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. Her expertise areas include strategic marketing consulting, sales strategy development, public relations, content marketing, e-mail and online marketing, brand development and print and digital design. Kristin has worked with Fransmart since 2004. Connect with Kristin Martonik 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 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 work 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.
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 been with Fransmart since 2010. Connect with Ryan Durishin on LinkedIn
Mark Treptow is a Senior Director of Development at Fransmart, and founding shareholder in a privately held QSR concept. Connect with Mark Treptow on LinkedIn