Turning the Tables on Tradition: Non-traditional development goals are critical to your brand's success.

Author:Delks, Greg

The world is a noisy place, especially as it relates to franchising. New concepts are constantly emerging while established brands continue to evolve to meet the needs of both their consumers and prospective franchisees. Couple this with the rapid rise of social media, digital branding, mobile and the progression of traditional marketing channels, and it can be difficult to break through the clutter when it comes to franchise development.

However, if there is one thing franchising has taught us since its inception, it is that you can generate breakthrough ideas as it relates to development, but with one caveat--you need to change the way you think.


For generations, traditional franchise development strategies relied upon the tried and true method of establishing brick and mortar locations based on population density, demographics, traffic patterns, real estate availability and a variety of other indicators based on your brand and its offering. It's still one of the most important parts of any franchise development program, if not the most important part.

However, with the rise of third-party delivery systems, changing consumer habits, and escalating real estate prices, brands that want to be disruptive in this hyper-competitive market need to think outside of the traditional "development" box.

Opening your eyes and mind to a different way of doing business can be a scary step for a brand to take, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Because when you fill your brand with new and different people willing to be disruptive in non-traditional locations, it can change your entire perspective on what franchise development success looks like.


Several years ago, the leadership at Firehouse Subs began expanding the company's franchise development strategy. Airports were a logical first step because of their captive audience, constant traffic and high visibility--but as we quickly found out, they also feature some of the most cutthroat and complex real estate on the market.

Airports today are building upward and outward as terminals become more cosmopolitan to meet the demands of today's consumer. Barren and drab restaurants have given way to brighter, bolder establishments featuring innovative flavors that move far beyond the old array of pizza, hot dogs and burgers.

Prepare yourself, because airport development moves at its own pace. There are so many airport-specific hoops to jump through when it comes to franchise...

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