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Restaurant Franchise Business Guide: 8 Critical Guidelines

Table of Contents

This restaurant franchise business guide has everything you need to start a franchise business or buy into one! Read on for tips about inventory management, hiring, inspiration, and more. The eight components of this restaurant franchise business guide will have you set to open the doors–or expand your business–in no time.

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How to Franchise a Restaurant Business: 12 Franchise Tips

The future of restaurants lies in growth of all types, and franchising with great restaurant management is one of those options. A hospitality franchise is a way to grow in many interesting directions. 

We’ve got you covered. We’ll touch on restaurant location tips. We’ll talk about how to open a franchise restaurant, for those of you looking to take part in a franchise operation. We’ll walk you through the key sections of how to franchise a restaurant business. From restaurant inventory in a franchise to restaurant marketing ideas, we’ve got you covered. 

Restaurant Franchise Legal Work

From risk assessment for a restaurant franchise to restaurant data analytics, you have lots of legal boxes to check. When you work through these four tasks of legal franchising needs, you’ll be prepared for the operations work that comes next. 

4. Franchise disclosure document: your franchise disclosure document, or FDD, is the main collection of work that dictates your franchise plan and how you’ll manage your business. 

3. Franchise operations manual: the franchise operations manual gets into the nitty gritty of how each franchise will operate according to your business procedures. 

2. Intellectual property protection: intellectual property protection is important to keep your property securely yours, even when others have permission to use it.

1. FDD issuance and registration: the issuance and registration of your FDD is the most technical legal need to get you set up. 

Restaurant Franchise Operations Work

Restaurant franchise operations work is a catch-all that encompasses beginning and ongoing franchise tasks. You’ll find things cropping up like forecasting for restaurants to prepare for the future. The restaurant manager job will incorporate these four tasks and more as restaurant operations roll on.

4. Organize your sales strategy: organizing your sales strategy will give your franchise locations an easy plan to work from. 

3. Sort your franchise budget information: your budget information is helpful to give you an idea of what you’ll spend, and what each franchise location will need in their budget.

2. Organize management structure: management structure is something to have squared away so there are no questions about who is in charge and who makes decisions.

1. Create a plan of daily operations: your daily operations plan will make it easy for each franchise location to go through each day without a worry about doing something wrong.

Restaurant Franchise Design Work

Restaurant franchise design work comes along as some of the more aesthetic but equally important work on your list. It’ll come up in a restaurant business plan for physical descriptions. It’s part of customer service, and restaurant inventory management. These four aspects of restaurant franchise design work get you headed in the right direction.

4. Create your branding guidelines: your branding guidelines for everything from fonts to brand colors gives a clear view of what can be done in franchise locations.

3. Gather mass-produced design supplies: gathering mass-produced supplies, like flyers and banners, will save you time and money later on.

2. Set up store decor guidelines: setting up store decor guidelines may be a part of your brand guidelines, but we give it a separate spot on this list because of how important it is.

1. Working with unique locations: you may find that some of your franchise locations are more unique in terms of architecture. In these cases, have some wiggle room to make changes as needed.

Restaurant Franchise Plans: How Will You Grow Your Restaurant?

The process of how to franchise a restaurant business can be a lot of work. It pays off in dividends of growing your business beyond your personal scope. Creating a stellar franchise restaurant business plan can help you get there.

"Key Takeaway: The future of restaurants lies in growth of all types, and franchising with great restaurant management is one of those options. A hospitality franchise is a way to grow in many interesting directions."

Franchise Restaurant Business Plan: 10 Facets of Your Plan

So, what is a franchise restaurant business plan? It’s a detailed guide to what you need for your business. It’s similar to many other types of business plans, including:

Your franchise restaurant business plan is a structured plan with the tools to run a successful business. There are lots of parts of your franchise restaurant business plan that are unique to your business. There will also, however, be many parts that are standard across business plans. 

