Robert Maynard, CEO of Famous Toastery, explains how the brand achieved 30% year-over-year growth.
As pent-up consumer demand continues to climb, franchisors need to offer a proven business model, community-focused approach and dedication to high-quality food that keeps guests coming back for more.
In a world where everyone is trying to connect following the pandemic, the demand for community-driven and delicious restaurant experiences is stronger than ever. The breakfast segment, in particular, is booming as customers look for a place to enjoy fresh food with loved ones in a low-stress atmosphere. The industry continues to grow quarter after quarter, with more and more people using these restaurants as the hub of their social interactions — whether with businesses, churches, families or organizations. But if restaurant franchisors hope to tap into this increased demand and boost systemwide sales fully, they need to take the right approach.
To start, the quality of the menu and the customer service needs to stand out from competitors. It may sound simple, but there is no way around it — you can’t cut corners. The only thing that strengthens a restaurant is better food and better service. If you can make customers happy and give them a great experience, it will show in your sales numbers.
For example, Famous Toastery stands out with a full bar menu, which is rare in the breakfast and brunch segment. A good portion of our sales come via brunch, and as group get-togethers become more popular than ever following the pandemic, there is no reason customers can’t come into a Famous Toastery seven days a week. Whatever experience customers are looking for, franchisors need to find a way to give them the best version of it. And in today’s restaurant landscape, many of those customers are simply looking for a comfortable way to connect with their community.
But as a franchise brand, success isn’t only about the customer. From a franchisor’s perspective, it is all about supporting the franchisee. The customer is important, but the franchisee is even more important because they are the ones executing our community-driven mission every day. It is the franchisor’s job to support them in every aspect of the business — whether it be operations, hiring, training, real estate — and that allows them to do their best.
One way to bolster franchisee support is to start at the top and build out the company’s leadership team. Famous Toastery has hired some brilliant industry veterans over the past year, for example, who can help come up with the best ideas and execute those ideas. By hiring new leaders, franchisors are not only investing in the brand but also investing in the franchisees at the store level. Running a successful restaurant can be difficult, and it is important to have strong leaders at the top with a clear vision.
By optimizing the experience for both the customer and the franchisee, franchisors can better tap into pent-up demand and increase same-store sales. In the case of Famous Toastery, we’ve seen a 30% increase in year-over-year sales in 2022 by taking this kind of approach. Although the past two years have been difficult for the restaurant industry, breakfast franchisors now have an opportunity to come back stronger than ever.