Food franchises account for a major portion of the franchise opportunities available today. In addition, they’re very popular.
If you happen to be someone who’s looking to become the owner of a food franchise, there are certain skills you’ll need to possess. I’m going to highlight 3 of them.
Skill #1: Multi-Tasking
When you own and operate a food franchise, the most important skill you’ll need to possess is multi-tasking. Period.
Some of the things you’ll be doing as the owner include:
- Food Prep
Before I continue, I have a question for you.
Have you ever worked in food-service?
If you have, you already know that some of the things I listed above aren’t generally done one by one in a smooth, orderly way. (Not in the food business, anyway) In other words, some of them need to be done at the same time.
For example, you may be prepping food for lunch hour, or doing employee training, when you’re interrupted by a kitchen worker who tells you that the grease trap is clogged-and smelly, used grease is oozing out all over the kitchen floor. Guess who’s’ going to have to roll up her sleeves to fix the problem?
If you’ve never worked in food-service, you need to know that there are a lot of headaches. And they seem to pile-on around the same time.
But know this: If you’re a good multi-tasker, you’ll be able to deal with them as they come up.
Skill #2: Employee Management
According the National Restaurant Association, the turnover rate in food-service (in 2016) was around 70%. That means you’ll be spending a lot of your* time doing hiring, firing, and employee training.
*If you play your cards right, you should be able to hire a manger to help with employee-related issues, eventually.
I know from my own experience in food-service that there is a ton of turnover. As long as you know that going in, and you’re a good manager of people, you should be able to put together (and retain) a good core group of employees that will stay with you.
Skill #3: Customer Service
Today’s consumers expect a lot. In addition, they hold the cards.
That’s because there are more choices than ever before. If they don’t like your product and/or your service, they’ll take their money elsewhere-without hesitation.
In particular, first impressions really count. And that’s where franchising excels, because franchisors have the resources to create great first impressions.
For example, did you know that Ray Kroc (of McDonald’s fame) used to patrol the parking lots of his restaurants making sure there wasn’t any litter? He knew that the outside areas of his restaurants were just as important as the inside. He was a clean-freak-and it paid off big.
And let’s not forget the face-to-face customer service that’s so important these days.
When a customer complains about your product or service, you need to be able to jump-in and rectify it immediately.
Your franchisor will provide specific procedures for dealing with customer complaints, but it’s going to be up to you to present a solution to whatever the complaint is in a friendly manner. If you handle customer complaints correctly, (with a smile on your face) you have a good chance of them coming back.
The bottom line: Good customer service skills are a necessity for food franchise ownership. And if you’re a good manager of employees, and can multi-task with ease, food franchise ownership could work out quite well for you.