With A Focus On Healthy, High Quality Menus, Fast Casual Franchised Restaurants Sprint In A New Direction

As enticing as these food offerings may be to our palate Consumers may find themselves paying almost double what they would at a traditional fast food location. Locally sourced, organic and sustainable food suppliers still see this segment as small compared to conventionally processed ingredients, so access and availability remain a challenge.


Photo by Jade Wulfraat on Unsplash

Quick With A Focus On Healthy, High Quality Menus, Fast Casual Franchised Restaurants Sprint In A New Direction
By Gary Occhiogrosso

As recently as 15 years ago the idea that you could grab a nutritious, healthy and still tasty meal from a drive-thru or fast food restaurant was unheard of. It wasn’t until the post-Y2K era that fast food customers started to become aware with what they ate. As the Millennial generation started spending money on food outside the home the industry has been “forced” to move toward healthier, high-quality menu alternatives. Once begun this movement toward fresher, greener menus have continued to accelerate at an ever increased pace.

Does Better for You equal Better for Business

Consumer attitudes regarding the link between diet and health have shifted. Data shows that Millennials and aging baby boomers are taking a more proactive approach to healthy eating. Many have adjusted their dietary choices to promote better health. The demographic with higher levels of education and more disposable income is pushing this trend forward. These health-conscious consumers take the time to research before they dine out. In addition, they seem more willing to pay higher prices to ensure that what goes into their bodies is nutritious.

With this new consumer focus on nutrition, sustainability and ‘clean food’ comes a revolution in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry. According to a recent article in Business Leader, 83% of Americans believe that fast food from traditional Quick Service franchises is not healthy. This has created the rise of the ‘better for you’ brands that now compete with fast food quick-service McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC. For example, healthy quick service brands such as Dig Inn, By Chloe, and Sweetgreen are creating their own niche by specializing in organic, locally sourced meal options that contain more vegetables and fewer calories than traditional burgers and fries.

Quality comes with a Cost
As enticing as these food offerings may be to our palate Consumers may find themselves paying almost double what they would at a traditional fast food location. Locally sourced, organic and sustainable food suppliers still see this segment as small compared to conventionally processed ingredients, so access and availability remain a challenge. As a result, many healthier focused chains are developing altogether new selling propositions by positioning “value with reasons” as a way to compete with the traditional fast food chains of the industry. These “better for you” concepts post nutritional information, health benefits as well as the sourcing and methods used in their products. The emphasis is on local, clean, humanely raised and organic.

One such concept is Salad and Go. Branded as a healthy drive-thru option, Salad and Go offers large salads, smoothies, soup and breakfast with an “Always Organic” list of ingredients. In addition, the brand highlights their competitive prices. Salad and Go currently has in 10 locations in the U.S. with plans to nearly double that number by the end of 2018.

Another U.S. chain, LocoL, offers food made only from local ingredients. Founders & Chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson claim “We at LocoL want to live in a world where eating healthy doesn’t take a lot of money or time.”

New quick service food concepts like these are branding their menu items as healthy, high quality alternatives to the sugar, fat, and salt-heavy meals provided by traditional fast food franchises. Recently developed QSR concepts give consumers a choice. Whether it’s organic, farm to table, all natural, gluten free, vegan or humanely raised, the race to innovate and meet this rising consumer trend has never been more of a priority in the Quick Service Restaurant segment than it is today.

Forcing Innovation in Traditional Brands
As new brands continue to make their mark in the minds of U.S. consumers, established brands are attempting to keep up with changing demands. Fast food chains such as Taco Bell have promised to use cage-free eggs and reduce artificial ingredients, and McDonald’s has started selling antibiotic free chicken, and now cooks many of its items to order and offers more salads. It is yet to be seen if that alone will be enough to keep the long-standing leaders in the QSR industry on top.

Serving up Quality, Quickly and Consistently
These QSR pioneers are faced with the challenge of living up to the expectations of an informed, proactive consumer. These newer concepts must not only live up to the marketing message but also ensure that their operations can provide consistent, quality products in every location. Their business models must be replicable and easily managed. This may also prove to be a challenge when food is being prepared to order using fresh locally sourced ingredients instead of processed or precooked menu items. If they can accomplish these tasks, the potential for growth is unlimited.

