Restaurant Operators, Franchisors and Franchisees – Benefits of an Inventory and Theoretical Program

Today’s post is written by recognized restaurant operations expert Fred Kirvan. I’ve had the privilege of working with Fred (almost 20 years) on various projects building scores of franchised Fast Casual restaurants. Today Fred discusses the importance of creating an accurate, detailed and evolving inventory and theoretical Cost of Goods program. Franchised as well and independent restaurant operations should take the time to learn how to build an use such a program. It will not only help you save money but more importantly will create a better system for overall results with or without your daily participation in the operation.
– Gary Occhiogrosso
Founder and Manager – Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC. #howtofranchise
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Performing regular inventories will serve to organize your stores as attempting to perform an inventory in a disorganized store will take twice the amount of time. As part of the integration of this program, we will teach managers and franchisees how to perform accurate and effective inventories.

Benefits of an Inventory and Theoretical Program

By Fred J. Kirvan
Founder FK Consulting
Cooperative Member – Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC

I deal with numerous franchisors and restaurant operators and still can’t understand why so many do not employ a good inventory system. In fact, the sad truth is some don’t even conduct a weekly or monthly inventory…Instead, they use purchases to somehow (and inaccurately) calculate their Cost of Goods (COG’s).
Today I will attempt to explain why it is critical for professional restaurant management that you have a detailed Inventory and Theoretical COG’s Program. A 3%-5% saving in COG’s can add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Remember, this saving goes directly to your bottom line, not to mention the increase in accountability of your operation whether you participate in the day to day operation or not.

Here are just a few benefits of using such a program

1. Provides the ability to conduct a monthly audit on your purchases when the program’s Master Inventory Sheet is updated each month by you or someone in your organization. These audits should be updated internally.

2. The process of developing this program serves to streamline your order guide by having to determine which products you will use moving forward as they are now tied to menu and recipes within the program. What that means is your order guide gets cleaned up by removing duplicate or unnecessary items.

3. In addition to a Theoretical Food Costing Program, it will also include Inventory Sheets for performing accurate physical inventories.

a. Performing regular inventories will serve to organize your stores as attempting to perform an inventory in a disorganized store will take twice the amount of time. As part of the integration of this program, we will teach managers and franchisees how to perform accurate and effective inventories.

b. By having theoretical and physical inventory in one program we can immediately identify down to the penny, the difference which should be accounted for discounts, employee meals, and waste. The unaccounted-for amount is then either over portioning, shrinkage or theft. Without this information your operating blind.

4. This process will streamline your Recipes, portioning must be solidified to achieve costing which serves to assist with the consistency of menu offering as well.

5. This process will streamline your Plate Builds, portioning must be solidified to achieve costing which serves to assist with the consistency of menu offering as well.

6. Once the program is completed:

a. You’ll immediately be able to identify higher and lower costed menu items.

*** i. With that information, you may elect to change the portioning and/or pricing to remedy the issue having an immediate impact on your costs.

*** ii. Additionally, repositioning lower cost items on the menu will also serve to immediately lower costs as well.

b. You’ll be able to see the immediate impact on your overall food cost as a percentage and dollar amount by changing costs from your distributor.

c. You’ll be able to see the immediate impact on your overall food cost as a percentage and dollar amount by changing portions on menu items.

d. You’ll be able to see the immediate impact on your overall food cost as a percentage and overall dollar amount by changing prices on your menu items.

Quite simply, no professionally managed restaurant group can or should operate without this level of information – certainly not having this level of detail on your menu offering will heavily impact your ability to recruit multi-unit franchisees in the future.

For more information on building and using an Inventory and Theoretical Program and for a FREE Consultation please contact [email protected] or call (917) 991-2465
Visit www.frangrow.com
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About the Author:
FRED KIRVAN
Founder FK Consulting

Fred started in the franchise business in 1991. Working with the founder of Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille he developed the operating systems and grew the company from a single unit into a multi state, 30 unit franchised brand. In 2008 he became President of Desert Moon remaining in that role until 2013

Mr. Kirvan was then recruited as the Chief Operating Officer for TRUFOODS, LLC. a 100 unit, multi brand franchise company that included Pudgie’s, Wall Street Deli, Ritter’s Frozen Custard and Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips.

Upon leaving TRUFOODS he became VP of Operations for Energy Kitchen; a NYC based fast casual chain which pioneered the “healthy alternative” space before leaving to launch an early learning & play center business “Moozie’s Play Cafe” with his wife.

Working in a variety of capacities in food and non food business’ Mr. Kirvan’s experience in systems development, writing manuals, brand connectivity, purchasing and construction project management have proven invaluable assets to start up & emerging brands.

Currently FK Consulting works to develop a full suite of Confidential Franchise Manuals which include Operations, Managing the Business, C&D and other critical Job Aids and Training Tools necessary to grow and enhance the process of devloping successful franchisees.

Small Franchise Systems Can Go International Too

He also signed a development agreement for 10 locations in Saudi Arabia. After his success in the Middle East, he decided to target Western Europe where he had already exhibited in France and Spain.

Small Franchise Systems Can Go International Too

By Ed Teixeira
Chief Operating Officer of Franchise Grade

Just because a franchisor operates a small or emerging franchise network, it shouldn’t exclude them from exporting their franchise brand to other countries, providing they meet certain basic requirements. In fact, there are large franchisors that based upon their performance and product are unqualified for international expansion. In some cases, a small franchise system may find the market in the U.S. so competitive, it might be in their interest to consider expanding into foreign markets. There are certain attributes that qualify a franchisor for international expansion but size alone shouldn’t be the determining factor.
Russo’s Restaurant Franchise

To gain some perspective on this subject, I spoke with Chef Anthony Russo, CEO of Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal Fired Italian Kitchen. Based in Houston, Texas Russo’s began franchising in 1998 and operates 30 franchise locations in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Hawaii.

