Panera and Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza Franchisees

Panera and Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza FranchiseesAs David Peterman and Mitch Roberts, partners in PR Management LLC, prepare to open their 35th Panera Bread bakery-cafe in Seabrook, NH and lay the groundwork to launch Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, a Los Angeles-based artisanal pizza franchise in multiple locations around Boston, they agreed to share their thoughts on the top 5 things that contribute to the success of a franchise group.

Choose your franchisor wisely.  It is critical to not only love the products and services that your brand provides, it is equally important to love the management team of your franchisor.  Their quality, integrity and strength will be critical to your success.

Evaluate your franchisor. Look for a franchisor with a current and modern business model. A successful franchisor is financially sound and cares about their franchisee’s financial success, and most importantly, they provide strong leadership with a deep understanding of their business space that allows them to anticipate needs ahead of customer demand.

Make sure you have sufficient capital. Make sure you have the financial capacity to launch your venture, with immediate access to capital.  It’s always a good idea to look for scalable models that allow you to sustain your growth with new customers, while maintaining your current relationships. For example, the Panera app (launched this summer) enables customers to place orders from their iPhone and by-pass the line for quick pick-up, while other customers linger over lunch.

Pay attention to details. Once you’ve made a commitment, pay attention to everything because everything is important.  At Panera, there are many steps in serving our customers (from baking the bread, to making coffee and assembling the salads) with each step equally as important as the others. If you don’t insist that everything is taken seriously and model this with your own actions, your team will reflect that mentality in their work and the customer experience. Consequently, the lifeblood of your business will suffer.

Find the opportunity.  A number of years ago we noticed a need for lunch involving bread and baked goods and saw how excited customers in St. Louis were about the Panera café idea, and we got on board.  Now we’re seeing the same thing with Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza. There’s a niche, particularly among millennials, for fast/casual custom made pizza — a quick, delicious place to eat before a concert or a movie, made with whole, oerganic ingredients — and we’re excited to bring that to Boston.