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Best Restaurant Franchises That Are Winning during Hard Times

Papa Murphy's in Murray, Utah
A Papa Murphy's in Salt Lake City, Utah

Twenty franchise brands have shown skilled leadership in standing tall against all other  restaurant chains during these tough times. Nation’s Restaurant News says in their May 18 edition that these twenty “are using numerous moves in an effort to declare checkmate on the economy.”

Here are five of twenty. Each of the brands have experts and analysts discussing why it stands out compared to the rest of the sector.

  1. McDonald’s: A franchisee says the secret to McD’s success is its ability to collaborate with franchisees and to align them with disparate parts of the business through its Plan to Win program.

  2. Papa Murphy’s: Franchisees attribute the chain’s successful growth to the supportive relationship the franchisor has with them and its focus on operations, food and customer satisfaction. Franchisee Jon Willie says that Papa Murphy’s does not sell food to franchisees, a practice that makes franchisees in other brands feel vulnerable to high costs from price gouging of its franchisor.

  3. Buffalo Wild Wings: During tough times, people like to socialize more. Franchisees say the secret to Buffalo Wild Wings is that the system and the franchisees focus on building a socializing business structure around sports. “We try to find employees that, No. 1, genuinely love sports and love to be around people,” says Franchisee Kevin O’Laughlin. “That sort of sets the tone for the restaurant.”

  4. Panera Bread: Nothing about franchisees in this piece. But what drives Panera Bread’s success is incredible financial control and its differentiation when its competitors continue to conform with each other.

  5. Five Guys: With 400 units, Five Guys is riding on the gourmet burger category that has seen a major revival in the last two to three years.” The brand focuses on pushing the quality of their gourmet burger. “We stress that our franchisees, managers and hourly employees are really fanatical about quality,” says Doug McKinney, the chain’s director of training.

Note: Sorry. This article is not online friendly. You’ll have to get a copy of the May 18 Nation’s Restaurant News to read the full article. Most of the articles feature corporate officers and ignore the restaurant owner-operators. Snooze.

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