Franchise Business Network – Denver Event Recap

Our Location3 team was thrilled to participate in the IFA’s Franchise Business Network event in our own backyard of Denver, CO at the beautiful Denver Botanic Gardens last week! Alex Porter, CEO, and Carol Lee, Sr. Director of Business Development and Culture Officer represented the team and enjoyed a two-day conference that was action-packed with high-level business insights, domestic news, and international data to help executives with future planning. These local IFA events also offered fabulous networking opportunities with franchise executives and potential partners, and the July gathering was no exception, featuring more than 150 attendees in total. Here are some our key takeaways from both days!

Key Takeaways from Day 1:

Day 1 of the event focused primarily on franchising here at home, and how current domestic market conditions are impacting franchise businesses, brands and owners.

  • The current economic climate is having several ripple effects in franchising. It seems as though many business owners are more concerned about current inflation vs. the potential of a recession.
  • With the current economic climate, more attention is being paid to every dollar spent in terms of evaluating ROI, from marketing to operations, and more.
  • Franchise development continues to be a key focus for many brands at the moment. Lori Schaffron, Sr. Director Franchise Sales, Rita’s franchising, changed strategy from one location franchisees to multi-unit franchisees, to attract a more business-minded franchise vs an employee.
  • The future of the Metaverse was a hot topic and the new digital frontier. Nike is a brand of consciousness, in the amazing ways Nike is using the Metaverse, Web3, and NFTs. Chipotle learned some valuable lessons with Metaverse last Halloween.

Key Takeaways from Day 2

Day 2 of the event shifted focus to the opportunities that exist for franchising internationally. While The United States and North America have a significant franchising presence, there continues to be a lot of opportunity for brands to expand their franchise footprint overseas, but there are also challenges in doing so that vary from country to country.

  • The global franchise industry is still growing. Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the US are the top 5 global markets.
  • Key elements for success that were discussed reiterated a need for expanding brands to determine priority territories, market share, and cost of going into a new country.
  • Successful international franchise brands that were highlighted included Snap Fitness, Phenix Salons, Children, and early learning franchises. In addition, Food & Beverage brands, such as Popeyes, Slim Chicken, Wendy’s, and Marco’s Pizza.
  • One major difference between U.S. and international franchising is the required commitments in both cost and time. Expanding overseas requires a significantly higher investment in both.
  • One question that also needs addressing if you plan to expand internationally: is your brand adaptable? International franchising is fragmented, with different cultures, taste palates, construction requirements, real estate, etc. Can your brand adapt? Examples of required adaptation may include recipe ingredients, operational manuals, training, metric units, culture, currency fluctuations, legal issues, translation, and more.

Thanks again to the IFA for hosting another incredible event, and to all the familiar and friendly faces we got a chance to connect with in Denver! One of the most rewarding aspects of franchising is the tightly-knit community of people that it creates, and these events always offer a chance to learn new ideas and have meaningful discussions with a wide variety of experienced professionals that make up franchising. We’re looking forward to the next FBN event!


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