If you're exploring food franchises in Canada, the first thing you probably noticed is that there are a lot of choices. To help narrow down your search, here are some things you need to know about this popular franchise sector.
Location should line up with the menu
Location matters in general with franchises, but there's an extra layer involved in food concepts. If, for example, you want to get into a coffee brand, your location needs to be easily accessible for traffic early in the morning because that's a peak time for brew-minded customers. A franchise that focuses on a lunch menu, on the other hand, would be better situated near an office building or a high school, depending on the target demographic.
There are many formats
Food franchises often come in mall food court, stand-alone and street-front formats. Choosing one is a very important decision, so you'll want to seriously weigh the differences between all three before you make your choice.
With standalone formats, customers will have access to parking in the front, which can help in bad weather, and your location will be their primary destination, with less direct competition. However, you'll likely have more responsibilities and expenses with this format than the other two.
A busy street-front location will have less parking, but the increase in foot traffic can make up for that. If you're near an anchor business like a major store, you'll benefit from additional customers. Keep in mind that you won't have any control over what types of businesses open near you, and if the anchor closes, it could harm your business.
Mall food court locations have built-in customer foot traffic. You have the chance to attract people who would never have tried your franchise otherwise. Of course, you'll have direct competition from the other food franchises by you, but you won't have to deal with parking problems, snow removal, landscaping and other responsibilities you'd have with a standalone store.
One of the toughest things about food franchise searches is trying to determine whether the brand is evergreen or just a trend that's likely to be short-lived. There's no one guaranteed way to determine whether a food brand will stand the test of time, so your personal belief in the products, the history behind the franchise and the viability of the sector will all be factors to strongly evaluate here.