• Foodservice franchisees prefer transparent, collaborative corporate cultures

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Foodservice franchisees prefer transparent, collaborative corporate cultures
Restaurant franchisees that are part of a well-supported, transparent company culture rated their satisfaction with their franchisor and concept highest in Franchise Business Review's recently released 2009 Top Food Franchises report. Franchise Business Review is an online independent research and information source for the franchise industry. 
 
The report presented the most popular franchise concepts by franchisee satisfaction ratings. Marco's Pizza, Papa Murphy's Take ‘N' Bake Pizza and Simple Simon's Pizza were among the top-rated franchises here. 
 
The report's generating survey had 20 questions to rate satisfaction. Franchisees rated their franchises in five key areas: franchise relations, training and support, the overall system, financial opportunity and general satisfaction. Franchise Business Review tapped over 100 food-specific franchise companies; the final report list represented the top 12 concepts for franchisee satisfaction. 
 
Elaborating on the report's contents, Eric Stites, president of Franchise Business Review,  said the best systems not only provide support at the home office level, but also have a corporate culture that fosters franchisee interaction and collaboration. 
 
"Being able to pick up the phone and contact another other franchisee and bounce ideas off them [is important]," Stites said. "It's that whole network. The best franchise systems do a lot to foster those relationships through mentoring programs, or regional program performance groups where regional [franchises] get together and share their operational playbook and best practices.
 
"It's a very cultural thing; a company that's good at sharing info and keeping things open will do well and rate highly with franchisees." 
 
Flexibility was another factor that was especially important to franchisees' success and happiness this year.

The biggest sources of franchisor discontent this year included overzealous franchise salespeople who don't paint an accurate picture of revenues, and ongoing corporate training and support. 

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