BVM August, 2016 - page 67

Business View Magazine - August 2016 67
to readily distribute to them with this new partnership
with Gordon Foods. And that partnership has changed
the playing field for us,” he states. “Ben’s Soft Pretzels
brand is up and coming. We’ll finish this year some-
where around 85 stores open and ready to go and next
year, we’re probably going to break that three-digit
The company is also hoping to increase the number of
its multi-unit franchisees, which now account for ap-
proximately 70 percent of its franchise partnerships.
“That’s our next big push,” Jones says. “To attract folks
who are already multi-unit franchisees; that are already
in certain markets; that are looking to add additional
business units where they don’t have to grow their
management team – they just have to add additional
front line folks to help build their organization. It helps
them utilize a smarter real estate footprint, so that
they’re not having to drive or fly hours from their home
office; they’re simply going a few miles down the road
to the nearest Wal-Mart or Meijer, where they will find
a nice little footprint for a high-revenue, high-margin
generating unit.” Ben’s Soft Pretzels also has a dozen
corporate-owned stores, with four more opening this
year, and Krider believes that running them allows the
company’s management to better understand the dai-
ly travails of its franchisees. “A franchisee can come to
us and we know what they’re going through,” he says.
“Our team knows because we’re doing it; we’re living it.
When we have a franchisee that comes to us and says,
‘I can’t get my labor down,’ I can sit there and cry with
him and I can laugh with him because we pay labor;
we know what they’re going through. We want to make
sure that we can go to a multi-unit franchisee and say:
‘We have twelve, fifteen, or twenty units that our cor-
poration owns; we know what it is to be a multi-unit,
as well. We’re a franchisor but we’re also a franchisee
of ourself. We go through it; here’s our model; here’s
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