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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Blue MauMau) - Franchise insiders are taking note of Yum Brands' franchise web site as setting an example for the industry. According to some, the site stands out in its layout, content and professional tone.
Paul Steinberg, a New York franchise attorney and frequent Internet blogger on issues relating to franchising, praises the site as an example to other franchise systems. He observes, "Many franchise sales pitches are a combination of pep rally and religious revival. The factual presentation coupled with the web site's emphasis on seeking serious QSR professionals as franchisees is a refreshing change."
Readers, who most likely are those considering a franchise investment, can take a tour of the inside of a restaurant. Online videos give a flavor of what managing a team behind the counter might look like. Readers can also call up photos of different multi-brand combinations - like a KFC and an A&W together.
Scott Haner, Vice President of Franchising at Yum Brands, in an interview with Blue MauMau elaborates on the elements of the site. Haner states, "The site is designed to give a flavor of what prospective franchise buyers might be looking for and to pique their interest. It gives readers choices so that they can make an informed decision."
Yum presents a "franchise pact," an understanding of what they and the franchisee must give in order to make the system work well. These twin sets of ten understandings between parties convey a sense of the corporate culture. For example:
Then there are the legal disclosures. When readers of the site and potential buyers click on "Hot Opportunities" or "Get Started" in the menu, they are given the choice of a slideshow in which they must click on a button (shown) to acknowledge any registration restrictions they may have in certain states. Legal restrictions and links to state regulation sites are displayed. For example:
"Any complaints concerning the content of this Web site may be directed to the California Department of Corporations at www.corp.ca.gov."
That's particularly helpful given that many smaller franchisors fish for candidates on the Internet in states in which the firm has not even registered. This disclaimer would be perfect for such systems to declare where they are not legally registered. Yum Brands, of course, is registered everywhere. But Yum's site goes further. Rather than providing a disclaimer to limit liabilities, the site is pro-active and transparent in ensuring that the reader is at least aware that there is state recourse if the content of the site is misleading. The "click thru" disclosure and the stress on operational experience are signals that this franchise system regards adherence to standards as critical.
Attorney Steinberg observes, "Often the reason for franchise litigation can be traced to unrealistic expectations which begin with the sales process. While any large system is going to have a certain amount of friction, Haner's low-key and honest approach is one which will tend to screen out unsuitable prospects at the outset."
Steinberg has seen hundreds of websites pitch franchise opportunites. "This is the most professional franchise sales site out there today," he uncharacteristically concludes.
Haner interjects that the site just might get even better. "We are getting ready to update the website," he declares.