When the general public thinks of franchising, popular brands such as McDonald’s, Subway and KFC may come to mind. And why not, 57 percent of franchise businesses involve food — 38 percent are quick service restaurants, 13 percent are table/full service restaurants and 6 percent are retail food, according to IFA’s Franchise Business Economic Outlook prepared by HIS Global Insight.
Here’s a look at just a few members from these franchise categories.
Kat Cole, who today is president of Cinnabon, said she took on leadership roles early, such as serving as class president, and has learned to question what leads to success more than what ends in failure, according to a recent New York Times article. Auntie Anne’s President and COO Bill Dunn started working in one of his father’s Wendy’s restaurants as a teenager and hopes he’ll be remembered for his push for continuous improvement, he shared with QSR Magazine. And childhood friends and Zaxby’s co-founders Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley dreamed up the company nearly 25 years ago while shooting hoops in McLeroy’s backyard.
And then there are the industry’s multi-talented, multi-tasking franchisees. This coal miner’s daughter was a part-time cashier for Taco Bell while attending community college and went on to hold managerial positions in several franchise restaurants. Today Shana Gonzales owns four Checker’s restaurants in Atlanta. IFA Treasurer Aziz Hashim, who is president and CEO of NRD Holdings, LLC, earned a degree as an electrical engineer and then promptly went into franchising. Today he’s one of the top 200 franchise operators in the United States with such high-profile brands as Popeye’s, Subway, KFC, Taco Bell and many others. IFA board member Mitch Cohen, who franchises more than a dozen Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Long Island, N.Y., and co-chairs Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation, is also a Guinness World record holder for most ice cream cones prepared in one minute — 19.
Yes, there are challenges affecting the franchise industry, but unique individuals like these and many others are more than prepared to address them. You can learn more about industry issues and solutions during the IFA Public Affairs Conference, sponsored by ADP, Sept 16-17 in Washington, D.C.