Discounted Franchise Fees: Is it a Good Idea?

The following article was written by franchisEssentials Guest Author, Joe Caruso. Joe is a respected franchise veteran with 19 years of extensive franchise management and development experience, spending the better part of his career in C-level positions, most recently as Chief Development Officer at Kidde Academy. He is quite active in franchise circles and frequently participates in LinkedIn franchise group discussions and at many franchise-related events from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia. Joe routinely shares his perspective and insight that has proven beneficial to several franchisEssentials startup and emerging franchise clients. We look forward to his continued participation and contributions.

Franchise Fee Giveaways!

Of course you’ve heard about the recent franchise fee giveaways that some franchisors have publicly announced. Is it a good idea? Does it diminish the brand to prospective franchisees? What does it mean to existing franchisees that invested at full price?

Certainly not charging a franchise fee might seem like an attractive offer to prospective franchisees. And franchisors that usually take this approach argue – “we make our money from royalties not franchise fees”. While that belief might rationalize the decision to forgo upfront fees it doesn’t sufficiently address the realities of franchise recruitment and the relative expenses. A franchisor might make “its money” from royalties, but it pays for selling costs, lead generation marketing, legal compliance and development sales/support personnel typically from upfront franchise fees.

Logic of forgoing upfront fees escapes me. It seems to me if your cost per sale is for example $15K, your franchise fee is $30K and you want to sell more franchises you could instead of giving away your upfront franchise fee you might invest more money in your franchise recruitment marketing budget?

What are your thoughts?


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