Five Emerging Franchising Trends of 2017
As time changes, so do the trends within the franchising world. Paying attention to how successful franchisors are building their brands is important if you’re looking to start or revitalize a franchise brand of your own. Here are a few trends we’ve noticed influencing the franchise industry:
1. Going Mobile
Catering to on-the-go consumers is trending within the snack and QSR franchising industry. Fast casual and QSR concepts have grown to be the most common in the food franchise industry as convenience grows in popularity. Food trucks and food carts allow businesses to go where their customers are on any given day. According to Franchise Direct, QSRs are predicted to have a yearly growth rate of 6.3 percent and generate $248 billion in annual sales as the mobile trend grows. Food trucks and food carts are popular among millennials and those who don’t want to spend time inside a restaurant even if they are not in a hurry.
2. Non-Traditional Real Estate
When developing new franchise locations, it has become increasingly important to look beyond traditional locations. Being able to identify new opportunities in real estate will have a significant impact on the amount of foot traffic your franchisees will receive. Franchises such as Wendy’s, Subway, IHOP and Dunkin’ Donuts have taken advantage of non-traditional options.
Rather than seeking out commercial real estate options, many franchisees are using their creativity to fit their business into non-traditional options. Airports, college campuses, sporting events, concerts, stadiums, hospitals, military bases, theme parks, government offices, convention centers, highway rest stops and turnpike plazas have gained attention in the franchising industry. Franchisees are interested in these locations because they offer lower start-up costs, lower rent, and lower monthly bills while bringing in a constant flow of customers.
Similar to going mobile, providing convenience can attract consumers to your franchisees. Businesses have begun to allow consumers to order and pay on their mobile device. When they get to the restaurant, they can pick up their food or beverage without any hassle of waiting in lines. According to Franchise Help, almost 40 percent of consumers indicate they will pay for their meals with their phone when the opportunity presents itself.
Other franchises have taken a different route by providing a vending machine storefront. Jamba Juice is a brand who took advantage of the vending trend. The brand has placed over 1,800 JambaGo machines in convenience stores, sporting arenas, universities, and schools after experiencing a decrease in sales in their traditional locations. While some individuals look for engagement, others are simply interested in the product. Vending machines are made for the latter.
4. Giving Back
Consumers still care about what the franchise stands for even if they are spending less time in storefronts. Many consumers support franchisees that are involved in the community. The public is appreciative of businesses that make generous donations or host helpful charity events. Earning a positive reputation through charitable events in surrounding neighborhoods can motivate new customers to check out a franchise location, as well as generate media coverage that can help local franchisees earn more recognition in their markets.
The International Franchise Association has been rewarding franchises for their charitable work with their Spirit of Franchising Award. Franchises are nominated for their innovative community leadership and charitable programs. This year will be the third annual year they recognize businesses for giving back.
5. Multigenerational Partnerships
More and more partnerships are evolving between Baby Boomer parents and their millennial children. According to Forbes, about 90 percent of all U.S. businesses are family-owned or controlled by a family. Keeping it in the family is not a new concept but it is inspired by new reasons. These parents are looking for new investments as they approach retirement and their children are starting their self-employed careers. The multi-generational pair can avoid clashing ideas by the business plan the franchisor has established. Entrepreneurship within the franchise industry provides a sense of stability for both parties.