Regardless of the challenges facing these new “better for you brands”, the move away from traditional fast food to healthier quick service food options is unstoppable. As a means to address consumer concerns, in late 2017, the FDA announced new regulations requiring large restaurant chains to add calorie counts to their menus by 2018. This, combined with health-conscious consumers, will continue to push these new QSR chains to sharpen their competitive edge by offering a wider variety of great tasting, healthier options. As I see it, the success of the “better for you” fast casual concepts will depend on their adaptability to trends, consistency in product, as well as the price point and expense management.
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About the Author:
Gary Occhiogrosso is the Founder 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 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 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 was also the host of the “Small Business & Franchise Show” broadcast over AM970 in New York City and the founder of FranchiseMoneyMaker.com

Building a Trusting, Engaged, and Accountable Workplace Culture

“What is the culture of this company” to a front-line staff member, the receptionist, the janitor, or anyone in between and you will receive a different answer.

Company Culture – What does this Mean?
By Jennifer Cook, Chief Operations Officer
http://www.symbiancehr.net/

When working with our clients we often have the leadership team explain to us what the culture of the organization is. Sometimes it is comprehensive, other times the description is brief, and still other times the culture sounds oddly like a list of core values. Unfortunately, for most organizations, if you ask the same question “What is the culture of this company” to a front-line staff member, the receptionist, the janitor, or anyone in between and you will receive a different answer. It is a discouraging fact, however, it should also be a wake-up call for leadership to consider their efforts to reinforce the desired culture and message the cultural goals so it permeates across the enterprise.

Remember, culture is simple terms can be defined as the actions and behavioral norms of the organization. Therefore, regardless of what you think the culture is, or what you desire it to be, if you do not influence and impact the behaviors of the workforce to model and demonstrate the desired culture it will not exist.
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It is important that all employees within your business work together and share accountability. Employees who work together towards the same overall goal to help their workplace to become more accountable, in turn, make the business more productive and successful.

The Impact of Failed Accountability
By Laura Goad, HCM Consultant

Great leaders know that positive accountability creates a culture of trust, engagement, and excellent performance. The impact of failed accountability can be detrimental to your business. When employees do not have a system of accountability in place, things can quickly fall apart. Lack of accountability causes a culture problem within your business. When no one trusts each other at work to do what they are assigned to do, employee morale suffers. Employees feel like they can’t trust their supervisor. They feel undervalued, and when employees aren’t feeling valued, they are less likely to be engaged with their work.

Lack of accountability in the workplace often stems from ineffective leadership practices. To achieve the goals of your business, it is important that all employees within your business work together and share accountability. Employees who work together towards the same overall goal to help their workplace to become more accountable, in turn, make the business more productive and successful.

Change your workplace culture so that accountability is included. Lead by example. Make sure employees know that they’ll be accountable for their work by creating guidelines about how you’ll monitor their productivity. Set weekly goals and deliverables, which will in return motivate employees to complete takes on a regular basis. Finally, praise them when you find them doing things right.
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About SymbianceHR
The seasoned professionals that make up the SymbianceHR Team bring to the table over 40 years of hands on experience in all areas of Human Capital Management.

Small and medium sized business seem to be placed in an area where they find themselves either too small to have an in-house Human Resources department (HR) or not large enough to have the resources necessary to keep the in-house HR staff up to date on recent modifications, additions and new policies.

In essence, a large portion of the small to medium sized business are operating out of compliance, or in an ineffective, and costly manner. Much in part to the fact that they have either not exercised discipline in the area of Human Resources or have mistakenly seen it as an expenditure entry as opposed to a cost reduction source.

With an abundance of resources, our Team stands ready when our clients, or potential clients, need us most. Whether that is for covering questions or concerns pertaining to: hiring, firing, benefits, employee retention, compliance, or lack thereof, regulatory updates, and recordkeeping or a quick study of current policies and procedures for conformity.

