How Did Franchising Get Started and Why is it a Popular QSR Business Model?
When most of us think of franchises, we think of quick service restaurant (QSR) business model giants like McDonald’s or Subway. And when we do, we almost never think of these brands as made up of thousands of independently-owned and operated stores. But the fact is, a franchise brand is just that — a collection of franchisees who run their locations on their own and make important decisions about them every day. Becoming part of a franchise brand is a great way to feel the rewards of business ownership without shouldering all the responsibilities yourself; you’ll have the franchisor to rely on for things like national marketing and research and development.
But how did franchising get its start? Here, we’ll take a brief look at the origins of franchising and why it’s such a popular option as a QSR business model.
It Began with Beer
Believe it or not, some early examples of franchising go back to mid-nineteenth century Germany, when brewers set up contracts with tavern owners to sell their beer exclusively to them. Around that same time, the first American product-name franchisor, Isaac Singer, began to award the rights to sell his sewing machines to traveling independent salesmen. Later, during the 1920’s and 30’s, iconic brands we grew to love, like Ben Franklin, A&W Root Beer, and Howard Johnson, came on the scene and served millions of consumers.
And Continued with Television and the Car
Many important franchise chains we know and love today, like the aforementioned McDonalds’s, got their starts and established themselves in the 1950’s and 60’s. This growth can be linked to two important cultural changes in the US: the rise of television advertising, and the establishment of the national highway system. The former made national advertising a reliable way to build brand awareness; the latter made travel to unfamiliar locations more common, creating the need for national brand names as a way of demonstrating and ensuring quality to potential customers in these new locations.
Today’s Appeal and the QSR Business Model
It’s no coincidence that many quick service restaurants are franchised brands. That’s because the franchise business model, one that’s based on proven systems, processes and procedures that benefit all franchisees, is a near-perfect one for the QSR industry. Quick service restaurants depend on that word — quick — to generate income and grow, and the franchise model allows them more time to do business and less time for guesswork or confusion. The kinks have been worked out by the franchisor.
Today, there are well over 750,000 franchises doing business in this country every day, and as we’ve just discussed, for good reason. Working as part of a franchise brand allows franchisees the freedom to be their own bosses while enjoying all the work that the franchisor has done before (and for) them. It takes a lot of the stress and worry out of running a business and leaves more time for what matters most — growth!
Ready to find out more about the Golden Chick QSR business model? We’d love to hear from you, so get in touch today!