The decision to enter the franchise industry can be exhilarating, but also intimidating: With such a diverse array of franchise opportunities, how does one know which opportunity is right for you? It's critical that you do your research, and understand all of the pros and cons.
The mission of the International Franchise Professionals Group(IFPG) is to help hopeful entrepreneurs find that right opportunity that aligns with their needs and goals.
To help you understand the franchise investigation process and best questions to ask, we interviewed a franchisee who recently went through this process.
Meet Rich Nordstrom, Al Rubio, and Tony Sangelo, otherwise known as the “Three Guys” who will be bringing three Teriyaki Shops to Raleigh, North Carolina!
According to Rich, “We hope that Teriyaki Madness becomes a household name. Our goal is to know that we are helping others lead a better, happier, and healthier life. Along with having financial success, we are striving for hard work, dedication and providing the best quality product in the area.”
Q: What got you into franchising? What is your background?
Rich: I was looking for an opportunity to work for myself. My current employment is supporting Sharepoint, IIS, Domino, and Goanywhere servers. I have also been working at Domino's as a driver for the past 11 years as something to do part time. Back in the early 90's I had been a kitchen manager/supervisor/assistant manager of several large restaurant chains. I always thought at that time in my life that I would continue but things changed (kids) and I had to change my path into the computer world. Funny how things are cyclical, and you end back where you started!
Al: Franchising gave me the opportunity to open a store in the Raleigh area with an established business. I am a retired military and semi-retired consultant.
Tony: My complete background is in food services management; this is a great opportunity to further my experiences.
Q: What franchise have you chosen to invest in, and tell us about them?
Rich, Al & Tony:Teriyaki Madness; a fast-casual Asian Restaurant; there are currently no TMAD franchises in the Raleigh area!
Q: What made you choose a food franchise?
Rich: Honestly it’s what we all know how to do the best -- and everyone has to eat!
Al: Having had experience working part-time in the food industry gives me the opportunity to bring my knowledge, experience, and resources to successfully open a food franchise in the Raleigh area.
Tony: I have been working in the food industry for the past 15 years making this a great opportunity!
Q: How many franchisees did you speak to before deciding that Teriyaki Madness was the right fit, and what did you learn from this process?
Rich: Four. The first few just didn’t fit well into what we wanted to accomplish. Teriyaki Madness was just the right fit for us and we decided we didn’t need to continue looking.
Al: Four. Some franchises were very informative, giving us great details of the inner workings of their franchise. Others gave us very little information; making us do a lot of research on our own in order to give them our consideration.
Tony: Four, I learned a lot about the TMAD process and all that goes into it.
Q: How important was talking to other Teriyaki Madness franchisees? What questions did you find most helpful during this process?
Rich:Extremely important. This part let us know how the franchisees felt about the franchise. It also gave us an opportunity to make sure they were just not just getting by and the product was strong enough to ensure growth for us and our franchises.
Al: Very productive and informative; our key areas of interest were and still are – How supportive is the franchisor to the franchisee? And what are the costs associated with establishing the first Teriyaki Madness?
Tony: It helped us understand what it takes to start a franchise and how they went about starting their Teriyaki Shop.
Q: What kind of outside assistance did you seek? Did you use a lawyer or accountant to help make your final decision?
Rich, Al & Tony: We reached out to other CPAs, lawyers, and talked to financial companies. We used what we everyone uses best; their gut. After speaking with 4 or 5 franchise owners we felt this was a great shot. We made the final decision together.