One of a business’s greatest assets is their employee base (Human Capital), however with that great asset comes, at times, great challenges. We work with our clients to guide them through the challenging times as well as the not-so-challenging, assisting them toward accomplishing their goals, while often saving them time, money and stress in the process.
http://www.symbiancehr.net/
SymbianceHR – Your Challenges. Our Solutions. A Successful Relationship.

Connecticut-Based Riko’s Thin Crust Pizza To Capitalize On Fast-Casual Food Boom With National Franchise Opportunities

Riko’s Thin Crust Pizza has teamed with franchise industry expert, Gary Occhiogrosso,founder of Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC, to expand the turnkey Riko’s Thin Crust Pizza casual QSR (quick service restaurant) business model from 3 locations in 2018 to 15 locations by 2020. Riko’s Thin Crust Pizza franchises are currently available in CT, RI, NY, NJ, and along the Eastern Seaboard.

Connecticut-Based Riko’s Thin Crust Pizza To Capitalize On Fast-Casual Food Boom With National Franchise Opportunities

Riko's Pizza of Connecticut

Stamford, CT: Riko’s, the Connecticut-based chain that has defined thin crust pizza in Fairfield County, moves to franchise the regional Riko’s brand nationally, according to founders, Rico Imbrogno and Luigi Cardillo.

A CONNECTICUT FAVORITE

“Pizza is America’s #1 comfort food*,” contends co-founder and brand namesake, Rico Imbrogno. “And, perfect pizza begins with the perfect crust. Not surprisingly, two-thirds of consumers prefer a thin crust pizza.” Business Insider concurs, naming the $45 billion pizza industry the fastest growing segment of all fast-casual restaurants with thin crust and new toppings leading the trends.

A staple for pizza lovers in Fairfield County, CT, Riko’s began with a single location in 2011 on Selleck Street in Stamford. That establishment, famed for its thin crust, hot oil pizza, quickly expanded from a takeout and delivery eatery into an 80-seat full-service dining spot. A second location with a full bar area was added in 2016 on Hope Street in Stamford. A third Fairfield County “Express” version opened in 2018 on Connecticut Avenue in Norwalk, CT. Each offers a complete menu of high-quality thin crust pizzas, salads, chicken wings.

FRANCHISES NOW AVAILABLE

Riko’s Thin Crust Pizza has teamed with franchise industry expert, Gary Occhiogrosso, founder of Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC, to expand the turnkey Riko’s Thin Crust Pizza casual QSR (quick service restaurant) business model from 3 locations in 2018 to 15 locations by 2020. Riko’s Thin Crust Pizza franchises are currently available in CT, RI, NY, NJ, and along the Eastern Seaboard.

Mr. Occhiogrosso has over 30 years experience in franchise development and sales and was integral to the success of nationally recognized brands including Ranch *1, Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille, and those found under the multi-brand franchisor, TRUFOODS, LLC.

ABOUT RIKO’S THIN CRUST PIZZA

Riko’s Thin Crust Pizza is a chain of “new generation” pizzerias located in Fairfield County, CT. using a recipe handed down for generations; Riko’s offers authentic Italian fare using the highest quality and fresh ingredients. Known for its thin crust pizza, Riko’s also offers a full complement of salads, wings and other menu items.

ABOUT FRANCHISE GROWTH SOLUTIONS, LLC

Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC is a strategic planning, franchise development and sales organization offering franchise sales, brand concept and development, strategic planning, real estate and architectural development, vendor management, lead generation, 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. Offer by prospectus only.

*Source: Harris Poll 2017, 2018

The franchise sales information contained herein does not constitute an offer to sell a franchise. The offer of a franchise can only be made through the delivery of a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD.) Certain states require that we register the FDD in those states. Such registration, or exemption, does not constitute approval of the information in the FDD by that state agency. The communications on this web site are not directed by us to the residents of any of those states. Moreover, we will not offer or sell franchises in those states unless we have registered the FDD (or obtained an applicable exemption from registration) and delivered the FDD to the prospective franchisee in compliance with applicable law.

Contact:
Gary Occhiogrosso
Franchise Growth Solutions
917-991-2465
[email protected]

PEOPLE HAVE TO EAT, DON’T THEY? – WHAT’S HAPPENING ON MAIN STREET?

