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Feb, 01 2009

Standardisation of food concept (Part I)

Franchising is one of the most dynamic methods of doing business worldwide. Among all different types of franchises, food and beverage franchises are the fastest growing sections. There are very strong existing food and beverage franchises that are well

Franchising is one of the most dynamic methods of doing business worldwide. Among all different types of franchises, food and beverage franchises are the fastest growing sections. There are very strong existing food and beverage franchises that are well established in almost every corner of the world.

On the other hand, there are numerous potential food and beverage concepts in different parts of the world that are begging to be explored and can very easily prove to be as successful as the established franchises. If the concept is very well established, it will open doors for numerous opportunities and untapped resources that are available for business expansion.

Replication, popularity, profitability

The strength of a concept lies in its replication capability, as well as, its potential to sustain popularity and profitability for a desirable life span. It is extremely important that the replication be as close as possible to the original concept. A menu item should look like, taste like, feel like and be like the original concept, whether it is served in one country or another. Minor changes to suit local tastes are possible, but the concept remains the same. The concept is not restricted to foods or food ingredients. It involves everything from brand name, ambience, set-up, delivery system, layout, design and colours used to simple things such as napkins, packaging and employee uniforms. All However, the nuclei over which all other items are built in food and beverage franchises, is food.

If the food concept is not strong, it will be hard for that franchise to be successful. The concept should have something unique and an aspect that becomes the propriety or `trade secret` of that franchise. Other aspects that complement the concept are added to suit the target market. In order to maintain standardisation, so that the concept can be easily duplicated and transferred geographically, the following points should be considered:

Simplicity

The simpler the concept, the easier it is to duplicate. A fancy restaurant with an elaborate menu list can be very successful as an independent restaurant, but it will be very difficult to make it succeed as a franchise. The reason for this being – the difficulty in training operational staff to prepare such items.

Training

The more complicated an item is, the more difficult it is to train others to prepare and maintain consistent quality. In order to maintain consistent quality of products and services, a continuous well-designed training program is essential.

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