East Coast Wings Franchise
Published May 24, 2024

What the Top Ranked Franchises Do That Others Don’t

Turns out, the most trusted franchise brands tell it like it is…before they even get a new franchisee in the door

Franchisee investment vs expectationsThe foundation of strong franchisor-franchisee relationships begins long before the deal is signed. It starts as soon as a candidate starts exploring franchise opportunities. 

Franchise Business Review surveyed over 35,000 franchisees over the past year to gauge their satisfaction with their franchise brand, and 57 percent strongly agree or agree that their total investment (including both time and money) has been consistent with the information and expectations provided by the franchisor. However, when we look at the franchise brands scoring in the top quartile of our satisfaction survey,  that number jumps to 78 percent!

What are those brands doing that so many others aren’t?

Strengthen Your Franchisee Relationships and Increase Satisfaction 

1. Educate all development team members—employees, franchise sales organizations (FSOs), brokers, and anyone talking to candidates—about how they educate franchise candidates on what it takes to be successful. It’s not about selling a dream; it’s setting realistic expectations.

2. Provide detailed FDD information (specifically items 5, 6, 7, and 19) to give candidates the right information to create a realistic business plan.

3. Tell candidates up front if there have been changes to your FDD. FDDs can be outdated as soon as they are printed. Don’t wait until next year to tell candidates what’s changed since you filed. 

4. Talk to franchisees who have opened new locations/territories and ask them what you didn’t get right, what additional information would be helpful to share with the next candidate, or what they wish they had known that they didn’t.

5. Have your development team (again, internal employees, FSOs, brokers, and ANYONE you have representing your brand) visit franchisees when they are in markets to experience the business and franchisees in action.

6. Share satisfaction data with candidates. Show them how your current franchisees rate you in the areas critical to success. Would they do it again? Would they recommend their brand to a friend? Do they believe you, the franchisor, cares about their success? Even if your scores aren’t as high as you’d like, being transparent and explaining what you are doing to improve sets the foundation for trust.

Encourage your candidates to talk to as many franchisees as they can: new ones, old ones, big ones, small ones…that’s the best way to get the whole picture. Go one step further and provide them with questions to ask franchisees that you can’t (legally) answer. Help them get the information they need to understand how much money it really takes to sustain the business until you are in the black, and how much time it takes. 

A reminder: you cannot legally direct your candidates to speak to only specific franchisees. I’m always surprised when I talk to disgruntled franchisees that didn’t know this when they were choosing a franchise. 

The bottomline: UNDER PROMISE and OVER DELIVER! 

What would YOUR franchisees say? More importantly, what are they telling others? Knowing is crucial to the sustainability and growth of your brand. 

Franchise Business Review can get you the data and insights you need to understand if you’re delivering for your franchisees. We even make it easy for you to share that data with candidates through our Validation Program, which includes shareable satisfaction reports and an online reporting platform.

Schedule a time to learn more about our satisfaction surveys and candidate reports. 

Photo courtesy of East Coast Wings + Grill

Related Resource: The 10 Biggest Roadblocks to Franchise Performance

increase franchise performanceWant to grow your system? Don’t let these common roadblocks slow you down!

Download our free guide to learn:

  • Why franchisees often have unrealistic expectations for their business
  • Why you could be wasting money on your development efforts
  • How to get actionable data to measure progress and drive growth


About the Author: Michelle Rowan

Michelle is the president of FBR, the former Chair of the International Franchise Association’s Women’s Franchise Committee. and a Certified Franchise Executive. She is the recipient of the 2022 Crystal Compass Award, has facilitated CEO Performance Groups and Executive Networking Groups and is also a mentor of UNH college students. When she is not at work she is usually reading, playing outside, or hanging out with her husband and daughter.
Want more like this? Connect with us...