We have pointed out many times that the restaurant industry is a great leading indicator for the economy as a whole. If that theory prevails, there is no boom ahead.

RESTAURANT INDUSTRY – PEOPLE HAVE TO EAT, DON’T THEY? – WHAT’S HAPPENING ON MAIN STREET?
By Roger Lipton

While the restaurant stocks mark time this summer, at historically high valuations, it is a good time to consider the major trends within the group.

There has been little specific news, since quarterly earnings reports for the period ending 6/30 or 7/31 have yet to be released. However, we can surmise what’s happening in a general sense, and consider whether there have been any major “inflection points” that we can take advantage of. In short, though the general economy, as reported by our “business friendly” administration, is picking up steam, there is little in the hospitality sector, including restaurants and retail, that indicates there is any growing momentum.

To be sure, there is more comfort and confidence by consumers as well as restaurant operators than there was a few years ago and especially back in ’08 and ’09. The public is more secure in their employment, though wage increases are still lagging the numerical employment statistics. The general economy may be on the verge of 4% real GDP growth in Q2, but same store sales and traffic are showing very modest progress.

According to Miller Pulse, Fast Food (QSR) same store sales were up 2.2% in June, the same as May, up just modestly from 1.6% in April and an average of about 0.8% in Q1 which was negatively affected by winter weather. Traffic has improved from a negative 2.7% in Q1, but is still negative every month in Q2, by an average of 0.8%.
It is the same story in Casual Dining, with traffic improving from an average of about 1.8% in Q1 but still negative every month in Q2, and down about 1.0% for the quarter. Same store sales were up about 0.8% in Q2, barely up from a positive 0.4% in Q1.

We have pointed out many times that the restaurant industry is a great leading indicator for the economy as a whole. If that theory prevails, there is no boom ahead. Though some industry observers are touting the better trends, we continue to hear the country western refrain: “Down so long, it looks like up to me”.

Anecdotally, we hear that consumers are feeling better, but still spending carefully, just as the reported sales and traffic results indicate. Job security may be better, but exposure (if not actual expenses) for health care is a substantial financial burden for many families. The housing and auto industries are increasingly sluggish as interest rates rise, and these are important portions of the economy. Gasoline prices are higher again than a couple of years ago and also help to absorb the discretionary spending from slightly higher wages. Restaurant operators are feeling better because sales have stabilized at least, but higher wage, occupancy and even commodity costs are conspiring to keep profits subdued even if sales are firming by point or two. Very few operators are building new stores, preferring to renovate and/or expand current facilities or acquire other operators. Quite a few chains, Jack in the Box, Dunkin Donuts and Chili’s have difficulty meeting return on investment hurdle rates with real estate costs so high, even though interest rates are historically so low. As interest rates rise, more operators will find themselves in the same boat, unable to afford new locations.

Among the restaurant companies that are doing relatively well, we can point to McDonald’s, Wingstop, Domino’s, the Darden concepts, Del Taco, and Texas Roadhouse. Companies that are “holding their own”, with varying degrees of difficulty, include Wendy’s, Burger King, Denny’s, Popeye’s, Cheesecake Factory, Chuy’s, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Bloomin Brands. There are quite a few companies, more than the few listed first above, that are re-inventing themselves to some degree, including Bojangles, Jack in the Box, Habit, Famous Dave’s, Sonic, Dave & Buster’s, Red Robin, Papa Murphy’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Tim Horton’s, Applebee’s, Ihop, Chipotle, and Zoe’s, and others. You can read about almost all of these companies at the “corporate description” site on this website, accessed from our Home Page. None of the above listings are meant to be all inclusive, and managements are encouraged to give us a call if we have mis-categorized someone. These listing are meant to illustrate that there are more chains that are currently challenged than are firing on all cylinders.

Earnings reports will start to come in for Q2 ending 6/30 in a couple of weeks. Based upon the apparently still sluggish trends, we see no reason why July and early August numbers will give management a reason to risk the prediction of a strong fall season. There is just no reason to stick their neck out. Guidance will likely be conservative, leaving room to UPOD (under promise and over deliver). We will do our best to read between the lines and report to you the “reality” rather than the “story”.