I asked CEO Anthony Russo, how he came to take his franchise overseas. He explained that true New York style pizza wasn’t available in many U.S. markets and foreign countries. He told me how the two restaurant concepts have built their reputations on being undeniably authentic in every way. While still franchising in the United States, Anthony started his foray in other countries by engaging the services of a broker. After one year, without success from the broker, he decided to personally exhibit at a franchise show in the Middle East, where he presented his pizza. He received a great response and currently has seven franchise units in Dubai with two more under construction. He also signed a development agreement for 10 locations in Saudi Arabia. After his success in the Middle East, he decided to target Western Europe where he had already exhibited in France and Spain. Unlike other franchisors, he uses a development agreement franchise model in each country rather than a Master Franchise agreement. He feels this approach is less costly for the franchisee and he doesn’t risk giving up franchise rights to an entire country. As Anthony works on international expansion, he continues to franchise in the U.S.
I asked Anthony Russo what he considers the most important requirements for a smaller franchise to go International. His response: “Minimum 20 locations, a good system, strong corporate staff and sufficient working capital.”

Regardless of size, the following are important qualifying factors for international expansion:
• Suitable financial resources for an international project.
• The franchise has a successful operation in the U.S.
• Strong potential for expansion in other countries.
• Franchisor staff is available and capable of training, servicing and supporting a franchisee in another country.
• Franchisor leadership is engaged and committed to international expansion.
• The franchisor can provide the operational and marketing knowhow
• Operations and marketing manuals are current and up to date and marketing materials that can be adapted and translated for use in other countries.
• The franchisor acquires or has familiarity with target countries.

When a franchisor considers taking their franchise concept to other countries, an important factor to consider is whether their franchise is qualified to expand to other countries. One factor, that should not disqualify a franchisor, is its’ size. This doesn’t mean that any franchisor regardless of system size is qualified to go overseas, but rather that smaller franchisors shouldn’t rule out going international simply because of their size.

About the Author

Ed Teixeira is Chief Operating Officer of Franchise Grade and is the founder and President of FranchiseKnowHow, L.L.C. a franchise consulting firm. Ed has over 35 years’ experience as a Senior Executive for franchisors in the retail, healthcare, manufacturing and software industries and was also a franchisee. Ed has consulted clients to franchise their existing business and those seeking strategic solutions to operational, marketing and franchise relations issues. He has transacted international licensing in Europe, Asia and South America. Ed is the author of Franchising from the Inside Out and The Franchise Buyers Manual and has spoken at a number of venues including the International Franchise Expo and the Chinese Franchise Association in Shanghai, China. He has conducted seminars, written numerous articles on the subject of franchising and has been interviewed on TV and radio and has testified as an expert witness on franchising.

Strategies for Effective Performance Management

When establishing the goals for a position, you need to make sure your people leaders have what they need to clearly communicate and review the goals and expectations of the position to the employee. This should include job descriptions, policies, procedures, and performance program documentation.

Performance Management Avoidance

There is a plethora of reasons performance management programs are less than successful in meeting their intended outcomes. One significant factor contributing to this problem is the reluctance or hesitation of people leaders in conducting the performance review. Over time we have observed a variety of contributing variables that inhibit a people leader from engaging the employee to provide feedback.

Supervisors who:
• were never properly trained to deliver feedback
• are new and lack both the training and experience
• are unclear of what the expectations of the employee and position are
• inherently are uncomfortable with conflict
• have a personal relationship with the employee
• don’t want to upset the employee
• would rather do the work themselves compare to holding the employee accountable

As a business owner or leader, it is critical to understand these challenges of your people leaders and develop training programs, guidance documents, clear job descriptions and position goals to prepare these individuals for success. Give your people leaders the tools, resources and support to measure, manage, and improve the workforce effectively.

Five Key Factors to Effective Performance Management

Once your people leaders have been properly prepared to execute performance management in your organization, there are five key factors that lead to success for the workforce that we are going to review here.

1. Setting the Right Expectations from the Start

When establishing the goals for a position, you need to make sure your people leaders have what they need to clearly communicate and review the goals and expectations of the position to the employee. This should include job descriptions, policies, procedures, and performance program documentation.
Do not neglect other key components in this process that go well beyond paper. This includes your company culture (the actions and behavioral norms of the organization), the work environment, and the modeled behavior of the managers and leadership team.

2. Crucial Conversations

Recognize that discussions about performance are often challenging and require patience, trust, and mutual respect. Establishing a comfortable environment where honest feedback can take place and is received as a tool to support the employee’s success is easier said than done. Special attention should be given in the training and support of your people leaders to have crucial conversation with their staff to achieve success.

3. Listening as a Powerful Tool

Here is your chance to demonstrate diversity of thought and an inclusive behavior. If you do all the talking it is not a conversation, it is a lecture. Think about how you could possibly demonstrate care for the employee if you refuse to listen to their thoughts and ideas, as well as their feedback. You can be confident in knowing that you will learn something from the employee if you only take the time to listen. Empower the employee to provide you feedback, and this means teaching them how to share with you what they need from youin order to be successful in their respective roles.

