Fitness is one sector of the franchising industry that has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Franchise Times, “[o]verall sales for the segment dropped to $5.8 billion last year. That’s a 23.8 percent decline as all but one of the gym brands suffered sales losses . . . .” However, while that one gym brand, Burn Boot Camp, saw a 12.2 percent increase in sales in 2020 compared to 2019, that came with a 16 percent increase in franchised outlets. As a result, as franchise lawyer Jeffrey M. Goldstein explains, anyone who is considering a fitness franchise must look at the numbers very carefully before moving forward.
The Franchise Times recently released its annual list of the 400 largest U.S.-based franchise systems. Unlike many other “top franchises” lists and franchise reviews, the Franchise Times Top 400 focuses solely on systemwide sales. As the publication explains:
When buying a franchise, it is important to engage a reputable franchise law firm to conduct a franchise business review. This is your one chance to make sure you avoid mistakes that could put your franchise in jeopardy unnecessarily, and you cannot afford to overlook legal risks during the buying process.
In August 2021, the Franchise Times reported that about 30 percent of McDonald’s dining rooms in the United States remained closed as a result of the pandemic. However, the article also quoted McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski as stating that, “By Labor Day, barring resurgences, [the number of restaurants with open dining rooms] will be nearly 100 percent.”
According to the Franchise Times, “El Pollo Loco is set to be the first quick-service restaurant to test drone delivery in the U.S.” The publication reports that the “LA Mex” brand will begin testing at 10 locations in Southern California, and it will be working with the same third-party drone operator used by 7-Eleven. Undoubtedly, more brands both within and outside of the QSR sector will soon follow. So, what if your franchisor says you need to start offering drone delivery? Here are some important considerations from franchise lawyer Jeffrey M. Goldstein:
College students are choosing entrepreneurship as an alternative to traditional career paths with increasing frequency. This includes pursuing franchise ownership. Several colleges and universities now offer franchising programs, and these programs are designed to help prepare students for the trials, tribulations and other day-to-day realities of life as a franchisee.
While there has been a lot of coverage recently of individuals in their 20s and 30s entering the world of franchising, a significant percentage of all franchisees are over the age of 50. As a recent article published by the International Franchise Association (IFA) explains, “[f]ranchising can be an attractive investment for experienced executives, prior business owners, retired military professionals and individuals with a variety of life experiences who have the proven leadership skills needed.”
Last month, franchise attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein published an article discussing the resiliency of children’s franchises during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent article in Franchising World magazine suggests that while the health and wellness industry has struggled since March of 2020, franchises in the health and wellness industry might be poised for post-pandemic success.
Some franchise categories have fared better than others during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, while casual dining franchises have struggled (broadly speaking), many quick-service restaurant concepts that found ways to adapt by offering curbside takeaway and delivery have thrived. According to a recent article on Franchise Direct, child-related franchises have shown resiliency during the pandemic as well. Here, franchise lawyer Jeffrey M. Goldstein shares his thoughts on why that might be the case.
If you are like most prospective franchisees, you are on a budget. Buying a franchise is expensive, and you need to make sure you make every dollar count. So, is it really worth it to pay for a franchise business review? Or, is it enough to make sure you have a reasonably clear understanding of the terms of the franchisor’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and franchise agreement?