A Franchise Advisory Council (FAC) should involve good franchisee representation.
That means that there should be a meaningful diversity of franchisee members on the council. In our view that diversity or representativeness will help facilitate achievement of the FAC purpose. Importantly also, we believe it will help franchisees (generally) see the FAC as a valid, productive and useful forum.
A bad example of franchisee representation or diversity would be if large franchisees from a single city, within a nationwide chain, were the sole franchisee representatives on a FAC.
Franchisee FAC members should be representative, in our view, of the distribution of the unit-level business model and franchisee base around the country. Accordingly, when thinking about representation criteria, we note the following examples as key dimensions to consider:
- Geographic dispersion, as different provinces, cities, towns and locations may feature different customers, competitors, media, climate and other sometimes obvious and relevant factors.
- Franchisee size, because small franchisees versus large franchisees may have quite different operating situations, challenges and success factors. Single unit versus multi-unit franchisee representation may also be relevant.
- Franchisee tenure, as new franchisees have more recent onboarding, and start-up support and operating experience – and may have different needs to experienced franchisees.
- Politics, because franchisees will see the FAC as less valid if it is stacked with franchisor friends.
- Business configurations, as some franchise systems operate different business models under the same brand. For example, there may be both standalone and store within store concepts within the same franchise company.
We posit FAC franchisee representation is an important factor. We consider it so important we often structure representation criteria into FAC constitutions – depending on a franchise system’s particular situation.
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