With things moving so fast, it will become difficult for entrepreneurs to keep pace with the consumer demands. With changing economic and social conditions, developing countries, particularly India and China have several unique challenges. Examples include the use of mobile phones, fast foods, online ordering, call center demands, etc. All this has a big impact on consumer needs.
With more than one family member working to fill in demand, people are eating away from home more frequently than ever. This can be in the form of having lunch during office hours, dinner due to the lack of time and energy to prepare food at home, ease of ordering food, and more people travelling due to the improved surface transportation.
All these have a big impact on dining habits of consumers and if we consider the millions of people in each market segment, the potential for food franchising is unprecedented. Also, people are becoming more and more aware of ethnic foods and varieties.
Technology is Changing the Way We Do Things
Technological changes and the number of affordable gadgets have changed the way we used to do business. Whether it is operational procedures, training, or management, technology is playing a big role. These aspects are extremely important for franchising. For example, it is much easy to trace food coming from a particular farm to the vendor, food processing, and finally in the hands or plate of the consumer. Consumers can order food from their mobile phones, restaurants can have electronic menu boards, and essentially the entire process of serving food can be modernised. Similarly, the delivery service is bound to grow tremendously in India. Even providing lunchtime deliveries can keep franchisees busy all the time.
Keeping Things Simple
Considering the demand for large-scale preparation, it is vital to have menu items that are simple, easily prepared in a short period of time, and served conveniently. People do not have time for very elaborate meals on a regular basis. Food franchises sometimes resemble “filling stations” where people will stop to get petrol and move on. Carry-out or delivered food items are therefore becoming popular. Therefore, in addition to simplicity, the food should have quality retention properties, at least for a certain period of time until the food is consumed.
Apart from simplicity, menu items should be such that can be replicated easily. The quality should be consistent to an extent that a food item bought from a franchise in Delhi should be a mirror image of the one bought in Mumbai or Hyderabad. This again is the latent point of success of any franchise. A product can be fine when prepared by one person and may not keep its consistency when someone else is preparing it.
The food franchise concept has to be developed considering the consumer needs, quality of food items, replication capability, trainability, etc. This is where many of the prospective franchisors and well-established franchisors do not pay required attention. It is the concept which keeps a franchise going for years. For example, if we consider McDonald's, their concept is simple, yet there are built-in points that make the franchise successful all over the world. This is true for other franchises. A franchisor should spend considerable investment in time, effort and resources in developing this concept. It is advisable to get expert help in planning concept for ….?
Any successful franchise will attract competitors and other businesses which will either duplicate or outdo the franchise concept. It goes back to the “uniqueness” of franchise concept that keeps it from getting taken over by a competitorwhich had to be carefully planned and built into any concept. McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, etc., have this uniqueness built into their franchise concept that makes them so successful all over the world. That does not mean that there will not be other competitors selling similar items. However, a franchise should stand alone and be sustainable in spite of the competition.
With the growing trends, it is important to corner the best possible location where this new target population is available. Getting into the prime locations is also a trick of franchise success. With proper visibility, access, and convenience, a food franchise can multiply and be prosperous.
The above-mentioned points are interrelated and show some of the basic elements of a successful food franchise in light of the contemporary trends.