4. Accountability is not Punitive

If the only time you provide an employee feedback is when they do something wrong, the entire system of performance management will be perceived as punitive. Instead, ensure your conversations are consistent and relay constructive feedback regarding when the employee if both meeting or falling short of established expectations. If you are building trust and engagement with the employee, you must be sincere in your communication about performance. Positive accountability leads to improved performance, professional development, the closure of skill gaps, and enhancement of capabilities. Even your best employee has room to develop and grow, and you should take advantage of your performance management program to support their continued success in this manner.

5. Recognizing the ROI of a Successful Performance Management Program

How does the business benefit from building and executing an effective performance management program? Of primary importance should be the validation that you as an employer are getting what you pay for. If employees are not meeting expectations, you are not getting what you pay them to do. That, alone, should motivate any employer to take performance management seriously. Other benefits for the business are increases productivity, maximizing workforce capabilities to deliver your products and services, improved trust and engagement with management, effective communication, professional development, and opportunity for succession planning. When executed well the organization is also informed as to the creation of effective training and development programs for the workforce.

Why is the Employee’s Perspective of
Performance Management is Important?

In creating a workforce in which communication is effective and mutually beneficial, resulting in trust and engagement, an employee must believe confidently that the business has their best interest at heart in achieving success.

When an employee doesn’t trust their supervisor cares about their success in the company, engagement breaks down as does communication and job performance. Employees are observing the behaviors of the management team all the time.

When they see actions not matching words, they lose faith in the leadership of the company and can become disengaged and they lose trust in those guiding the business.

If the employee is only receiving feedback when something is wrong, they will perceive the program as punitive and avoid sharing their ideas for the business. The environment will become disconnected and morale will deteriorate, leading to gossiping and lack of engagement.

Ensure your people leaders are trained effectively to engage their staff, build trust, and communicate all forms of feedback in a consistent and fair manner to establish positive relationships with the workforce.

Franchising Your Business? Don’t Let Dreams Of Success Influence The Process

A study of startup franchises was done by Franchise Grade.com www.franchisegrade.com over a ten- year period from 2007 to 2017. The franchises were divided into eight groups comprised of 0 to 100 locations, beginning with the year first franchised. The data showed that it took significant time for many startups to achieve even modest growth.

Franchising Your Business? Don’t Let Dreams Of Success Influence The Process

By Ed Teixeira, Co-operative member with Franchise Growth Solutions,LLC.

The dream of building and developing a successful franchise company continues to motivate independent business owners, many of whom operate small businesses. They are encouraged by numerous success stories about how small business owners grew their franchise into regional or national brands by utilizing the franchise model as a pathway to increased growth and financial success. However, many of these new franchisors may find their results falling short of expectations. The metrics pertaining to franchise startup performance, despite the hype from certain sources, reveals how challenging it can be to build a successful new franchise. Research reveals that a disproportionate percentage of businesses that launch a new franchise brand fail to achieve favorable growth during the first four years. Many cease franchising after failing to add a single franchisee, ultimately returning to operating their original business. One reason for this outcome is that some startup franchisors share the same expectations as a new franchisee. Namely, both see future franchise success as a smooth road, neglecting any potential potholes.

A study of startup franchises was done by Franchise Grade.com over a ten- year period from 2007 to 2017. The franchises were divided into eight groups comprised of 0 to 100 locations, beginning with the year first franchised. The data showed that, it took significant time for many startups to achieve even modest growth.

30.6 % of franchises that started four years before had zero to one franchise locations.
After ten years from launch 52.4% of the group had 50 or less franchise locations.
I’ve met with startup franchisors who had such unbridled optimism, they couldn’t foresee the smallest possibility of failure.

A Process to help arrive at a successful outcome

Build a strong foundation of franchising knowledge:

Business owners considering franchising their business should acquire a knowledge base on franchising from various sources including trade associations, Federal and State agencies, successful franchise executives as well as franchise attorneys and consultants. Don’t rely on a workshop at a franchise trade show to provide all you need to know. In the age of the Internet there are countless sources of information regarding franchising. A strong understanding of the franchise business sector, pertaining to independent and franchise brand competitors, is critical.
Focus on understanding what’s needed to develop a successful franchise system. Above all, don’t be overwhelmed by franchise success stories. Put ego aside. Unless you’re a franchise expert, listen to those who have a strong understanding of franchising. Think walking before running.
Develop a potential franchise market development study to identify the markets and regions that offer the best opportunity for success. Many startup franchisors will sell franchises throughout the country without ever considering the importance of brand building and franchisee support. This is a flawed strategy.
Avoid devoting the bulk of your franchise investment capital to building the franchise. Legal, consulting and marketing fees can add up very quickly. Some business owners exhaust the bulk of the project capital on building the new franchise with little left for franchise staff, marketing and other activities without knowing how costly and difficult it can be to sell that first franchise and more.
Whenever possible, make sure you have advice from people who have operated and developed a franchise system.
Just like the advice provided to prospective franchisees “Don’t allow yourself to be sold.” Rather be cautious, guarded and seek confirmation of important facts and representations.
Although, some new franchises get off to a fast start this is the exception not the rule. Be sure to temper your expectations and spend your franchise capital wisely.

