For most people, franchising and technology don’t go hand in hand. It’s true that the franchising business model has lagged behind other industries when it comes to adopting new technology. However, this could soon change.
Just take Tariq Farid who might seem a bit of an oddity in the world of franchising. As both a tech geek and the founder of Edible Arrangements, he has seen firsthand how some franchise leaders are reluctant to adopt technology, which has led to a lag behind other industries. Farid explains how some in the industry fail to see that technology would help them grow their businesses and not just maintain the status quo, and Farid isn’t the only person who has noticed.
Navid Safabakhsh is the CEO of Empowerkit, a company that helps franchisees create and manage websites. While some national brands have signed up with Empowerkit, Safabakhsh has struggled to get others on board with something new in part because of the risk it poses. The fact that some vendors are tied into contrast that can last for decades only makes it more difficult to convince franchisees to try new software or work with new vendors, even if doing so would ultimately save them effort and money.
But those who create and embrace technology recognize that franchises can only go on this way for so long. Failure to adapt will lead to some companies’ downfall when their competitors are willing to try something new and reap the benefits of doing so.
An obvious example of incorporating modern technology is an app. Via the app, customers can place orders, join a queue, and earn rewards, sometimes without stepping foot in the building. The app can also keep customers apprised of their wait time. Compared to traditional pagers, which cost the company $50 to replace whenever a customer accidentally leaves with one, an app is a much safer bet. Apps have been relatively successful because they don’t necessarily have to work with a restaurant’s existing software. Thus, a decision to use the app can be made on a store-by-store basis.
But apps are far from the only technology available. Cloud computing and custom-build software solutions are also set to change the face of franchising.