This post about multi unit franchisees originally appeared post on my LinkedIn feed. See the original here.

A valuable part of the the 2016 Multi Unit Franchising Conference is the educational sessions. One of these was an infrastructure-focused panel with 4 multi-unit franchisees.

The multi unit franchisees

Steve Adams who owns & operates 36 Pet Supplies Plus store across 6 US states, adding 2-3 stores in 2016. 10,000 SKUs per store (that’s 10,000 items in each store!)

Jason Judson is a multi unit franchisee of Two Men and a Truck, master franchisor for St Louis, Boston and Chicago. He’s been a franchisee for 15 years.

Mike Knobelock is a quick service restaurant multi unit owner with 43 Church’s Chicken, Captain D’s and 21 Little Caesers restaurants.

Dave Goebel was a multi unit owner with Boston Market with 84 stores, did a stint at Applebees corporate office and now owns 21 KFC restaurants and is diversifying into Pie 5 Pizza Co.

These 4 rockstars of multi unit franchising discussed the ‘infrastructure’ of a franchise company – the corporate office.

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll share my takeaways from this session in 3 sections:

  • What does the infrastructure of a large franchised organization look like?
  • The top 3 functions necessary to grow fast
  • Key performance indicators and dashboards

What does the multi unit infrastructure look like?

In terms of infrastructure at the leadership level, Mike has a CFO, 2 directors and focuses on the development side of the business himself. He is focused on keeping expenses down on the office side of the business. Mike highlighted the difficulty in holding a balance between keeping office staff at a minimum to lower corporate overhead, and keeping extra staff on hand for when a good deal comes along (eg acquiring 6 stores in a deal).

Jason has St Louis as his hub. The corporate office and administration functions is all out of St Louis, which frees up his owner partners in Chicago and Boston to focus on hiring great people to grow the company.

Steve has just himself and another IT & administration generalist. In 2010 Steve made a big investment in people – with 10 stores he had 8 corporate office staff. This increased his corporate overhead but helped him specialize and get to the point where he can add more stores quickly.

Dave has set parameters for his corporate overhead. He won’t allow General & Administrative (G&A) costs to exceed 8% of revenue. He keeps it under control and is currently running at a G&A of 5.4%.

Next week we’ll talk about the three essential positions that help you grow – FAST!

ZUUS Workforce helps your unit managers think like CEOs. ZUUS Workforce helps them manage the business as if you were right there!