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Is it easier to get into Harvard than get into a Chick-Fil-A Franchise?



Chick-Fil-A Franchise

According to a June 7, 2018, article in the Washington Post, it seems that you have a better chance at getting into Harvard University than you do buy into a Chick-Fil-A franchise. The Georgia based chicken chain receives more than 40,000 applications per year from potential franchise owners and only awards about 100 licenses. Harvard gets about 40,000 applications too but admits around 2,000 new students per year. My question is, why would anyone want to own a chicken joint and smell like grease all day? I thought we tried to get away from fast food jobs after college. It seems more people want to go back to that same grind.

With unemployment rates at a 50-year low, more people have jobs in America now than in recent history. However, people still call me every day to get out of their job and into a franchise to create their own opportunity and control their destiny. Perhaps it’s a corporate rat race issue or just plain dissatisfaction with career choices.  Funny – I hear from most people who I speak with that their career choose them, not the other way around. They wake up one day and realize that life is flying by, they are not happy with their career, it feels like their job is stealing their soul and they want a change. Yup, they rather run a Chick-fil-A franchise than work another day in a job they loathe making someone else richer and having no control.

Franchising is a clear way to change all that. With a great business, you can control your own destiny. It’s a matter of finding a great concept that you can transfer your skillset into and then get satisfaction from building something on your terms. For many people, it’s a second chance at making an impact for their family, community and the world, perhaps.

A franchise is a business with training wheels. For many first-time business owners, that is a perfect scenario. The franchise company gives you a blueprint for the business, training and ongoing support to a novice get off to a profitable start and be successful. There is not a better, safer way to go, into business, in my opinion.

However, as you choose a franchise you need to have your eyes wide open and understand the day to day operation and what your role will be. In addition, it’s important to understand the legalities and restrictions of the franchise agreement.

It is interesting to me that Chick-fil-a has such a high level of interest in participating in their business model. I assume most people looking at that business feel that it’s like a McDonald’s type of franchise business structure, but it’s not.

I consider Chick-fil-A a sort of hybrid franchise operation. There are a few concepts that execute this type of model. The cornerstone of the business relationship that one needs to grasp is that at Chick-fil-A, you are not a franchisee. You are more like a managing partner. You will invest $10,000 of your own money to manage one, single restaurant. It is essentially buying yourself a restaurant manager job. Chick-fil-A corporate pays for real estate, construction, fixtures, furniture, and equipment. You manage the day to day operation, staffing, HR and food control. In the end, when it comes time to sell and retire, you have nothing to sell. It’s not your business. In a traditional franchise, you keep the profits of what you have built. That is not important to everyone but for a true business owner, it is paramount.

The Cathy family, Truett Cathy is the founder of Chick-Fil-A, has built a wildly successful brand with this model. In my opinion, it’s better than just hiring a restaurant manager which is pretty inexpensive as far as investing in staff goes. Instead, they have a person managing the store who is committed because he or she has skin in the game and in making a percentage of the profit. It’s a win/win for everyone involved.

To learn more about Chick-fil-A, watch my short video: Chick-Fil-A – 4 things you should know

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Tom is a Certified Franchise Expert. He was the #1 Franchisee of the Year’ in one franchise concept and failed in another. The lessons learned from failure is what makes him an expert. Tom is the author of three books including the #1 bestseller, Franchise Savvy. Since 2002, he has helped more than 1500 people figure out if franchising is for them.