10 Facets of the Franchise Restaurant Business Plan

These 10 facets of the franchise restaurant business plan will get you going. They come together to show you how to plan for your franchise restaurant business. Through this section, you’ll learn about the process of running a successful franchise restaurant.

10. Executive Summary

Your executive summary is the place to define your business and give a brief, succinct overview of your business needs and plans. This is your introduction to frame your business plan.

9. Franchise Disclosure Document

The franchise disclosure document, or FDD, is the legal work of declaring your franchise business. It’s helpful to complete this as part of your business plan work. 

8. Menu Components

The menu components part of your franchise restaurant business plan are vital for the legal startup process. You need to share exactly what ingredients you’ll be needing in your supplies.

7. Franchise Operations Manual

The franchise operations manual is the guidebook of how your franchise restaurant locations will operate. This is a comprehensive guide, with daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly plans written out in full.

6. Industry Analysis

Your industry analysis should be focused on all franchise restaurants. This is a broad scope for your first analysis among the several analysis projects on this list.

5. Market Analysis

Your market analysis is all about your customer base. This is the place to dive into what customers will be looking for from your franchise, and how you can provide for them.

4. Marketing Plans 

Your marketing plans come up right after the market analysis because the two go hand in hand. Your marketing plans should be curated to reach your target market of customers.

3. Competitive Analysis

A competitive analysis is the third of the analysis projects, and the last one in your business plan. It serves to show you the franchises in your immediate area, and how you can be better than them.

2. Management and Staffing Organization

Management and staffing organization showcases the functions within your business. This is especially important for organizing each franchise location.

1. Financial Planning

The financial planning section is the place to write up your budget, financial situation, and any possible needed assistance. This part is particular for being shown to potential investors. 

Your Franchise Restaurant Business Plan: Details to Run Your Business 

Writing up your franchise restaurant business plan is one of the most tangible steps toward starting up your franchise. It shows you what you’ll need to focus on with particular attention. It gives you a place to organize finances, marketing, market analysis, and your restaurant franchise management. 

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Restaurant Franchise Management: 12 Management Tips

Restaurant franchise management is a pillar of your education. Whether you’re learning from the best restaurant franchise businesses or studying employee management, restaurant franchise management is something you’ll get quite familiar with. 

Mastering restaurant franchise management will give you the confidence to run a restaurant franchise and find success. These 12 tips and tricks for restaurant franchise management help you get there. They come together to create a management plan for any restaurant business.

12. Focus on Quality Control

Focusing on quality control is one of the baseline tips of restaurant franchise management. From your ingredients to every dish that gets served, quality control is key to great customer service. 

11. Keep Training Up to Date

Keeping training up to date helps to keep you and your staff actively involved in customer service. Whether it’s learning new techniques or simply having a dedicated time to go over practices, training should be done on a yearly basis.

10. Tie Your Initiatives to the Location

The beauty of different franchise locations lies in the unique spots these places can be. Depending on your location and neighborhood, let that culture influence your management and plans, to make your location a local hotspot. 

9. Lean On the Business Plan

The business plan of a restaurant franchise covers all the details of what you need to keep moving forward. If you’re ever stuck in a management pickle, lean into the business plan to reassess and ground yourself with the business.

8. Stay Open-Minded with Marketing Campaigns

Staying open-minded with marketing campaigns is all about letting creativity lead the way. Your overall marketing strategy will likely be dictated by the franchisor. Your individual campaigns give you room to see what works best for your franchise location.

7. Study Available Technological Support 

The range of software and technological support for restaurants these days is exceptional. There’s something for every area of the business. Staying up to date with the available support will help you stay ahead of the curve.

6. Maintain Standards of Food Safety and Hygiene

Maintaining standards of food safety and hygiene is the responsibility of all the staff in a restaurant franchise. The overall guidance rests on the manager. It’s your responsibility to make sure all rules are followed exactly, to keep everyone safe and healthy.