Avoid these pitfalls of franchise startup failure:

Despite the advice of some franchise consultants, not every business is suitable for franchising and can’t be built into a successful franchise model. This may be because at the beginning of the franchise evaluation process there was a lack of objectivity when evaluating the business for a franchise.
Failing to utilize and follow the analysis and opinion of financial and legal advisors and request them to provide you unfiltered feedback.
The business owner and staff lack the required business skills to operate a franchise system. This situation can manifest itself in several ways including the inability to lead or manage a multi-unit organization. There is a lack of existing or available management staff that can operate the new franchise plus the existing business. Too many franchises start up as a two-three person operation.
The business owner doesn’t fully understand the implications of franchising a business and what it takes to be successful. Developing and launching a successful franchise program, requires the right ingredients. Unfortunately, a good deal of emphasis is placed upon building the franchise and not the launch and development of the system.
There is insufficient capital necessary to build, develop and operate a new franchise. A major reason why many startup franchisors fail, is a lack of capital needed to launch the new franchise brand. Just the cost of building a new franchise program including consulting and legal fees, can range from $100,000 to $200,000 or more.Many startup franchisors exhaust their franchise investment capital on the building stage and when it comes to staffing, marketing and supporting new franchises the franchisor lacks the required funds to execute the proper launch.
Business owners considering franchising their business need to be cautious, become franchise savvy and understand what it takes to build a successful franchise program.

There is a relationship between overly optimistic franchise system growth on the part of many new franchisors who lack the necessary business skills, capital and an attractive franchise investment model that appeals to consumers and franchise investors alike.
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About the Author:
Ed Teixeira is Chief Operating Officer of Franchise Grade www.franchisegrade.com and is the founder and President of FranchiseKnowHow, L.L.C. a franchise consulting firm. Ed has over 35 years’ experience as a Senior Executive for franchisors in the retail, healthcare, manufacturing and software industries and was also a franchisee. Ed has consulted clients to franchise their existing business and those seeking strategic solutions to operational, marketing and franchise relations issues. He has transacted international licensing in Europe, Asia and South America. Ed is the author of Franchising from the Inside Out and The Franchise Buyers Manual and has spoken at a number of venues including the International Franchise Expo and the Chinese Franchise Association in Shanghai, China. He has conducted seminars, written numerous articles on the subject of franchising and has been interviewed on TV and radio and has testified as an expert witness on franchising.

The opinions expressed are those of the writer.

Are you looking for Capital or Deal Flow in the franchising space??

This session will consist of a panel discussion covering how to position your franchise company for Private Equity investment and what PE firms look for in a Franchise company acquisition or strategic partnership.

Are you looking for Capital to build your Franchise Company???
– OR –
Is your Investment Firm looking for deal flow in the franchising space??

By Gary Occhiogrosso
Founder of Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC.

On Friday, June 1st, I will be moderating a panel at the IFE in NYC. It will be comprised of Franchisors and Private Equity associates. Please see below for details and please let me know if you’d like to attend the meeting. If so, contact me here or at [email protected] & I’ll send you a FREE PASS to the Expo.

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
+/- Private Equity Investing and Franchising
Room: 1B05
Moderated by: Gary Occhiogrosso, Managing Partner, Franchise Growth Solutions
Panelists: Roger Lipton, President, Lipton Financial Services; Grant Marcks, Vice President, Head of Business Development, Atlantic Street Capital; Kirk McLaren, MBA, CTP, CPA, Georgetown University
This session will consist of a panel discussion covering how to position your franchise company for Private Equity investment and what PE firms look for in a Franchise company acquisition or strategic partnership. In addition, there will be plenty of “networking” time for both Franchisors and Private Equity attendees to meet & network. This is a great opportunity for Investors and Franchisors to meet face to face and discuss current and future opportunities.
Sponsored by Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC. www.frangrow.com

FREE PASS To the International Franchise Expo in NYC
USE PROMO CODE FGS at: https://r1.events-registration.com/IFE2018/?source=FGS
YOU ARE INVITED BY
Franchise Growth Solutions
Booth #340
USE PROMO CODE FGS

This session will consist of a panel discussion covering how to position your franchise company for Private Equity investment and what PE firms look for in a Franchise company acquisition or strategic partnership. In addition, there will be plenty of “networking” time for both Franchisors and Private Equity attendees to meet & network. This is a great opportunity for Investors and Franchisors to meet face to face and discuss current and future opportunities.

#fastfood, #franchisor
#networking #businessdevelopment #financialservices, #franchiseconsulting #strategicpartnerships #ife #capitalization #dealflow #investments #acquisitions #privateequity #howto #franchising #pe #positioning #officers #universities, #moneyraise, #Franchisesales,#expansion, #capital, #NYC, #Sharktank,

“Franchising and Succession Planning”

The key is to create the best succession plan for your current circumstances. Revisiting, re-evaluating and if necessary, updating your plan should be done annually or whenever a major event takes place in your personal or the life of the business. Succession planning requires that you seek financial and legal advice from a trusted, professional and experienced planner. Your advisor can you help you assess the best route to take, create a plan and eventually assist in carrying it out. Your succession plan should also address a number of strategic business moves.

“Franchising and Succession Planning”
By Gary Occhiogrosso
Founder – Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC.

Succession planning is not a topic that many small business and franchise operators what to think about. In addition to it’s often times negative connotation, its priority can sometimes be lost in the everyday whirlwind or running a business. Nonetheless, the topic is critical not only to address the question of succession should you suddenly pass away, but what role it plays in your overall business exit strategy.

When you are creating a succession plan for a franchise business, you must make important decisions and answer a number of questions. For example; these decisions may involve selling your business, transferring it to a family member or shutting it down completely? Other considerations may include whether you want to a structure your plan so that it can be executed during your lifetime, or at your death? Keep in mind, as a franchisee your options may be limited to any guidelines or rules set forth in your franchise agreement.

