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 global franchise marketing for Fransmart’s portfolio brands. She has led franchise marketing for dozens of regional, national and global chains. Her expertise areas include strategic marketing consulting, sales development, PR, CRM and marketing automation, SEM and SEO, brand development, advertising, and print and digital design. Kristin has 15 years of experience in international business and marketing, and has also worked in the music industry. Kristin has been with Fransmart since 2004. Connect with Kristin Martonik on LinkedIn
As Vice President of Sales, Ryan Durishin helps food operators build wealth by expanding their portfolio with high growth, emerging restaurant brands. Ryan consults closely with both prospective franchisees and Fransmart franchisors, and manages and mentors our franchise development team. Ryan has extensive experience in both domestic and international development. He has over twelve years of experience in Sales, Marketing, and Business Development, and he has been with Fransmart since 2010. Connect with Ryan Durishin on LinkedIn
As a Senior Director of Development, Paul Tran facilitates franchise deals between investors and emerging, high growth restaurant brands, with a specialization in global markets. He also has experience in corporate banking; private, alternative, and business investments; and business-to-business, consultative, and high-ticket sales and marketing. Paul is a former restaurant founder / owner, and a current restaurant franchisee. Paul has been with Fransmart since 2007. Connect with Paul Tran on LinkedIn
As the Vice President of Brand Management for Fransmart, Kathy Thombs works closely with new and existing restaurant brand franchisors and the Fransmart development team, to ensure seamless and successful franchise partnerships. Her areas of expertise include brand strategy and development, franchise sales process and operations, franchise compliance - including the ever-changing federal and state franchise regulations, marketing strategy, analytics, and CRM proficiency. Kathy has been with the company since 2003. Connect with Kathy Thombs on LinkedIn
Mark Treptow is a Senior Director of Development at Fransmart, and founding shareholder in a privately held QSR concept. Mark drives franchise growth for brands in Fransmart’s restaurant portfolio. Mark has been involved in the formation and growth of three successful start-up companies. At Fransmart, Mark works with investors, business owners, corporate executives, and existing franchise operators to expand their investments through multi-unit or master franchise development. Mark has been with Fransmart since 2008. Connect with Mark Treptow on LinkedIn
As our Brand Marketing Coordinator, Jimmy consults our franchise brands on B2C marketing programs, branding and social media, local store marketing, and SEO / content marketing. He is a creative thinker, with a unique ability to develop breakthrough campaigns; in fact, he has a viral YouTube.com video with over 1M views under his belt. Jimmy helps our brands be seen and heard in a loud and often cluttered digital marketplace. He has been an Assistant Account Executive at ad agency Greenfield/Belser, a Marketing Associate at LivingSocial, and a copywriter. Connect with Jimmy on LinkedIn
Casey Thorp is Fransmart's Public Relations & Marketing Systems Manager, overseeing our CRM and Marketing Automation programs. Casey manages our candidate nurturing programs, to ensure franchise candidates receive the latest Fransmart brand updates. She works with industry and regional media to facilitate strong PR exposure for our brands. Casey forges relationships and represents Fransmart with service providers, franchisors, franchise candidates and media. She has a strong background in digital marketing, and has been with Fransmart since 2011. Connect with Casey on LinkedIn