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When Franchisors Become Franchisees

The franchisor and franchisee are the two key players in a franchising business model playing two very different, yet codependent, roles.

As a franchisor, it’s about proving the business model, creating the systems, and then awarding the franchise opportunity to franchisees to go out and execute. The franchisor concentrates on the big picture, supporting the franchise network with training, marketing support, vendor relationships and more. Meanwhile, the franchisee focuses on growing an individual location or territory using the systems put in place by the franchisor

…and then there are those individuals who have excelled in both roles!

Perhaps it’s the ultimate compliment to the franchising business model that experienced executives in-house at a franchisor organization make their way into the field and become a franchisee at some point in life. Here are three excellent examples of those who have made the leap.

Mr. Gatti’s Pizza Announces Biggest Franchise Agreement for 2018

Last week we had the opportunity to share some exciting news for Mr. Gatti’s Pizza announcing the largest franchise agreement for 2018 and one of the largest multi-unit agreements in the brand’s history. Three local Austin entrepreneurs are the new owners of 13 corporate locations in Austin, Texas, with plans to add 10 additional locations in Austin and surrounding markets.

Mr. Gatti's pizza, from franchisor to franchisee

Two of the three owners were both previously Vice Presidents of Operations associated with the Papa John’s pizza brand effectively making the leap from experienced franchise executive to franchisee within the same industry. On top of that, they are caring for their new locations in a prized market where the iconic Mr. Gatti’s concept got its start.

Talk about a nice slice of the pie! This sale comes at a time when Mr Gatti’s has rebooted its brand, initiated marketing efforts and begun franchising again on the horizon of celebrating the iconic chain’s 50th anniversary in 2019.

Gary Findley, CEO of Restoration 1 and bluefrog, from franchisor to franchisee

The Balancing Act of Being Both a Franchisor and Franchisee

But what about the question: Can you have the best of both worlds? Look no further than one person who is currently balancing both being a franchisor and franchisee. That’s Gary Findley, CEO of Restoration 1 and bluefrog Plumbing + Drain. Over the years Findley has represented 25 different brands, but Restoration 1 is one brand where he is both the franchisor of the national organization and a franchisee of the Restoration 1 franchise in Waco, Texas.

Gary says about his dual role, “It’s interesting to be on both sides, but in the end, it’s allowed me to address situations from two different views and really empathize and build strong relationships with my franchisees. I have the ability to understand their concerns from my first-hand experience and help them figure out the best steps moving forward.”

When your Vendor Knows the Sign Business Inside and Out (of HQ)!

And then there is this “sign” of the successful franchise business model. BizCom has long been a customer of our area FASTSIGNS locations for agency PR needs. And we are big fans of FASTSIGNS franchise owners Mark and Shawn Glenn. We first knew Shawn when she was on the franchisor side of a restaurant client. She left that job to have children, but we were fast on her heels to use her for contract work as a creative designer for our agency. Meanwhile, her husband Mark worked as Director of Compliance for FASTSIGNS International at corporate for more than 14 years. Then he decided to leave HQ and they acquired an existing FASTSIGNS location in Carrollton, Texas. Today, they are multi-unit owners of four FASTSIGNS locations total [collectively called FASTSIGNS Dallas] and were most recently named Franchisee of the Year for FASTSIGNS by the International Franchise Association.

Across all three examples, the experience of working in-house as a franchisor has translated perfectly into being the boss of one’s own business. And they succeed knowing one critical fundamental to the success of those businesses: Follow the system.

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