5. Put Energy Into Vendor Relations

Putting energy into vendor relations is a key way of maintaining the quality of your restaurant. When you have great vendor relations, it’ll be easier to maintain ordering and inventory, leading to continued success.

4. Be Mindful with Staff Scheduling

As the manager of the restaurant, the happiness and efficiency of your staff rests on your shoulders. A large portion of your responsibility here is to maintain the schedule. Make it work for your employees, and they’ll work hard for you.

3. Keep Finances Organized 

Keeping the finances of the restaurant organized will help you in the short and long term. When your accounts are in order, you never have to worry about where money is going, you can look and find out instantly.

2. Focus on Sustainability

A focus on sustainability is important for every restaurant these days. In the last decade, sustainability and eco-friendly practices have become mainstream. In restaurants, using eco-friendly alternatives and shopping local are two ways you can focus on sustainability.

1. Stay Educated on Crisis Management

Staying educated on crisis management is an often overlooked area of restaurant management, but it is oh-so-important. Crisis management, from natural disasters to problem customers, is something you can take courses for to remain up to date and know what to do.

Franchise Restaurant Management: Mind Your Management Techniques 

Restaurant franchise management is the culmination of the work that goes into organizing a restaurant franchise. It’s a tall order; happily, restaurant franchise management software is around to help lessen the workload. 

"Key Takeaway: Mastering restaurant franchise management will give you the confidence to run a restaurant franchise and find success."

Restaurant Franchise Management Software: 12 Software Needs

In this section, we’ll walk you through aspects of restaurant franchise management software. Read on to learn what you need to ease your restaurant management responsibilities and find success through software support. 

Restaurant Franchise Management Software for Daily Operations

These five types of software take care of the types of tasks that take up regular time, every day, at your restaurant. When you can optimize these facets of your business with software support, you can improve the processes and ease your workload.

4. Feedback and Reviews Software

Feedback and reviews software is designed to improve things for you and your customers. It provides a system for customers to review your restaurant and service, to simplify the feedback process.

3. Reservation and Table Management Software

Reservation and table management software is another piece of software that makes life easier for you and your guests. Instead of calling in to make a reservation that gets marked down in a physical book, software makes it easier for customers to get a reservation.

2. POS Software

POS software, to make sales and track your accounting needs, is vital for a successful restaurant business. When you have the right POS system it becomes easy to manage your finances and keep your profits rolling along.

1. Analytics Software

Analytics software is all about tracking how successful your restaurant business is at any given moment. There is software that can analyze how many guests you have, who comes back, and how many times they return. You can also analyze different marketing strategies and plans, to see how your actions affect your business.

Restaurant Franchise Inventory and Order Management Software

Restaurant franchise inventory and order management software is all about keeping your restaurant fully stocked and ready to go. From beverage inventory software to recipe costing software, these five types of software are helpful in keeping your restaurant running smoothly. 

4. Order Management Software

Order management software simplifies your order management system. Making sure you always have enough inventory is crucial to keeping your restaurant running at peak efficiency. 

3. Food Inventory Software

Food inventory software is a piece of the puzzle of inventory management. It works to keep track of your ingredients, so you always have what you need to whip up each menu item. 

2. Recipe and Menu Costing Software

Recipe and menu costing software work to support your food inventory software. It’s designed to track each recipe and make sure you’re working efficiently with each item on your menu. 

1. Beverage Inventory Software

Beverage inventory software, like the BinWise Pro inventory program, helps you manage the ingredients and usage of all your drink ingredients. From liquor to wine to beer, beverage inventory software tracks it all. 

Restaurant Franchise Employee Management Software

Restaurant franchise employee management software is some of the most important software in your tool chest. These five types of employee management software are designed to manage the needs of your employees, so they’re well taken care of. 

