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6 Management Tips for New Franchisees

by Andrew Call

Buying a franchise is just the first step in running a new business. This article presents six tips that can increase the opportunity for a successful franchise operation.

Conceptualizing, creating, and operating a successful restaurant is as daunting as it is promising. From purchasing equipment to keeping your restaurant supply  in stock, the list of to-dos on any new managerís plate steadily piles up. Thatís why many would-be restaurant owners choose to purchase an already established franchise rather than risk it all on a concept of their own.

The benefits of nestling up under the wing of a regional or national restaurant chain by becoming a franchisee are enough to make the opportunity an enticing one, but managing a franchise has itís challenges just like any other restaurant. Taking the right steps, and enforcing the proper procedures, requires dedication and determination no matter the venue.

Here are 6 pointers to help you get that franchise up, running, and on the road to success:

1- Donít rush into hiring employees. Often the interview process for hiring new employees takes all of 5 minutes. Between the initial meeting, discussion of resume and qualifications, and listing off expectations many managers hire new staff members in less time than it takes orders to reach tables. This can result in customer service suffering and a higher employee turnover rate.

Take the time to pre-screen potential employees and donít hesitate to hold one or two interviews with the same person before hiring them. Youíll be happier, and your new hire will perform better, in the long run.

2- Lead by example. Itís a creed that gets tossed around in every aspect of any business, but leading by example is the only way you can effectively show your staff that standards are applied evenly across the board. Nothing is more irritating or demeaning than setting guidelines and rules only to shy around them as the manager. On the other hand, when your staff sees you living up to the standards youíve set it signifies to them that even though youíre in charge you are not above anything you ask them to do.

3-  Donít micromanage. Being a manager gives you good reason to want to control every aspect of your operation, but trying to control everything is a quick way to frustrate and annoy your staff. Check in and conduct regular reviews, but learn to believe in your employees. Give people responsibility and trust them to do their job. Itís surprising how much performance improves when you take a step back and resist the urge to dip your finger into everything thatís cooking.  

4- Have a clear path for advancement. Being transparent and open about advancement opportunities is an excellent way to ensure your staff has something to work towards. Even your current superstars will eventually want something more than waiting tables for tips and operating  your equipment. Setting a clear standard for raises and position advancement beyond ďyouíve been here the longestĒ is not only smart itís essential. Compliment and reward employee development on a regular basis and advance members of your staff who have truly earned it.

5- Listen and encourage feedback. Youíd be surprised how often this phrase is uttered only to go unheeded. Underlying problems in operation and interaction may go unnoticed by you as the manager if youíre not asking for feedback. Create an environment where employees can be comfortable sharing their thoughts without fear of being reprimanded, and actively listen to make your staff feel like their opinions are valued.

6- Create a corporate culture. In the cut-and-dry world of corporate business itís easy to bypass the notion of creating a culture within your space. One way to make your staff feel comfortable, work more efficiently, and go home satisfied with their performance is to invite them to become part of your corporate family. Work doesnít need to be a draining, lackluster experience every day, and creating an enjoyable atmosphere can drastically change how your employees view their workload.

Buying into a franchise doesnít mean you have to leave all personal touches at the door. While restaurant supplies may be chosen for you, finding a balance between business and building relationships can help you and your staff enjoy work while getting the most out of the franchise experience.

Andrew Call provides blog insights regarding restaurant management and marketing at The Back Burner. The top-rated food service blog is written by the employees of Tundra Specialties, a company specializing in restaurant supply, parts, and a wide variety of food service equipment and sundries.

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