Published December 5, 2018

Takeaways from the 2018 Star Awards

Each year, Franchise Update invites franchise brands to compete in the Star Awards, which recognize franchising’s top sales teams at the annual Franchise Leadership and Development Conference.

Brands are evaluated on their franchisee recruitment, online inquiry follow-up, telephone mystery shopping, social media performance, recruitment websites, and, of course, franchisee satisfaction.

To assess franchisee satisfaction, all brands participate in Franchise Business Review’s franchisee satisfaction survey. FBR’s expert research team compares the brands to the overall industry benchmark to determine the top performers and identify trends and best practices.

The 2018 Results Are In!

This year, 62 brands were researched for the Star Awards, representing 18,254 business outlets. 6,986 franchisees completed a survey measuring satisfaction in eight key areas related to their business performance.

The results were compared to FBR’s benchmarking data from approximately 25,000 franchisees representing more than 330 franchise brands.

Congratulations to this year’s Top 10 award winners for satisfaction!

  1. Wild Birds Unlimited (overall winner)
  3. Home Instead Senior Care
  4. Christian Brothers Automotive
  5. Home Care Assistance
  6. Planet Fitness
  7. Fish WIndow Cleaning Services
  8. FirstLight Home Care
  9. Goldfish Swim School
  10. TeamLogic IT

You can see the full list of Star Award winners in Franchise Update’s Q4 Issue.

What the Satisfaction Research Revealed

1. The brands that participated in the research for the Star Awards are on par with other top franchise brands. Overall, the brands that were part of the Franchise Update group scored a 70.2 FSI, which is nearly identical to the FBR Franchise Sector benchmark (71.7), which represents over 330 leading franchise brands.

Tip: Brands that have a clear understanding of their franchisees’ experiences and expectations achieve greater success. That understanding can only be achieved by collecting detailed, objective data on your system, measuring it against comparable industry benchmarks and indexes, and making changes to produce continuous system improvements.

2. The top 10 brands scored significantly higher. The brands that made the top 10 list for satisfaction rated 20-25% higher on satisfaction compared to industry benchmarks.

Tip: Satisfaction is dependent on how franchise owners’ experiences compare with their expectations. Based on our research, brands with high franchisee satisfaction drastically outperform brands with low satisfaction on every key performance metric, including 10x better unit growth, 40% higher royalties, 54% lower turnover, and nearly 2x higher franchisee royalties.

3. Food brands lag behind other sectors in franchisee satisfaction. Of the three major sectors researched – Food, Retail, and Services – FBR found that food franchise brands had 10% lower franchisee satisfaction overall, and no food brands made the the Top 10 list.

Tip: No other franchise sector is as competitive and battle-tested as food. The food industry is heavily influenced by trends, environmental factors, price fluctuations, and high start-up costs – all of which translates to higher risk for franchisees. To combat that, be open to (cautious) change, set appropriate franchisee expectations, prepare yourself for the worst, and treat franchisees like people, not store numbers. Read more about what all franchise brands can learn from the food industry.

Franchise Business Review releases reports throughout the year recognizing the top franchises in various sectors, as well as an annual report of the top overall franchises. Register now to start measuring franchisee satisfaction.

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About the Author: Eric Stites

Eric leads FBR’s research and consultants with clients in the area of franchise performance. He is an active member of the International Franchise Association (IFA), serves on the IFA’s VetFran and Franchise Relations Committees, and speaks frequently on topics related to franchise relations and best practices in franchising. Eric lives on the coast of Maine with his wife and two daughters, and enjoys spending as much time as possible on the ocean.
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