What are Franchise Advisory Councils (FACs)?

Franchise advisory councils (FACs) are usually established in franchise organizations with 10 or more branches and are designed to support effective and productive relationships between the franchisor and their franchisees. They are made up of one or more members of the franchise's management board and appropriately empowered representatives from its franchisee network.

When run correctly, FACs contribute to increased franchisee loyalty, enhance a productive and forward-looking culture, and can help franchisors gain buy-in to proposed corporate initiatives and changes.


How is a FAC established?

There are two ways in which a FAC can be established. The first, and preferred option, is for the franchisor to form a FAC that it funds and wholeheartedly supports. When a franchisor is committed to transparency and coherency, FACs can deliver impressive results, often lobbying governments for financial assistance or to present a united front on the common issues that arise during times of economic uncertainty.

The second way in which a FAC can be established is by the franchisees themselves. These usually exist independently of the franchisor and are used by franchisees to communicate about changes to the franchise system, its products and services, and to ensure that all branches are operating in a coherent manner. If the franchisor is not involved in the FAC, it may indicate a lack of trust in their management, so prospective franchisees should exercise caution in determining whether they wish to proceed with joining the enterprise.


How often do FACs meet?

There is no standard timetable for FACs to meet. They could meet only upon the introduction of new products or services or on a schedule of their choosing.


What is discussed in a FAC?

FACs cover all agenda items that are pertinent to the effective running of the brand. They can be used to discuss the supply of goods and services, propose amendments or additions to the product range, and discuss equipment selection, marketing and even different avenues for financing the business.

The meetings must follow a predefined agenda and consist of a panel of members who are experienced and commercially-minded so they remain focused and any disputes or conflicts that arise can be handled swiftly and fairly.

The minutes of each meeting must be made available to all franchisees shortly after the conclusion of each meeting, with recommendations for action clearly identified, along with action owners. In this way, transparency and clarity can be maintained.

FACs are an excellent way of fostering productive two-way communication between a franchisor and their franchisee network, and when used effectively, they can deliver excellent results.