Learn more about Roger Lipton at: http://www.liptonfinancialservices.com

Inclusion used to Create a Competitive Advantage

In various work activities and in the execution of job duties, there is a myriad of opportunities to leverage the existing diversity of the organization to enhance the development of solutions to solve everyday business challenges.


Inclusion used to Create a Competitive Advantage
By Warren Cook

Over the past few decades, organizations have repeatedly asked me to “bring them diversity” and help them improve how they are viewed by the workforce and rest of the world. The request is fundamentally wrong and the strategy to enhance the workforce and create both ROI and a competitive advantage remain in an inclusion strategy.

Inclusion is the act of being inclusive, to include others. In various work activities and in the execution of job duties, there is a myriad of opportunities to leverage the existing diversity of the organization to enhance the development of solutions to solve everyday business challenges.

I encourage business leaders and human resource professionals to step back and analyze their current practices and approach to Diversity & Inclusion, and instead formulate a new strategy that does not focus on creating the diversity that already exists, but instead focuses on the development of programs that involve and include members of the workforce in creative and innovative ways to use their diverse characteristics as a competitive advantage.

If after reading this short article on this topic you are asking yourself “How can we turn inclusion into ROI and a competitive advantage”, then it is time to call me to schedule training for you and your leadership team on Creating ROI from Diversity and Inclusion. You can reach me at 302.276.3302 or via email at [email protected]

The Success of Acai Express – Now a Franchise in the USA.

“We provide a system that is simple to operate with no experience needed.” Our Acai Berries are harvested from the Amazon Rainforest. This discourages deforestation while at the same time creating financial opportunities for local farmers. We are committed to a culture of appreciation to our guests, franchisees, and team members.’
– Hector Westerband, Founder, and CEO – Acai Express

Watch The Founder of Acai Express explain the reasons why Acai Express is a hit.
https://lnkd.in/dhearqw

The Success of Acai Express – Now a Franchise in the USA.

Our story starts with crashing waves and bustling street corners. In July 2013, Hector Westerband, an avid surfer, founded Acai Express in his homeland of Puerto Rico. Beginning with a single food truck in Guaynabo, Hector wanted to promote a healthy lifestyle centered on the nutrient-rich acai berry. The rapid popularity of his food truck meant he quickly expanded the brand to open franchises elsewhere on the island (13 locations in Puerto Rico as of 2018…)

At Acai Express our mission is to provide our customers the best experience with the highest quality products. We strive to promote a healthy existence by offering customers a lifestyle brand with products that benefit our minds, our bodies, and our souls. Our products are created with the active and health-conscious consumer in mind creating a socially responsible business model.

Our Acai Berries are harvested from the Amazon Rainforest. This discourages deforestation while at the same time creating financial opportunities for local farmers. We are committed to a culture of appreciation to our guests, franchisees, and team members.

As an Acai Express franchisee you will benefit from distinct competitive advantages. We provide an innovative marketing program with a unique and lively shop design. Our menu offers 100% organic “Grade A” acai with other high-quality products and has all day sales potential. With three flexible business models, we provide a system that is simple to operate with no experience needed. Our franchise model offers a low-cost entry, with protected territories, comprehensive training, and an experienced management team.

For franchise information please contact:[email protected]
Notice Regarding Franchise Offers and Sales

This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for information purposes only. There are approximately 14 countries and 15 US states that regulate the offer and sale of franchises. The countries are Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Canada (provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Prince Edward Island), China, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, and the United States of America. The US states are California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are a resident of one of these states or countries, are receiving this message in one of these states or countries, or intend to operate a franchise in any of these states or countries, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with any applicable pre-sale registration and/or disclosure requirements in the applicable jurisdiction.
This offering is not an offering of a franchise. In New York (USA), an offering of a franchise can only be made by a prospectus that has been previously filed and registered with the Department of Law of the State of New York. The application for registration of an offering prospectus or the acceptance and filing thereof by the Department of Law as required by the New York law does not constitute approval of the offering or the sale of such franchise by the Department of Law or the attorney general of New York.
© 2017 Harold L. Kestenbaum, Esq.

