Considering A Campus Location For Your Franchise
When you're considering the thousands of brands across the Canadian franchise industry, you probably noticed that there's more to weigh than just cost, market and brand. Increasingly, brands are offering different types of business formats to franchisees, each one coming with its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. If you're looking at a potential food franchise location in a college or university setting, here's what you need to know first.
Competition is fierce
Each college is unique in its level of oversight, real estate and operations, so getting into one of these spots can be tough. As a franchisee - along with your franchisor, depending on their involvement level - you will need to navigate the campuses on your own or try to create a partnership with one of the larger campus operators. In either scenario, you should be ready to take it slow, as neither campuses nor the operators are known for their speed.
Operational adjustments abound
When you are on a campus, you will encounter a lot of the same issues associated with non-traditional franchise locations, such as those in malls, in-retail or in airports. Essentially, it's an environment with small space, large crowds and massive time constraints. This effect will be amplified even more by the students' schedules, which often leads to an influx of people coming in all at the same time.
A food franchise normally needs to tackle all these potential issues from multiple angles. For real estate, for example, the franchisor should offer a scaled-down version of its design for campus spaces. If the design is not yet proven, the brand should also be open to tweaking it as necessary to meet the needs of franchisees in these tighter spaces. To handle large influxes of people, some franchises par down their menus to flagship items, while others focus on their pre-built items. As with design, campus franchisees need flexibility when it comes to their menus, so they can remove unpopular items and free up space for items that may sell better.
Summer brings a storm
Naturally, summers on college campuses are fairly slow because many students only attend the fall and spring sessions. When you're operating directly on a campus, this drop is something you will need to plan for when it comes to your finances. You can, for example, slim the menu down to the most popular items and cut down on staff to help conserve resources.
A campus location may be the ideal spot for your new franchise, but you will need a game plan to make it work. Consider all the angles before you go with this type of non-traditional franchise format.