4. Scheduling Software

Scheduling software is one of the most important pieces of restaurant franchise employee management software. It makes it easier for you to always have a schedule prepared for your employees.

3. Time Tracking Software

Time tracking software is sometimes bundled with scheduling software, but not always. Time tracking software is helpful for you, but also your employees, to make it easy to clock in and out.

2. HR Management Software

HR management software brings together aspects of employee management. From tracking performance reviews to managing time off, HR software gives your employees one easy place to check information.

1. Payroll Processing Software

Payroll processing software may be mixed in with your HR management software. It’s important not only for your employees to get paid, but to keep your financial records organized as well.

Management Software for Restaurant Franchises: Find Your Management Support

Restaurant franchise management software simplifies your restaurant work. It gives you more time to focus on the parts of your business that can’t be automated. When you have the right software, you can spend more time making sure your customer service is exactly what you want it to be. Some of that right software is the best of the best franchise inventory management software.

Franchise Inventory Management: 12 Franchise Inventory Keys

What is franchise inventory management? Restaurant inventory management rests on the principles of keeping your inventory organized and ready for use. This makes it easier to provide exemplary customer service. 

Restaurant franchise inventory management retains this principle. As a franchisor, your inventory management needs include making a detailed plan that other locations can follow with ease. For franchisees, franchise inventory management is about keeping up standards to match the parent company.

How to Organize Franchise Inventory Management

There are two sides to organizing restaurant franchise inventory management. Those are the software and support side, and the physical inventory management side. These days, inventory management isn’t all spreadsheets and physical counts. It’s made much easier with all manner of software support. Ultimately, you need both sides of the puzzle for the best inventory management.

Franchise Inventory Management Software Support 

These six types of restaurant franchise inventory management software cover all the bases of your business. When you think of inventory management, consider the entirety of the business. Inventory is about more than food and drinks, it’s about everything you need to keep moving forward. These categories cover all those areas of need.

6. Accounting Inventory Software

5. Inventory Counting Software

4. Order Management Software

3. Employee Management Software

2. Perpetual Inventory Software Support

1. Beverage Inventory Software

6 Key Components of Franchise Inventory Management

Overall, these six areas of the physical inventory of a restaurant franchise cover all your areas that see regular usage. From food and beverage inventory to cleaning supplies to items for your employees to be comfortable at work, there’s plenty to buy. Going through these categories to sort your lists will help check all your boxes.

6. Beverage Inventory

5. Cutlery and Dishes Inventory

4. Cleaning Supplies Inventory

3. Design Aspects Inventory

2. Employee Support Inventory

1. Ingredients Inventory

Inventory Management for Franchises: Management for Long-Term Success

Franchise inventory management makes it easier to work through the moving parts of a franchise restaurant business. Those parts include the all-encompassing work of restaurant franchise hiring for success.

"Key Takeaway: Restaurant franchise inventory management gives you a measure of control over the daily bustle of your restaurant business. When you can make your inventory work for you, you’ll have an easier time managing daily operations."

Restaurant Franchise Hiring: 15 Factors of Franchise Hiring

The process of restaurant franchise hiring involves work and preparation on both sides of the equation. For the owner or manager of the franchise location, the work comes in preparing for interviews with questions and getting the qualifications nailed down. 

For incoming hopeful employees, the work comes in the form of preparing to answer questions and measuring their experience. It mirrors the work of the employer. These three facets of restaurant franchise hiring cover all the bases. 

Planning for Restaurant Franchise Hiring

These five aspects of restaurant franchise hiring will help you know what to do throughout the entire process. From deciding what you’re hiring for in terms of skills to the specifics of interviewing, we’ve got you covered. 

5. Compile a skills list

4. Choose your job posting platforms

3. Find key staff first

2. Set up your interview format

1. Put together your employee benefits package

Restaurant Franchise Hiring Questions

These five questions are designed to give you insights into the character and experience of your job candidates. Of course, there are other questions that delve into similar areas of expertise. These are a good place to start. You can map other questions around these, especially ones that are specific to your business plan.

5. Tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult customer. How did you handle it?

4. What is your most memorable experience of providing customer service?

3. What are the most important skills you think of for this role?

2. Where do you see yourself in this team?

1. What questions do you have for me?

Getting Hired for Restaurant Franchises

As a candidate, these five steps to prepare will help you feel ready and present yourself as the best candidate. From examining what you bring to the table to preparing your questions, these steps will help you feel ready. They'll help you land the job!

5. Come prepared to ask questions

4. Consider all of your relevant experience

3. Bring your customer service skills to the interview

2. Have key references prepared in advance

1. Practice your answers to common restaurant interview questions

Hiring for Restaurant Franchises: Hire the Best, Be the Best 

Restaurant franchise hiring practices and techniques are the backbone of the success of restaurant franchises. When you hire the right people you’re setting your business up for long-term success and growth. On the other side, when you work for a franchise, it will help you grow with skills, experience, and great room for advancement. 

If you’re looking for inspiration for your hiring and the end goal of having a great restaurant franchise business, these best of the best restaurant franchises are a good place to start.

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Best Restaurant Franchise Businesses: 10 Inspirational Spots

The best restaurant franchise businesses are a source of inspiration and goal orientation for up-and-coming restaurant franchises. Read on to learn where you’ll likely find the best restaurant franchise businesses. There are some defining characteristics of locations that most attract and support these businesses. From there, we’ll look at some of the best of the best for inspiration.

Where are the Best Restaurant Franchise Businesses?

The best restaurant franchises share qualities of tourism, high levels of diversity, and more. The full list is vast, considering how many places can be highly suitable for franchise restaurants. These are some of the most common qualities:

  • Demographics that suit a variety of age ranges, to cover all the people who enjoy different types of restaurant franchises
  • A fair amount of people living there, to keep businesses booming
  • Accessible areas for the franchises, so they can always bring in customers
  • A healthy amount of competition, to keep the market moving
  • Synergy with other businesses in the area, to avoid rivalries as compared to healthy competition

These qualities showcase the best of the locations where you should open a franchise restaurant. If you’re looking to expand, keep these in mind in your business plan research.

10 Best Restaurant Franchise Businesses

These 10 places have taken over the world of restaurant franchises. They cover everything from breakfast to lunch to sit-down dinners. Overall, these spots showcase how varied successful restaurant franchises are.

10. Subway: Subway has made a name for itself as the sandwich place with consistent branding through the years.

9. Arby’s: Arby’s has been quietly but consistently staying in their lane of the fast food game, finding a loyal customer base.

8. Dairy Queen: Dairy Queen rides the line of dessert and general fast food, with a strategy of banking on their best menu items for constant exposure.

7. Buffalo Wild Wings: Buffalo Wild Wings leans into the sports bar and grill theme, reaching a unique customer base that keeps coming back for more.

6. Baskin-Robbins: Baskin-Robbins has been consistently winning in the ice cream theme of restaurant franchises for years, with consistent branding and product quality.

5. McDonald’s: McDonald’s rules the world as the most popular restaurant franchise, with consistent branding, quality of meals, and a similar atmosphere.

4. Burger King: Burger King is often framed as a competitor of McDonald’s, and that’s true, but they’ve been trucking on as their own successful business for ages.

3. Panera Bread: Panera Bread is a more recent ruler of the restaurant franchise world compared to others on this list, but it’s been gaining consistent popularity.

2. Denny’s: Denny’s is another long-standing addition to this list, with a consistent record of quality that brings back regulars year after year.

1. Taco Bell: Taco Bell is a key player in the world of fast food, with differences from other fast food spots that sets it apart.