KEEPING A LEGACY BRAND RELEVANT

Lee’s Hoagie House, the Pennsylvania-based chain that has defined Philadelphia’s traditional sandwiches, the hoagie, and the cheesesteak, for over 60 years, has relaunched its long-established regional brand with a streamlined in-store layout and national franchise offering.

According to CEO Allan Lewin, “Through our franchise efforts, consumers across the country can now enjoy an authentic ‘taste of Philly,’ and experience the pride of place that Lee’s hoagies and cheesesteaks invoke.

Keeping a Legacy Brand Relevant
PHILADELPHIA (PRWEB) JUNE 15, 2018

LEE’S® HOAGIE HOUSE REBRANDS FOR IT’S NEXT 60 YEARS
Lee’s® Hoagie House, the Pennsylvania-based chain that has defined Philadelphia’s traditional sandwiches, the hoagie, and the cheesesteak, for over 60 years, has relaunched its long-established regional brand with a streamlined in-store layout and national franchise offering.

IN-STORE REDESIGN
Among Lee’s® Hoagie House’s planned in-store upgrades are a new floorplan and a redesign of the Lee’s® Hoagie House retail space. Lee’s® Hoagie House contracted with Mark Metzgar, CEO of Cornerstone Consulting to manage the engineering and architectural redesign. “Our experience working with other successful franchises helped Lee’s® Hoagie House redefine their store concept to improve the customer experience, differentiate from the competition and better monetize their menu,” Metzgar adds. “We wanted the new layout and design to streamline operations at the same time showcasing the authentic Philadelphia legacy of the Lee’s® brand.

The new, industrial-meets-rustic look from offers distressed wood, exposed brick, overhead ductwork, cement floors, pendant lighting and large front facing windows. Bold graphics and easy-order digital displays add to the modern vibe. Each location will also honor its Philadelphia heritage with colorful murals and historic posters depicting classic Philly moments. The inviting design and thoughtful floorplan add ambiance and efficiency with a more streamlined throughput for customer ordering, fulfillment, and enjoyment.

TURNKEY SYSTEMS
Meeting the same quality standards nationwide necessitated new thinking on the part of the Lee’s operational team, as well. To guarantee the consistent quality of Lee’s® Hoagie House signature fresh made bread, LHH Franchise Group partnered with Liscio’s Bakery of New Jersey. Franchisees can now maintain the taste and integrity of Lee’s Hoagie House’s distinctive sandwich bread, by finishing it fresh on site from par-baked rolls and loaves.

INCREASED EMPHASIS ON NATIONAL FRANCHISES
Lee’s Hoagie House has teamed with franchise industry expert, Gary Occhiogrosso, the founder of Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC, to expand the turnkey Lee’s® Hoagie House fast casual QSR (quick service restaurant) business model from 17 locations in 2018 to 25 locations by 2020. Lee’s® Hoagie House franchises are currently available in PA, NJ, NY, DE, and along the East Coast.

Mr. Occhiogrosso has over 30 years’ experience in franchise development and sales and was integral to the success of nationally recognized brands including Ranch *1, Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille, SkinnyPizza, Acai Express and those found under the multi-brand franchisor, TRUFOODS, LLC.

Lee’s® Hoagie House also requires its franchisees to attend Hoagie University, an intensive internal training program on opening and operating a successful franchise business. During the three-week course, franchisees learn about store operations, recruitment and development of staff, customer service best practices, marketing and sales techniques, and basic administrative oversight. Following the training, franchisees receive weekly coaching and support.

A PHILADELPHIA FAVORITE
A staple in generations of Philadelphian’s diets, Lee’s® Hoagie House offers a complete menu of 6, 9 and 18 inch custom made hoagies (a regional term for a hero, grinder or submarine sandwich), Philly and chicken cheesesteaks, hot sandwiches, wraps, salads, as well as chicken wings and chicken fingers.

The Lee’s® Hoagie House concept was created in 1953 by Lee Seitchek, expanded locally in 1977, franchised regionally in 2014, and will expand their franchise effort nationally in 2018. By enlarging the franchise footprint, consumers across the country will able to get the same quality, consistency, and service of the original Lee’s Hoagie House at any franchised location in the U.S. The fast-casual restaurant concept is currently in 17 locations across 4 states.

