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During this panel, we discuss “Multi-Unit Multi-Brand Franchising: Building a Local Empire.” With over half of all franchise units owned by multi-unit operators, it becomes increasingly important to discuss how franchisees and franchisors can succeed in this climate. Tom Spadea and audience members ask panel members Jay Hummer, Dave Restituto, and Greg Carafello how their first-hand experience has allowed them to succeed within the franchising world.

Meet the Panel

Jay Hummer

Jay is the CEO & Owner of Kennedy’s Barber Club. He is also a Master Franchisee/Developer for Grasons Co Estate Sale Services, MOOYAH Burgers, Whole Hog Cafe, and Native Grill & Wings. Connect with Jay.

Jay Hummer
Dave Restituto

Dave is a franchisor who launched Factory Donuts in 2017. He is also a multi-unit franchisee for Rita’s Italian Ice, Meineke, and Checker’s Drive-In.

Dave Restituto

Greg Carafello

Greg is an area Developer for FastSigns in NYC and Liberty Tax Service. He is also the Territory Master for Cartridge World and Owner & Partner in multiple non-franchised businesses. Connect with Greg.

Greg Carafello

A Brief Recap

Lets take a look at some of the important takeaways from the panel:

[3:03-11:42] What is the biggest advantage to being a multi-brand multi-franchisee and franchisor?

Jay, Dave, and Greg all bring a unique perspective to the table. Jay believes franchises allow you to practice business skills with leaders and team members while making mutually beneficial connections. Dave states that more exposure to the franchising world can help you navigate the business. Greg offers an additional truth; franchise systems that properly support franchisees can produce an operator that can be as successful as an independent entrepreneur.

[16:12-22:27] How to assess whether a franchisee will fit in culturally with your franchise?

All panel members agree there is no science to scouting out the right people. Jay jokes that oftentimes it is the least likely candidate that rises to the occasion. Greg and Dave both speak about the importance of asking the hard questions up front. Prior to signing on a new franchisee, spend time with the individual and their family. Jay adds, if it doesn’t work out, do have a strategy when things fall apart!

[22:28-28:12] Should franchisors be encouraging their franchisees to become business owners and build wealth?

If a franchisee is a successful operator, then yes; however, everyone has limits. Be strategic about who you push into this role. Many people aren’t comfortable with profit loss, and those who find themselves in the red don’t take the risks to grow from the experience. All three agree that if you are a single operator making the jump to becoming a multi-operator, you need to understand that additional time and experience are required.

[28:23-35:07] How do you prepare a single-unit franchise owner to take on more than one store?

Build the right infrastructure; if you have the appropriate training in place you will be rewarded with a talented, reliable team. Setting the foundation for an owner will give them the right tools to stay organized. Greg points out that it helps to have people within corporate with experience running multi-stores; without this, it will be hard for franchisees to receive empathy and insights from up the ladder.

[35:29-42:55] How do you recognize the traits between and multi-unit and single-unit operator and is it smart to invest in the tools marketed out there for assessing quality candidates?

Using assessment tools isn’t a bad idea and can cultivate training skills for your franchisee to practice with their team. Often these assessment tools can strengthen the relationships between owner and employee; however, some people aren’t good test takers. Keep this in mind and learn to read a person’s goals, energy, and effort. Being a good listener and asking the right questions can help you determine who may be right for the job.

 [47:31-52:02] Is there one takeaway that you would want people to leave here with?

Jay says, “build your empire!” Dave stresses the importance of growing your business the right way with the right people. Greg closes the panel by stating: “Trust the people you work with, have confidence in the franchise model, and learn to think long-term.”

Interested in learning more about this Philadelphia Franchise Association event? Get more details and watch the full length video here.