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How to Decide if a Food Service Franchise is Right for You

Aug 17, 2007
Not everyone has the right personality and mindset to launch a successful food service franchise. Some that think they do may find that they are unhappy while others who don't initially consider a food service franchise decide that it's exactly the right path for them. When it comes to choosing a food service franchise or building your own restaurant brand from scratch, there are several points to consider before choosing a path.

Can you live with an established process?
In order to run a successful food service franchise, you'll need to possess an entrepreneurial spirit, but also be willing to "stay within the lines" of the already established operational procedures. For some people, owning a business where they must conform to preconceived ideals that they may not necessarily whole-heartedly agree with, is little more than being someone else's employee. If you have very strong convictions about doing things your own way, ownership of a food franchise may not be for you.

On the other hand, the reason food service franchise companies have such systematic processes, is because they are profitable. A study conducted by Ohio State University shows that between 57% and 61% of new restaurants fail within 5 years of operations. Some of these are food service franchises, but more are independent restaurants. With such a steep rate of failures, having a system to depend on is considered by many to be one of the most significant benefits of food service franchises.

Consider your financing limitations
If around 60% of restaurants fail within 5 years, that means that a healthy percentage of new restaurants remain profitable and successful. If you're certain that your independent restaurant will be successful in your area, then the odds are good that it will. Building a restaurant from the ground up can add up to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars when you factor in brand development, menu creation, advertising, establishing procedures, equipment purchase, etc.

You'll also need to have a cushion for unexpected costs and to help you navigate through difficult times. If you truly don't have all of the money you need, you may be placing yourself in a very vulnerable position. Another benefit of food service franchises is that you can generally get into the opportunity with much less starting capital than if you were to build a restaurant from the ground up. That's because the menu is established, the promotional materials created, the paperwork streamlined, and advertising costs are shared between the entire food service franchise network.

Ultimately, deciding whether or not food service franchising is right for you depends what will truly make you feel satisfied. If your ultimate dream is to create your own menu and restaurant ambiance but you don't have the funding to get it off the ground, perhaps your efforts are better spent raising capital. However, if you like the idea of entering into an established business with a proven success record, a food service franchise may be the ideal solution for you.
About the Author
Author is a writer for Franchise Fetch who specialize in helping people find available
restaurant franchise opportunities
. For more information you can visit http://www.FranchiseFetch.com.
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