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Sweat equity and capital: What it takes to open a successful franchise

Source: The Canadian Press News
Sweat equity and capital: What it takes to open a successful franchise

VANCOUVER — Beeru Mannan owns two Freshii locations in British Columbia with his brother, and the duo plan to open another pair of the chain's restaurants in the province next year.

The veteran franchisee, who's been affiliated with three other brands previously, was drawn to Freshii's focus on healthy dining options. Standing in his Burnaby, B.C., location while employees prepped fresh vegetables in the kitchen, Mannan said he believed it was an up-and-coming chain in the health food segment that could grow exponentially.

The brothers are two of many Canadians running the 78,000 franchise units in the country that fall under some 1,300 brand names, including Freshii, according to the Canadian Franchise Association.

People looking to join their ranks want to be their own boss, enjoy the flexibility that comes along with that, and desire direct control over their financial investment, according to survey responses compiled by the CFA.

Prospective franchisees should research the company, build an emergency fund and closely read the fine print on all documents before making a big capital investment, according to franchisees and industry insiders.

Freshii provided Mannan and his brother a list of all their franchisees and they travelled to Toronto, Chicago and Portland to speak with some.

"That was important to us, that it wasn't dictated who we speak to," says Mannan, who asked about the level of support they receive from head office and any operational challenges.

A big red flag, he says, would have been negative comments about their experiences with head office.

Recently, disagreements between some Tim Hortons franchisees and their parent company, Restaurant Brands International, about management moves has resulted in two class-action lawsuits being filed on behalf of franchisees and RBI taking legal steps of its own.

Sukh Aujla, who owns 11 A

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