The key is to create the best succession plan for your current circumstances. Revisiting, re-evaluating and if necessary, updating your plan should be done annually or whenever a major event takes place in your personal or the life of the business. Succession planning requires that you seek financial and legal advice from a trusted, professional and experienced planner. Your advisor can you help you assess the best route to take, create a plan and eventually assist in carrying it out. Your succession plan should also address a number of strategic business moves. In fact, it should layout guidelines for the possibility of a sale, merger or a capital raise. It is important to state that a franchise succession planning is more than just anticipating the owner’s desire to sell the business, death or retirement. You must also consider the fact that an owner can become disabled, have conflicts with other business partners or simply approach the end of the term of a franchise agreement.
For a franchised business a plan may include the current franchisee identifying a successor, where the franchisor must then approve the successor franchisee. You may be limited to who may purchase the business or if you are allowed to transfer the franchise to a family member that would otherwise not meet the franchisor’s criteria for acceptance as a franchisee.
As you can imagine there are numerous exceptions and issues that come into play. Hence, it is important to build a successful succession plan as part of your overall Business Strategy. Many franchisees and small business owners prefer to ignore succession planning but the consequences of no succession plan can destroy years of hard work and built up equity in your business. As I have often been quoted as saying, “in business, everything touches everything else”.
Tips for a Successful Succession Planning

Consider the family dynamics
Even though the succession planning may include the family members, the existing franchise owners may also need to objectify the future leadership. Start by finding out which family member possesses the right skills, experience, and knowledge.

Selecting the right advisors
Franchise owners should seek legal guidance from the team of legal advisers. This may include attorneys, accountants, business consultants and other trusted advisors.

Realistic decisions
Be realistic about the business value. It is important to have a third party place a value on the franchise to help understand the framework and parameters of the franchise transfer.
Major Issues to Consider When Succession Planning
Are there any restrictions (external or internal ) imposed by the franchisor.
A detailed and a comprehensive buy-sell agreement funded with adequate insurance to buy out the interest of the deceased partner
A well-defined management strategy that determines who is immediately available to undertake the management functions when uncertainty prevails

Reference
Griga, M. (2018). Succession planning Archives – Commercial Associates. [online] Commercial Associates. Available at: https://www.caaa.biz/tag/succession-planning/ [Accessed 1 Apr. 2018].

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About the Author:
Gary Occhiogrosso is the Managing Partner of Franchise Growth Solutions, which is a co-operative based franchise development and sales firm.
Their “Coach, Mentor & Grow Program” focuses on helping Franchisors with their franchise development, strategic planning, advertising, selling franchises and guiding franchisors in raising growth capital.

Gary started his career in franchising as a franchisee of Dunkin Donuts before launching the Ranch *1 Franchise program with its founders. He is the former President of TRUFOODS, LLC a 100+ unit, multi-brand franchisor and former COO of Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille. He advises several emerging and growing brands in the franchise industry

Gary was selected as “Top 25 Fast Casual Restaurant Executive in the USA” by Fast Casual Magazine and named “Top 50 CXO’s” by SmartCEO Magazine. In addition, Gary is an adjunct professor at New York University on the topics of Restaurant Concept & Business Development as well Franchising & Entrepreneurship. He has published numerous articles on the topics of Franchising, Entrepreneurship, Sales, and Marketing. He is also the host of the “Small Business & Franchise Show” broadcast over AM970 in New York City and the founder of FranchiseMoneyMaker.com To learn more visit: www.frangrow.com

SKINNYPIZZA OPENS IN GREENWICH CONNECTICUT – PIZZA THAT IS “BUILT WITH NO GUILT”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SKINNYPIZZA® OPENS IN GREENWICH CT
Healthier Take on NY Style Pizza Adds 5th Fast Casual Restaurant
Now, diners pay one price and build their own custom SkinnyPizza® from a large selection of fresh toppings -Built With No Guilt®.” — Joe Vetrano, FOUNDER AND CEO

NEW YORK – APRIL 11, 2018
www.skinnypizza.com
SkinnyPizza®, the New York City-based chain that offers a healthier take on traditional New York-style pizza, will open its first Connecticut location on April 11, 2018 at 30 Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich, Connecticut.SkinnyPizza®’s new location, the only pizza eatery on Greenwich Avenue, is making its home in a building first constructed in 1875 and is part of the Greenwich Avenue Historic District listed on the National Historic Register.

Skinny Pizza Franchisees and Greenwich residents, Dr. Denis and Eleni Bouboulis said, “We are really excited to be opening a SkinnyPizza in the Greenwich community. We fell in love with the SkinnyPizza® concept and believe it’s a great addition to Greenwich Avenue.”

Bouboulis adds, “SkinnyPizza® flavor-packed, thin crust pies are lower in calories and made using all natural, potassium bromate free flour.” SkinnyPizza® also offers a menu of pastas, salads and soups, all with a healthier take on traditional Italian favorites.

