Frequently Asked Questions: Franchising
Q: What am I getting when I buy a Browns Socialhouse franchise?
Our mission is to create wealth and opportunity for our partners. This means that our franchise owners interests are served by our efforts. The obvious support structure is all there. Audits, purchasing programs, operating systems and training programs are all standards that any franchisee would expect. Where we differ is that our Royalty Fee is affordable and our overall cost structure is more efficient than most other foodservice franchises.
You get access to our expertise and the power of one of the hottest concepts to hit the street in years. We bring experience and systems orientation to the game. You provide hard work, passionate commitment and positive people skills. Together we WOW the guests.
Q: What is the Browns Socialhouse Marketing Strategy?
Browns Social House believes in using In House Marketing and developing traffic through strong POSITIVE WORD of MOUTH. We believe in brand presence and quality image standards. Our Marketing Department’s focus is on high production value Point of Sale materials and assisting the franchisees to uncover ways to reach into the community. These efforts are supplemented by two critical elements controlled by the franchisees, EXCELLENCE IN EXECUTION (our first moment to moment business principle) and LOCAL STORE MARKETING (whereby the franchise owner knows their customers and is involved in the community in meaningful ways).
Q: How do you plan to advertise and build the brand?
A brand is built on the quality and consistency of the customer’s experience. Nothing is more effective than a personal endorsement from a trusted friend and nothing is more cost effective than WORD OF MOUTH.
This choice supports our perspective on how a restaurant should operate on a real-time basis. The onus is on the operator to create a positive impression. Every meal, every day. The business will grow when they do it right and we know it. High quality photography of appealing foods and inviting environments are featured on our social media platforms, reminding people that Browns is a great place to relax and enjoy in a casual way, close by.
We will also do limited print on special occasion advertising in community papers, depending upon the target market for the opportunity. Our centrally managed marketing fund focuses its spending on research, product development and brand image platforms, as well as our company-wide gift card program.
Q: What is your Unit Operating Sales Performance standard?
Our actual Unit Operating Sales Performance is presently averaging $1,000/sq ft. Our smaller locations can exceed this number, and larger units may generate higher sales with a lower ratio.
Q: Where do you see this business going as your growth continues?
Obviously, only up! We have a huge opportunity to expand a unique offering in the highly sought-after casual dining marketplace. We are coming from the “cultural hotbed” of the West Coast where “Upscale Casual” has evolved to a level unseen in most of North America. Our leadership team has been fundamentally responsible for several of the key aspects of this development process. They know what it will take to get out front and to stay there. They also know that the key success factors are the BSH “Sweet spot” (lower initial cost/more efficient operating system/ smaller footprint) as well as the “Owner Operator” factor are going to be the Unique Selling Proposition for this company.
No one else has pulled all of this together. Big Box Casual is simply not sustainable in our view. Today’s sophisticated customers are tired of the sameness and impersonal experiences in the major chains. Consumers want to have an appealing product in their local marketplace, be it Kelowna, Victoria, Calgary, or Winnipeg. Our franchise owners are there to provide it and do it better than the “big guys”.
Q: What does the franchising process look like? How long will it take?
Our franchise selection process is rigorous. Initially we will want to know that you understand the restaurant business, have the required passion, and are convinced that you can succeed. Obviously, we also need to know that you are a business-minded person and that you can finance a project like a new Browns Socialhouse.
This all happens through a series of discussions about your background, your interests, your successes and your dreams. Once we have a picture of your goals and your capacity for success in the restaurant business, and we have determined your financial capability, we need to understand your desire to own independently or take on partners. “Deal structure” is important.
Franchisee approval is not a simple “stamp” with us. We need to ensure that there is a proper fit and that you are prepared to operate in a franchise system. This can take several weeks, or months. It may involve a “work experience” or face-to-face discussions with a number of people.
A location must be found, and an appropriate lease negotiated. This part can take considerable time, unless you bring us a site that we are prepared to approve. Again, the numbers have to work, the market potential must be there, and the site development costs must be investigated.
Once you are approved, a lease is in place and you have a financing plan, we would expect that there is approximately a six month window to get a design in place, build the restaurant and do the initial start up work in preparation for opening day.