The Biggest Franchising Trends We Took from the FNB Franchise Leadership Summit

Posted on November 14th, 2018
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The theme of this year’s FNB Franchise Leadership Summit was “the future of the franchising sector”.

One of the biggest trends shared by Michael Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business is the increasing popularity of service stations as food franchises co-locate with major fuel retailers to create fully-integrated accessible centres.

Vacy-Lyle was one of the speakers at the seventh annual FNB Franchise Leadership Summit hosted this year on Tuesday 13 November 2018 in Johannesburg.

Here is a list of trends in the franchising industry that Vacy-Lyle said we should take notice of:

1. More multi-unit Owners, and franchisees owning multiple concepts

By recreating your success in multiple locations, you can quickly grow your revenues and increase your business’ sustainability. Many franchisee owners are also opening other, non-competing franchise offerings as they grow their businesses in an effort to diversify earnings.

2. Smaller, more cost-effective franchise models

Many brands, including Steers, Debonairs and Mugg & Bean On-the-Go outlets, are co-locating with major fuel retailers to create fully-integrated accessible centres. Looking at new, less expensive alternate locations beyond the shopping malls and strip malls to expand into stand-alone kiosks, food trucks, corporate catering, campuses, sporting events, craft markets, is a major trend.

The secret behind RocoMamas' social media success
Rocomamas leads with the customization and personalisation trend.

3. Niche markets

Consumers increasingly prefer local businesses over national brands. Some of the bigger brands are looking for creative ways to tackle this situation by tagging with local businesses and this trend is on the rise.

Niche markets are gaining traction. Whether it’s in offering a unique ‘gourmet’ food experience, craft beer or whether it’s in the environmental space of energy saving technology or recycling, these are where many new opportunities are to be found. With the increase in social awareness, social responsibility is a part of any business, small or big.

The current generation of consumer is challenging the role that business plays in society and franchises have wonderful platforms to play a positive role and in so doing win customers.

Consumers increasingly prefer local businesses over national brands, this includes markets such as the Old Biscuit Mill.

4. Increased customization or personalisation

In a world of increased consumer choice, it is no longer about what you have on the menu, it is now about how your product or service can be tailormade to what a customer really wants.

The success of RocoMamas speaks to this – with 61 franchise outlets their business model clearly responds to the essence of this trend by allowing consumers to create their own burgers, and increasingly consumers want the ability to create their own dining experience.

5. On-demand products or services

Amazon is a great example of this – same day delivery is becoming the norm in the age of instant gratification. Differentiation through delivery remains a big opportunity.

How Takealot Became SA's Best Online Retailer
Same-day delivery is becoming the norm.

6. Go digital

Vacy-Lyle also spoke about businesses being digital savvy. He said it is important for businesses to have a digital footprint. According to him, customers are now using social media to interact with brands online and to share their experiences of brands.

He gave the following advice:

  • You need to ensure your website is up to date and it’s responsive.
  • Keep up to date with your data analytics. “Your data analytics will drive your business.”
  • You need to offer seamless and safe payment solutions.