Once hourly employees at Lee’s, today, LHH Franchise Group co-founders, Allan Lewin and John Connell, are committed to leveraging Lee’s® Hoagie House from a beloved regional brand into a nationally recognized brand. “In order to take the franchising of Lee’s® Hoagie House national, we have created a strong business plan for the franchises to follow.” Says Lewin. “In 2018, the Lee’s ® Hoagie House franchise holder will have the strength of a long-time, proven concept and also benefit from new operational upgrades, a redesigned store layout, and consultative advice from one of the country’s top franchising experts.”

ABOUT LEE’S® HOAGIE HOUSE
Lee’s Hoagie House was founded in 1953 by Lee Seitchek with a menu based around the “Official Sandwich of Philadelphia”, the hoagie served on fresh-baked bread. Today, Lee’s® Hoagie House offers a variety of sandwiches, salads, and wings, including the original Philly Cheesesteak. Lee’s began expanding regionally in the late 1970’s and franchising in 2014, based on the popularity of its concept. Lee’s® Hoagie House currently has 17 owned and operated locations in Philadelphia, New Jersey, North Carolina and South Carolina. A national franchise plan was put in place in 2018.

According to CEO Allan Lewin, “Although the flavor profile of Lee’s® Hoagie House’s is synonymous with the Philadelphia region, through our franchise efforts, consumers across the country can now enjoy an authentic ‘taste of Philly,’ and experience the pride of place that Lee’s hoagies and cheesesteaks invoke.

ABOUT FRANCHISE GROWTH SOLUTIONS, LLC
Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC is a strategic planning, franchise development and sales organization offering franchise sales, brand concept and 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 information:
CONTACT: Gary Occhiogrosso
Franchise Growth Solutions
917.991.2465
[email protected]

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.

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.

Franchise Growth Solutions Expands at the International Franchise Expo

“We’ll be showcasing some of the most innovative and exciting franchise brands of the year.” Gary Occhiogrosso – Founder, Franchise Growth Solutions

Franchise Growth Solutions to Showcase Innovative Franchise Brands

New York, NY (RestaurantNews.com) Franchise Growth Solutions LLC, the New York-based strategic planning, franchise development and sales organization, headed by franchise industry expert, Gary Occhiogrosso, will exhibit at the International Franchise Expo, May 31-June 02, 2018, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Mr. Occhiogrosso , a 30-year veteran of single and multi-unit franchise development and sales, was instrumental in the launch and growth of nationally recognized franchises including Ranch *1, Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille, and brands found under the multi-brand franchisor, TRUFOODS, LLC.

From booth #340, Franchise Growth Solutions will showcase some of 2018’s hottest franchise opportunities: Acai Express®, Taboonette®, Planet Wings®, YeloSpa®, SkinnyPizza®, and Snow Days® to an estimated 10,000 entrepreneurs and future business owners. Occhiogrosso revealed, “We’ll be showcasing some of the most innovative and exciting franchise brands of the year.”

With additional credentials as an in demand public speaker on franchise success, and as an adjunct instructor at NYU, Occhiogrosso will also moderate a panel discussion entitled, Private Equity and Franchising. As moderator, Occhiogrosso will host a discussion between franchisors and private equity investment professionals on how to find capital, the best ways to position franchises for growth/investment, and a checklist of what it required for strategic partnership in the eyes of the investment community. “This is my favorite venue to present this panel, we bring together Emerging Brands and Private Equity Investors to discuss ways to capitalize on the fired-up equity markets in Franchising” added Occhiogrosso. The event is scheduled for Friday June 1st at 10am.

The International Franchise Expo in New York City is the largest franchise show of its kind in the country. The three-day show traditionally attracts over 10,000 attendees and over 400 national and international franchise opportunities.

About Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC

Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC is a strategic planning, franchise development and sales organization offering franchise sales, brand concept and 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 information on Franchise Growth Solutions or any of its franchise opportunities, please contact Gary Occhiogrosso at (917) 991-2465 OR email at [email protected]