SkinnyPizza® was founded in 2009 by Long Island veteran restaurateur and CEO, Joseph Vetrano. He describes SkinnyPizza® as “real pizza, real thin.” From his experience working in his family’s pizza and pasta restaurant, Vetrano saw the trend to cut carbohydrates and calories in classic food stuffs – and offer a level of interactivity to the process. Now, diners pay one price and build their own custom SkinnyPizza® from a large selection of fresh toppings. Vetrano calls his custom SkinnyPizza® pies, “Built With No Guilt®.” Vetrano continued by announcing that SkinnyPizza® plans to roll out a new Cauliflower Pizza Crust”

SkinnyPizza® will cater to Connecticut consumers who, like ninety-three percent (93%) of Americans, enjoy pizza monthly, and the two-thirds who opt for a thin crust pizza variety, according to Statistic Brain in 2018. The SkinnyPizza® menu was designed for those that are health- and environmentally conscious, with pizza sauce made from organic tomatoes and pasta dishes made from organic, GMO-free, egg-free, cholesterol-free, low-sodium, high-fiber pasta. The location also offers a line of soups that include vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free options.

The Greenwich Avenue SkinnyPizza® location will open in Connecticut on April 11, 2018 with a ribbon cutting at 10amET. Local politicians and members of the Chamber of Commerce will be on hand to conduct the ceremony. To celebrate the Grand Opening, SkinnyPizza® will offer one dollar ($1.00) priced pizzas from 11:30am to 2:30pm to 500 customers who present a redeemable ticket on-site. Street teams locally will distribute the tickets to Greenwich Avenue shoppers and merchants in the days leading up to the Grand Opening. SkinnyPizza® will also provide the Greenwich Chamber with pizza samples at their Business Showcase on April 26, 2018.Mr. Occhiogrosso has over 30 years’ experience in franchise development and was integral to the success of nationally recognized brands including Ranch *1, Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille, and brands found under the multi-brand franchisor, TRUFOODS, LLC.

SkinnyPizza®’s Greenwich location joins other franchises & company owned restaurants in New York City, Long Island, Dallas, Pennsylvania and Saudi Arabia. Vetrano has teamed with franchiseindustry expert, Gary Occhiogrosso, founder of Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC, to expand the turnkey SkinnyPizza® fast casual QSR (quick service restaurant) business model from five (5) locations in 2018 to fifteen (15) locations by 2020. SkinnyPizza® franchises are currently available in NY, CT, PA, NJ and along the eastern seaboard.

SkinnyPizza shoot @ 225 Liberty Street Locacion, NYC

ABOUT SKINNY PIZZA®
SKINNYPIZZA® is the first fast casual pizza concept emerging from the New York market; the home of some of the greatest tasting pizza in the country. SKINNYPIZZA® has transformed pizza, one of America’s most popular food options, into a healthy food choice that raises the consciousness of nutrition and health. SKINNYPIZZA® is categorized as fast casual dining that offers custom made pizza, organic salads, soups and pastas. SKINNYPIZZA®’s diverse menu prides itself on using fine ingredients with no preservatives or additives. The ingredients used are delivered fresh daily from local markets. The tomatoes are 100% organic and the meats are hormone and nitrate free. The pizza crust is made using all natural flour, potassium bromate free. The guests choose from original white crust, wheat or gluten-free and can build their own custom pizza according to their dietary preference. All-natural Stubborn sodas are among the beverage selections available.

ABOUT FRANCHISE GROWTH SOLUTIONS, LLC
Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC is a strategic planning, franchise development and sales organization offering franchise sales, brand development, strategic planning, real estate and architectural development, vendor management, lead generation, and advertising, marketing and PR including social media. Franchise Growth Solutions’ proven “Coach, Mentor & Grow®” system puts both franchisors and potential franchisees on the fast track to growth. Membership in Franchise Growth Solutions’ client portfolio is by recommendation only.

For more information on SKINNYPIZZA® fast casual restaurant concept, please visit skinnypizza.com. For information on owning your own SKINNYPIZZA® franchise, please contact Gary Occhiogrosso at 917.991.2465 or via email at gary(at)skinnypizza(dot)com

CONTACT: Gary Occhiogrosso
Franchise Growth Solutions
917.991.2465
gary.skinnypizza.com
www.frangrow.com

Video Education Series-Onboarding New Franchisees

Video Education Series-Onboarding New Franchisees
By Gary Occhiogrosso – Managing Partner – FRANCHISE GROWTH SOLUTIONS,LLC.

Enjoy the first edition in our franchisor education video series. This session covered the topic of “Onboarding” new franchisees. Our panel of experts share tips for successful growth of your franchise company. Our panenist: Robyn Elman, Paul Samson, Jason Mazzerone, Ed Teixeira.
Hosted at Harold Kestenbaum’s Franchise Forum in #Melville, NY
The full 1 hour session is available by contacting [email protected]

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About the Moderator and Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC.

Mr. Occhiogrosso’s involvement in business development & franchising began in 1984 when he left a decade-long career in NY radio to become a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee. In addition to operating a successful retail shop, Mr. Occhiogrosso created a wholesale baked goods division within the company which supplied donuts and other fresh-baked goods to over 80 points of sale while concurrently serving on Dunkin’ Donuts’ franchisee advisory council and advertising committee. Mr. Occhiogrosso continued his involvement in franchising in 1989 by opening a gourmet confection and gift basket shop, Ralph’s Nut Pound. As a advisor to the franchisor, the company developed 53 additional units.

He followed up its success in 1991 with GPM Consulting Inc., a New York-based Sales and Brand Development firm which successfully developed several national franchise brands including Blimpie Salad and Subs, Treasure Cache, Teamworks and Ranch*1.

Working with the founders of Ranch *1 Franchise Corp., he grew the brand into a 60 unit restaurant chain with commitments for an additional 200 units. Gary and the original Ranch*1 management team created the operating system and strategic development plan for the company. In addition he planned and executed Ranch*1 advertising and brand development strategy which included the “Howard Stern” radio show and NY TV campaigns.

