Words of Wisdom: Evaluating New Brands
Sunny Ghai, President and CEO, Ghai Management Services Co.
Brands: Burger King (60), Taco Bell (9), Corner Bakery Cafe (2), Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza (1), Chevron (3), Conoco-Phillips 76 (2), Arco/AMPM (2)
What do you consider when evaluating new brands?
The two biggest things we look at when adding a new brand are product and people. The most important thing is that you can't sell something you don't like. That was the first thing that attracted us to Taco Bell, its a brand my family has thoroughly enjoyed for years. When choosing Blaze, we actually compared it to its top competitors and the product was clearly far superior. In fact, we were on the verge of going with a different fast casual pizza concept when a chance meeting brought us to Blaze. It is a decision we feel privileged to have been able to make. The people portion is sometimes more important than the brand. We look to see whether the people leading the concept have an evolving vision of the future, rather than settling for what has worked in the past. Are they engaging Millennials? Are they open to new and creative ideas, or are they stuck to a cookie cutter model? What growth potential do they offer? For example, is there acquisition opportunity? Is there opportunity to develop outside the given region? The last question we ask ourselves after conducting our due diligence is, "Can we make this business profitable?" The we portion is most important, as you have to consider many aspects, including real estate costs, our experience in the industry, whether we have the capital to support growth, etc.
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