BY KERRY PIPES AND EDDY GOLDBERG
Wanted: Multi-Unit Partners
FRANCHISORS AND MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISEES TEAM UP FOR GROWTH
Multi-unit franchisees dominate to- day’s marketplace, controlling more total units than their single-unit coun- terparts—and an increasing number are
operating multiple brands.
This steady shift over the past decade led Franchise
Update Media Group in 2004 to debut a new magazine—Multi-Unit Franchisee—to serve the growing
generation of multi-unit operators, hungry for information to help them expand both their number of units
and their number of brands.
The first issue of the new magazine featured multi-brand franchisee John Prince, a former stockbroker
whose franchise holdings then included Applebee’s,
Aaron’s, Famous Dave’s, and a Hooters (in Salt Lake
City, no less!). We also featured Jim Gendreau, who in
1981 sold 70 franchises in 9 months for Cost Cutters,
and then became a serial franchisee for several brands,
including operating 54 Cost Cutters of his own. We
also told the story of Tom Larson, who had 20 lodging
and restaurant units spread among 7 brands. We led
the story with this:
“Besides size, what makes these area developers
different from other franchise owners? Why do they
amass so many units and brands while others are con-
tent with one site, maybe two or three? How do they
manage to manage more brands than other people can
handle units? Who are these guys?”
Since then we’ve interviewed and profiled hun-
dreds of “these guys” (and women); heard from ex-
perts on every facet of the business; and compiled
lists and rankings that chronicle the fantastic growth
in not only the numbers, but also in the professional-
ism of these operators and their organizations.
Our annual Multi-Unit Franchising Conference also
has grown over the years, in both the number and the
quality of attendees, panelists, speakers, and exhibitors.
Our online multi-unit business intelligence offerings
have also expanded greatly with monthly newsletters
and websites focused on multi-unit franchising—
paralleling the growth and serving the growing needs of the
expanding ranks of multi-unit and multi-brand franchisee organizations.
Franchisors, in tandem with the growing base of
multi-unit operators, have recognized this change and
responded by altering their sales approach, even their
FDDs, to accommodate multiple-unit sales to experienced franchisees. The “three-pack” has grown to the
five-pack and 10-pack, and we’re hearing more about
deals to develop upwards of 50 or 100 units in territories that grow larger each year.
Many of these multi-unit operators are only too
pleased to share what they know with each other
through our in-depth magazine profiles, taking time
out from their busy schedules to reflect on their success and offer their stories and insights to our readers. And up close and personal at our annual Multi-Unit Conference, they have shown a generosity of
spirit through impromptu conversations and on-the-spot mentoring.
This second annual edition of the Multi-Unit Buyer’s
Guide to Franchise Opportunities is a resource for connecting expansion-minded multi-unit operators with
like-minded franchisors. The following pages, filled
with concrete information from franchisors, is intended
to help you evaluate new opportunities to diversify your
portfolio of franchise brands.
The franchisors listed in these pages understand
multi-unit franchising and are actively seeking experienced operators to help them penetrate new markets,
quickly and effectively—and you’re looking for the best
brands to help your franchisee organization grow. We
hope this guide helps all involved. New and prosperous
partnerships could be just a few pages away!