Mr. Occhiogrosso moved on to become President & COO of Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille a Fresh Mexican fast casual concept where lead the concept from a 4 unit start-up to 23 unit regional chain. He elected to leave that role in early 2009 to become the President of the up-and-coming 100+ unit Multi Brand franchisor TRUFOODS, LLC.

He is the founder of the educational franchise website: Franchise Money Maker.com and Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC.Mr. Occhiogrosso maintains memberships in the International Franchise Association.

FRANCHISE GROWTH SOLUTIONS, LLC. is a strategic planning, franchise development & sales organization. Admission into our membership client portfolio is by recommendation only. Our service is offered only to those recommended & qualified franchisors committed to growing their brand. Our “Coach, Mentor & Grow”® program helps put your system on a fast growth track.

Franchise Growth Solutions. LLC. can connect you to and expertly deliver all franchise disciplines from:

Franchise Sales * Concept & Brand Development * Operations Manuals

Strategic Planning * Real Estate Selection * Lead Genration

Social Media, Advertising & Marketing * UFDD Development * Public Relations

Architectural Design & Construction * Vendor Negotiation & Product Purchasing

Developing your “Elevator Pitch” * Media Coaching

Since we limit our client list, you must be recommended into our Member Client Portfolio. Please contact us to discuss a free evaluation interview. We will have an open, honest discussion regarding your brand, its growth potential and whether we mutually agree if Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC is a good fit. www.frangrow.com

Why Franchisees Go “Rogue” and What to Do About It

Among the best ways to keep franchisees from changing or competing with your brand is to have an ever-evolving brand that creates financial opportunity for the franchisee. Another great technique is to set up “Franchise Advisory Council” so franchisees are made to feel that their opinions, input and feedback matters to the success of not only their individual unit but also the brand as a whole.

Why Franchisees Go “Rogue” and What to Do About It How to prevent a problem from occurring in the first place.
By Gary Occhiogrosso – Managing Partner, Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC.

One of the problems facing franchisors is when franchisees choose to go “rogue” by changing how they run the system or they take proprietary knowledge to compete with the brand. There are famous cases where slight changes to a name, but similar advertising and business models landed franchisees in court. One that stands out is Mister Softee, Inc. vs. Tsirkos in 2014. The franchisee copied the ice cream brand’s trucks and even operated under the name Master Softee. Needless to say the “real” Mr. Softee won out in that case. However, time, energy and money were spent on something that may have been avoided in the first. Why do franchisees make these decisions? Sometime its just in their nature or personality to take a position of “knowing better or more” than the franchisor. Although many times it’s because the franchisor is not living up to the franchisee’s expectations or worse yet, offing little in the way of field support, innovation and/or ongoing education designed to help the franchisee drive sales into their establishment. As a result a franchisee may sometimes feel abandoned and then goes into “Survival Mode”.

Ways to Keep Franchisees from Competing with Franchisors

Among the best ways to keep franchisees from changing or competing with your brand is to have an ever-evolving brand that creates financial opportunity for the franchisee. Another great technique is to set up Franchise Advisory Council so franchisees are made to feel that their opinions, input and feedback matters to the success of not only their individual unit but also the brand as a whole.

Of course how the franchisor communicates with its franchisees is a key component to success. It’s not enough to issue reports and statements concerning policy changes and procedural updates. You’ve got to meet face-to-face and make the franchisees part of the discussion. Field visits are integral in developing strong report with the individual franchise owner. An open, transparent approach to issues facing franchisee can make all the difference in the world. This approach will surely help when a franchisee is contemplating reinventing the wheel or leaving the system all together.
When issues of operational compliance do come into play (and they will eventually) you’ll need to demonstrate why following the system is the way to success. Franchisors should be confident they are making legitimate requests of the franchisee by making sure all the franchisor’s processes have been fully tested and proven to be successful. If this is the case, then in my experience, even the most difficult franchisees will have reason to follow suit although they may be reluctant to do so at first. It’s also import to keep an open mind and listen to the franchisee. When franchisees feel they are “heard” they are far less likely to go rogue. Critiquing does a lot but encouragement does a lot more. Creating a culture of open communication will go miles in preventing rogue franchisees.

What Protections are in Place for Franchisors?
Spending time to coach, counsel, correct and encourage franchisees does not mean the franchisor should ever give up their rights and remedies under their franchise agreement. And when a rouge franchisee is damaging the brand or the system or both and if a resolution cannot be reached then unfortunately the only choice is to terminate the relationship. Your franchise agreement should clearly state the terms and conditions for termination. That said, following one basic principle of communication and transparency should prevent this from happening. However if a franchisee does go rogue, then swift and decisive action must be taken to protect your intellectual property and your other franchisees.
Avoiding rogue franchisees requires skill, work and constant improvement on the part of the franchisor. The lines of communication between franchisors and franchisees must remain open and clear. Setting expectations early in the approval process and onboarding is key. Expectations must be spelled out clearly from the beginning. All these small steps, when combined and practiced regularly will help to prevent rogue franchisees.
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About the Author:
Gary Occhiogrosso is the Managing Partner of Franchise Growth Solutions, which is a co-operative based franchise development and sales firm.
Their “Coach, Mentor & Grow Program” focuses on helping Franchisors with their franchise development, strategic planning, advertising, selling franchises and guiding franchisors in raising growth capital.
Gary started his career in franchising as a franchisee of Dunkin Donuts before launching the Ranch *1 Franchise program with it’s founders. He is the former President of TRUFOODS, LLC a 100+ unit, multi brand franchisor and former COO of Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille. He advises several emerging and growth brands in the franchise industry
Gary was selected as “Top 25 Fast Casual Restaurant Executive in the USA” by Fast Casual Magazine and named “Top 50 CXO’s” by SmartCEO Magazine. In addition Gary is an adjunct instructor at New York University on the topics of Restaurant Concept & Business Development as well Entrepreneurship. He has published numerous articles on the topics of Franchising, Entrepreneurship, Sales and Marketing. He is also the host of the “Small Business & Franchise Show” broadcast over AM970 in New York City and the founder of FranchiseMoneyMaker.com

