Out position your competition. I’m reminded of the phrase “look at what everyone else is doing and do the opposite”. When I think about restaurant real estate, the “opposite” is the non-traditional site. By definition, these sites are not for everyone. The more moving parts, the more complicated the kitchen setup and cooking process is, the harder it is for a concept to take advantage of these opportunities. By contrast a non-traditional site is perfect for a café concept with a flexible foot print and no heavy cooking. Nature’s Table Café does a great job of capitalizing on non-traditional sites. Catering to the busy consumer and offering healthy breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack options, you’ll find a Nature’s Table Café in select airports, travel plazas, college campuses, food courts, office complexes, corporate call centers, downtown office towers and so on. A hidden plus: These sites are also usually a lot less expensive to build out than traditional sites. Says Rich Wagner, Co-Founder and Sr. VP of Nature’s Table Café, “We’ve always done exceptionally well in traditional sites surrounded by competition but we’ve also discovered a great opportunity in non-traditional sites. These sites create additional markets for Nature’s Table Café that in many cases makes us the only fast casual food option available”.
Capitalize on Conversions. Think about all the coffee, bagel, donut, ice cream & smoothie shops dotting the landscape. Let me emphasize that a potential site has to be great real estate first. For reasons not related to location, someone else built out the kitchen, furniture and fixtures to code and ADA requirements with their money, not yours, and at some point called it quits. Left behind is a great 2nd generation site that in the best case scenario, may require some elbow grease, fresh paint, menu boards & signage. Voila! Now you’ve opened a site for a fraction of the cost of a brand new build out. Don’t forget that the conversion process also takes considerably less time than new construction and as the saying goes, time is money. Nature’s Table Café has repeatedly capitalized on this strategy resulting in more stores opening faster, starting to generate revenue sooner and creating a very attractive sales to investment ratio.
Mark Treptow is a restaurant franchise developer and founding shareholder in a privately held QSR concept. Connect with the author, Mark Treptow.
As Founder and CEO of Fransmart, Dan Rowe has turned dozens of emerging restaurant concepts into national and global chains. Mr. Rowe is a franchisee, master franchisee, franchisor, consultant, strategist, and private equity investor. He has published several expert opinion articles and spoken at numerous restaurant and franchise industry conferences. Dan is also a guest blogger for CNBC through his membership in YPO - Young Presidents' Organization. Connect with Dan Rowe on LinkedIn
As Fransmart's Vice President of Marketing, Kristin Martonik directs the global franchise marketing strategy for Fransmart’s portfolio brands. She has led franchise marketing for more than twenty regional, national and global chains. Connect with Kristin Martonik on LinkedIn
As Vice President of Fransmart, Al Rowe matches qualified franchise candidates with innovative franchise opportunities. Mr. Rowe specializes in international franchise development, and has spearheaded the growth of multiple US-based chains in high-growth international markets. Connect with Al Rowe on LinkedIn
As a Senior Director of Development, Paul Tran manages the Fransmart's emerging concepts division and is involved in recruiting franchise operators, raising capital, and territory development. Connect with Paul Tran on LinkedIn
As the Vice President of Operations for Fransmart, Kathy Thombs works closely with new franchise candidates, franchisors and the Fransmart development team to ensure seamless and successful new franchise partnerships. Her areas of expertise include franchise compliance including federal and state franchise regulations, marketing research and strategy, analytics, and customer relationship management systems. Connect with Kathy Thombs on LinkedIn.
As a Senior Director of Development, Ryan Durishin helps food operators build wealth by expanding their portfolio with high growth, emerging restaurant brands. Ryan is also a Master Franchisee for Tossed in the Washington, DC Metro market. Connect with Ryan Durishin on LinkedIn
Mark Treptow is a Director of Franchise Development at Fransmart, and founding shareholder in a privately held QSR concept. Connect with Mark Treptow on LinkedIn