Franchisors fight franchisees on eating their vegetables rather than turning that half-full cup around and showing them the fun in the daily grind.
Mac Malchow, director of field marketing at Toppers Pizza, was recently talking about his newborn eating vegetables.
“I think the reason kids hate vegetables is that we ram them down their throats before they can speak. What they want to say is they hate those smashed up green beans but have not learned the word yuck,” I said.
"If you want your kids to eat vegetables, don't incentivize them with dessert. That teaches them that vegetables are something you HAVE to eat to get the real prize – dessert,” he said, noting that he learned his from “Invisible Influence”, a book by Jonah Berger. “Instead, lead by example and eat more vegetables yourself. Eat them before your main course, and fight your kids for second helpings of the vegetables. That teaches them that vegetables are what's really coveted and they'll make the decision to eat them on their own."
Wait, are vegetables the key to successful franchising?
Don’t teach your franchisees that daily operations, local store marketing and the grind are your yucky vegetables. Teach them that all of the operational and marketing basics are the dessert. Teach them that the dessert isn’t just the money you make in the end. Teach them that the dessert is the fact that they are their own boss and should they make the right decisions of daily dessert then they can reap even more benefits.
What about leading by example? Do you do that as a franchisor? Do you try to create more profitable and more grossing corporate units? Do you show them what happens when you have operational excellence? Do you show them what happens when you invest more than the mandatory five percent on marketing? Are you invested in your brand? Do you eat more vegetables and continue to open corporate locations?
When Mac made that statement, it really connected with me and some of the challenges of franchising. Franchisors fight franchisees on eating their vegetables rather than turning that half-full cup around and showing them the fun in the daily grind. Many also don’t walk the talk, either.
Owning a franchise is not like eating your vegetables, it is like indulging in dessert. Where does this message start? In the sales process. Where does it continue? In training. Where does it thrive? In ongoing operational support.
Perhaps by changing our perceptions to being half full and stuffed with dessert is a foundational way to change the way we operate our businesses on a daily basis.