Getting New Franchisees Off to a Great Start

This approach helps franchisees adapt as the brand grows and systems evolve. Preparing franchisees to deal with the issues that may come up along the way is key to building a successful franchise system. Ultimately solid onboarding and training should expose the franchisee to detailed information so the franchisee knows what the company expects and they can live up to the “Brand Mission”.

Getting New Franchisees Off to a Great Start
Prepare them for business ownership through the onboarding and training process.

By Gary Occhiogrosso – Managing Partner of Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC.

When training new franchisees, there is a term that is used regularly but has received a lot of criticism “Onboarding” Many Franchisors believe that the “onboarding process” begins once a candidate is awarded the franchise. I coach this process is a different way. At Franchise Growth Solutions we know that the onboarding process begins from the very first interaction the company has with the franchise prospect.

That said, let’s take a step back and first explore the goal of proper onboarding. In my opinion, the main focus is to create value for the brand in the minds eye of the candidate. Without value and respect for the brand, all the training in the world will not produce a franchisee capable of living up to his or her full potential as the operating franchisee.

Although franchisee training is often seen as a means to an end because of how quick paced it is and how much information is packed into training sessions, in and of itself training is certainly not the sole answer in producing quality franchisees. Through the years I’ve trained franchisors to understand that in order to successfully orientate a new franchisee; Mission, Culture and Core Values of the brand must be communicated to and embraced by the franchisee. Here again I cannot emphasize enough that franchisors must start building value and respect for the brand during the recruitment phase. It is during that time, potential franchisees and the franchisor should engage in meaningful, mindful conversation so that the franchise candidate understands what is expected of them and the Franchisor should understand what the franchisee expects in return. It’s a simple (but not easy) process that can lead to rejecting a candidate and losing the deal. However, trust me when I say, losing that candidate is a far better outcome than bringing the wrong franchisee into the system only to wreak havoc, compromise brand standards and lobby additional, otherwise satisfied franchisees into their negative mindset.

Successful onboarding and training requires transparency, consistency and follow up.

The likelihood of a franchise owner “going rogue” when a company is transparent in its expectations lessens. Franchisees know what is expected of them. In addition, the Franchisor’s support personnel should be out in the field in front of the franchise owner, coaching, counseling and working with the franchisee to achieve optimum results, financially as well as making sure the business is providing options consistent with the franchisees lifestyle goals. Supplying ongoing training that places resources within reach of the franchisee is not only vital at the onboarding phase but throughout the lifecycle of the business relationship. This approach helps franchisees adapt as the brand grows and systems evolve. Preparing franchisees to deal with the issues that may come up along the way is key to building a successful franchise system. Ultimately solid onboarding and training should expose the franchisee to detailed information so the franchisee knows what the company expects and they can live up to the “Brand Mission”. Initial and ongoing training should support the idea that following the system is the most important aspect leading to the success of the business. This approach puts franchisees in a better position to make sound decisions concerning the business with little outside assistance and with little room to “reinvent the wheel”.

Franchisees need to be held accountable for holding the same high standards as the franchisor. In order to do this, your company culture, value proposition, training program, operations manuals, job aids and other franchisor supplied tools should be carefully developed, tested, reviewed and updated as necessary. The onboarding process and training program is never “done”. As the franchisor it is your job to insure that franchisees have access to the tools and support needed to grow and thrive.
Get new franchisees off to a great start through a sound onboarding process that starts at the first hello. Recruit and vet your candidates thoroughly, be certain they are a fit for you brand culture and buy into your mission statement. Provide them with the tools and support needed to navigate system changes as they occur. Give the franchisees the foundation they need to grow, develop, and succeed as business owners. An excellent franchise system, built this way from the start makes it easier for franchisees to overcome challenging situations as they occur, and they will occur.
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About the Author:

Gary Occhiogrosso is the Managing Partner of Franchise Growth Solutions, which is a co-operative based franchise development and sales firm. http://www.frangrow.com

Their “Coach, Mentor & Grow Program” focuses on helping Franchisors with their franchise development, strategic planning, advertising, selling franchises and guiding franchisors in raising growth capital.

Gary started his career in franchising as a franchisee of Dunkin Donuts before launching the Ranch *1 Franchise program with it’s founders. He is the former President of TRUFOODS, LLC a 100+ unit, multi brand franchisor and former COO of Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille. He advises several emerging and growth brands in the franchise industry.

Gary was selected as “Top 25 Fast Casual Restaurant Executive in the USA” by Fast Casual Magazine and named “Top 50 CXO’s” by SmartCEO Magazine. In addition Gary is an adjunct instructor at New York University teaching Restaurant Concept & Business Development as well Entrepreneurship. He has published numerous articles on the topics of Franchising, Entrepreneurship, Sales and Marketing. He is also the host of the “Small Business & Franchise Show” broadcast over AM970 in New York City and the founder of http://www.FranchiseMoneyMaker.com