Expanding your reach in the hospitality business can mean one of two things. The first is adding locations and/or franchises. The second is very similar – reaching more customers, possibly through online sales. The principles to follow for both are similar. Here are some things to consider.
There are so many factors that need to be considered for success, but timing is one of the most important. When it comes to timing some of the things to consider include the availability of funding and its cost, general economic factors, local employment situations, and will you be able to find the right kind of staff to keep the standard at least as high as you offer in the original location? Another thing to look at is your time. If you are already putting in 18 hours a day with the location(s) you have, do you have time to add another location and give it all that will be needed to make it grow too?
Is the new location you are considering (including expanding your online options) advantageous in several ways. If it only offers one reason, you want to keep looking. That one thing could change, and you will be stuck with a large investment and nothing special about it left to keep the people coming. Look at what works at your current location(s), the whole list. Look for a situation where most of those factors are also in place. Know who your customers are, why they come to your place and everything else that has contributed to your success so far.
What does your brand provide? Will it continue to fill the needs of people in a new location? If you have a healthy lunch business that people can eat quickly at your location or grab and go, then putting a new location in the middle of a housing development probably wouldn’t fit as well there as it would in the middle of a business center. Any new location should match the demographic of your target market.
Is Franchising the Better Option?
Before franchising, you might want to have opened a few new locations over the previous years. That way you have a good idea of what the brand means to you and others. What are the standards that must be met? How much oversight will be necessary in the beginning and afterward? If you are at the point of making that decision, you probably want to bring in someone with experience in franchising for advice or leadership.
These should all be considered before expanding your brand into new frontiers. But if your passion is to do it, and you can meet the above tests, start making your plan and scouting locations. If you did it once, you very likely can do it again … and again … and again.