There is rapid growth that sparkles and rapid growth that lasts. The recently released Franchise Times Fast & Serious list aims to identify the latter, using a proprietary 10-point formula that identifies sustainable unit and sales growth over a three-year period. Here are some insightful tips from the CEOs driving sustainable growth in this year’s top five.
Number 1 is circle K, with sales up 48.8% to $15.2 billion from 2018 to 2020. The number of units rose to 11,312, up 40.5% from 2018. In a post to customers, CEO Brian Hannasch wrote about the four values of the Canadian-based company and his four t-shirts that each display one of them. They are: A team. Take possession. Do the right thing. And play to win.
“Over 41 years ago, our company was founded in a single store in Laval, Canada, with a certain set of guiding values,” he writes. “As we continue to become a bigger global company, we want to be able to verbalize and share these values so that we can continue to grow together.”
#2 is Tommy’s Express, a car wash chain that’s a relative newcomer to the Fast & Serious list. CEO Alex Lemmen cited the small workforce, typically five people per shift and 12 people on payroll, as a draw. “We joke that this stainless steel equipment arrives on time every day and is unaffected by labor shortages.” Profit margins between 40 and 50% don’t hurt either.
An innovative founder, Tom Essenburg, is another driver of franchise growth. “He has created original ideas, including the patented round arch, which makes car washing an aesthetically appealing retail business, not an industrial automotive experience,” said chairman Ryan Essenburg, Tom’s son.
#3 is Scooter’s Cafe, where CEO Todd Graeve believes his primary mission is to stay ahead of franchise unit growth with services and products to support them. “We have a deep responsibility to find resources well ahead of the curve. Right now we could support 1,000 stores,” he said; They predict 600 to 650 stores open by the end of 2022.
Co-founder and chairman Don Eckles said the company’s core values are most important: integrity, humility, courage and love. “We have to protect this with our lives,” Eckles said. “If we don’t understand the magic of this business, it’s just a transaction. If we just become a coffee deal, you better hope there isn’t a better one coming along.
Number 4 is Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions, formerly called uBreakiFix. CEO Dave Barbuto believes his rebrand, launched last July, among more than 650 U.S. stores and nearly 600 mobile repair vehicles will maintain growth. “We are excited about the prospect of growth this change will bring,” he said. “The rebrand allows us to massively expand our marketing power and expand our customer base. Additionally, the rebranding marks a clear shift in our strategy to offer more than repair. “
His main priorities are “always, one, taking care of our employees and two, taking care of our customers,” he said, “so I do everything I can to keep them in mind when decision”.
#5 is Teriyaki Madness, where CEO Michael Haith believes in developing collaboration and trust among franchisees. “We talk! We communicate, we over-communicate, kind of where our heads are. how much franchisees agree.
“It’s when the ivory tower comes up with these things” on its own that the problems arise. He also believes in doing what he and the management team say they will do. “Sometimes you just have to roll up your sleeves and make things work. When you’re in franchise, you make a lot of promises. That’s what keeps me awake at night,” knowing he has to fulfill them.
Read the full Franchise Times Fast & Serious 2022 list here.