Elements of the Best Restaurant Franchise Businesses

These best restaurant franchise businesses also share many specific traits, including:

  • Excellent branding and marketing, to increase brand recognition and get people visiting franchises all around, because they’re all similar
  • Coordination from the top management all the way down, to keep things running smoothly
  • Consistency in quality across the various franchise locations, so people always know they can expect something comforting and familiar

These three qualities are the key pillars of creating the best restaurant franchise businesses. When you focus on these goals, you’ll find that the rest of your business falls into place.

The Best Restaurant Franchises: Find Your Inspiration 

Learning from the best restaurant franchise businesses helps to set you up for success. When you learn the skills and tricks of these spots, you’ll be able to emulate them in your restaurant franchise. If you’re looking to join a restaurant franchise, the best restaurant franchises can be a source of inspiration and potential places to join the parent company. 

"Key Takeaway:  The thing about great franchises is they’re recognizable worldwide because of their branding and reach. Even if you haven’t eaten at these places, you’ve seen them around in person or in advertising."

How to Join a Restaurant Franchise: 8 Facts and Figures

Learning how to join a restaurant franchise gives you access to small business ownership and wide-ranging growth opportunities. We’ve broken down the process and benefits of joining a restaurant franchise into two categories. Those are the steps to join a restaurant franchise, and the benefits of joining after you’ve opened a franchise restaurant. Read on!

4 Steps to Join a Restaurant Franchise

These first four tangible steps of how to join a restaurant franchise are all about getting you set up with the franchise business. The initial work of starting a franchise restaurant focuses on taking the guidance of the franchisor and applying it to your business. These four steps will get you ready to open the doors of your restaurant franchise location.

4. Seek Out Information On Franchises You’re Interested In

Seek out information about the franchise options you have. You can check out specific local restaurants, or look into chains that may or may not already have a presence in your area.

3. Pay Your Startup Fees

Paying your startup fees is the exciting beginning of your franchise after you’ve found a franchise and gotten set up with the owner. These are a large chunk of your initial budget.

2. Sort Your Real Estate, From Costs to Location

Depending on the franchise you choose and your location, there may already be some choices made by the franchisor about your real estate. If not, it’s up to you to find the right spot. Check out your local commercial real estate to find the right place for your restaurant.

1. Implement the Steps of the Franchise Operations Manual

The franchisor of the business is responsible for providing you with a franchise operations manual. Once you’re set with a location and you’ve paid your startup fees, it’s time to get to work on organizing your franchise according to the manual.

4 Benefits of Joining a Restaurant Franchise

There are many benefits to joining a franchise. You get small business ownership benefits. You get to lean on an established brand. Read on to learn all the benefits.

4. Fast-Tracked Small Business Ownership

Owning a small business typically takes a great deal of time and effort. For a franchise restaurant, yes, you’ll need to put in effort, but the pace to get to an open door is much quicker.

3. Operations and Success Planning

When you can follow the map of a successful business, your business is more likely to find that same success. You get this benefit with a franchise restaurant because you can follow the plans of the franchisor.

2. Foundational Business Support

Foundational business support comes into play with the franchisor playing an active role in the business. While it is your business, they have an investment in your business and will be there to support you and the business plan.

1. Established Brand Recognition

There’s nothing better than having a business people know and love. Most places have to work very hard to reach this point of customer satisfaction. When you open a franchise location you can bank on the reputation of the original restaurant to bring people in the doors.

Joining a Restaurant Franchise: Be a Joiner to Lead Your Business 

Learning how to join a restaurant franchise is an established way of starting your own business with a built-in safety net of support. When you join a restaurant franchise, you’ll have lots of support and structure to follow and fit within as part of the restaurant franchise business world.

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Guide for Restaurant Franchise Businesses: Follow the Steps to Franchise Bliss

Now that you’ve read this restaurant franchise business guide you have the tools to create your restaurant franchise–or join a franchise! Whatever the case may be, you’re ready for whatever comes next. Come on back to this guide, or the BinWise site, any time you’re looking for additional support.

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