the world to search for new technologies for business. But the network can! And it is obliged to do this in order to win the competition and generate profit for its network and its franchisees.
Consulting support from the founder
In Russia, franchising is very personalized; we most likely know the owners of all significant chains in the country.
A franchise buyer comes not only for the brand and product, but also for the personal brand of the company owner.
And support from this person is very important. The very opportunity to ask a question to “the one” gives confidence to the entrepreneur buying a franchise.
Federal advertising campaigns
A large chain, accumulating its own resources and those of franchisees, can afford to implement large-scale advertising campaigns for the common benefit of all franchisees.
When purchasing a burger franchise, the franchisee expects that his business will have significant advertising support, which will give him an advantage over competitors in his region.
Large media resources
Often, social network accounts and websites themselves are a media resource with a large number of subscribers.
A mention on high-profile social networks can give franchisees a significant advantage.
Opportunities for developing a burger franchise
Any strategic decision, including launching a franchise, always simultaneously presents both business opportunities and risks.
It would be correct to list and subjectively evaluate the opportunities and risks that starting a franchise poses for your business.
This will allow you to weigh the arguments and make the right decision.
Entering new territories (regions and countries)
It is difficult to imagine an equally quick way to enter the markets of new regions and countries.
Market share expansion
You get the opportunity to influence the market: you get leverage over suppliers, landlords, contractors, etc.
In the event of a future sale of the business, you get a significant opportunity to increase capitalization in a short time.
How to Pack a Burger Franchise
Market research
Before entering the market with your own burger franchise, it would be nice to find out what franchises already exist, who buys them, what difficulties they face, what works, what doesn’t work so well. During the research stage, we usually communicate with potential franchise buyers in order to identify their needs and requirements for the future franchise.
In my projects, I conduct research in the format of interviews; usually 20-30 interviews help to understand the situation on the market.
It would also be worth researching the audience of end consumers in order to identify the consumption habits of your future consumers in other regions.
Description of standards
Before starting a franchise, you need to identify all the standards and processes that apply to your company.
The difficulty of this stage is that the knowledge is usually possessed by ladies from the operating system who do not have free time to describe their knowledge.
It is for this reason that the description of standards stretches out for years in companies.
Description of the financial model
The financial model is an excel file with a detailed description of the starting investments, revenues, expenses and profits, which shows how much our franchisee must invest and in what way and in what timeframe it is realistic to expect a return on the invested funds.

Among the recommendations for the financial model, it is worth noting that it should be “focused” on different regions, because a single model cannot work for both large and small cities, because both investments and current expenses will differ significantly.
Development of conditions
Once we have a financial model ready, we can develop the terms of our franchise.

These conditions are based on a financial model and market assessment.

The developed conditions usually form the basis of the franchise sales presentation and the franchise landing page.

It is in these two ways that we will convey the conditions to our franchisee.
Development of a commercial concession agreement
The developed conditions form the basis of the franchise contract.

The peculiarity of these agreements is that there are not many specialists in the country who have experience in developing a franchise agreement, because there are not many franchises themselves. In addition, the concession agreement involves a significant number of commercial conditions that lawyers are usually not familiar with.
Franchise pre-sale
The stage at which we do not openly sell the franchise, but are ready to offer it to our narrow circle.

It would be good to gather the first followers of our franchise at this stage. Typically, these early birds are given discounts and additional benefits for their willingness to be first.

Franchise release
Official start of franchise sales. Usually the launch of a franchise is covered in the media, perhaps even some kind of meeting is held with potential franchisees, etc. Here you are limited only by your resources and imagination.
Launch of advertising campaigns
Franchise advertising campaigns are not significantly different from regular campaigns for any other B2B product.

We launch advertising campaigns, attract applications, work with the effectiveness of campaigns, optimize the budget, etc.
Negotiations with potential franchisees
After you receive applications from potential partners of your franchise, the stage of negotiations, discussion of conditions and approval of the candidate begins. Following the negotiations, a contract is signed and preparations for the opening begin.

Further actions to support and open new outlets with franchisees are carried out in accordance with your format and your business approach.
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