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Why Franchising May Not Be Right for Everyone

For those with the entrepreneurial spirit, one of the most common starting points on the road to becoming your own boss is franchising. The ability to partner with a proven brand provides a roadmap to a great new career. When you choose Dickey’s Barbecue Pit®, we are here to provide you with the tools you need, like purchasing power, marketing, operational support, and ongoing training. Despite these advantages, being a franchisee entrepreneur is not a good fit for everyone.

Experienced franchisors like Dickey’s can provide you with the tools and support, but you must bring the commitment, responsibility, and accountability needed to work in a franchised business. The importance of these intangible factors can’t be understated! While the Dickey’s family owned and operated brand has an 81-year track record of great barbecue coupled with almost thirty years of successful franchising, only a passionate franchisee can create a thriving restaurant.

At Dickey’s, we look for motivated individuals that believe in their plan and execute integrative processes with precision. We look for franchisees with the ability to manage all of the moving parts of the daily business operations, while maintaining the standards of an internationally recognized brand.

“At Dickey’s, we look for franchisees that realize the profit is made in the front of the house and not in their office,” said Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. CEO Laura Rea Dickey. “To be the right fit, we look for owner operators that are comfortable running a successful business but are willing to be coached when needed. In our most successful franchises, we find passionate, innovative and humble dreamers that are willing to take risks and see the bigger picture.”

The learning curve that comes with the transition from a 9-to-5 job into the 24/7 operation of a franchised restaurant may be more intense than some are ready to take on. And there may be some personalities and traits that would prevent someone from succeeding in a franchise model.

Here are some questions that Laura Rea Dickey believes people should ask themselves when seeking franchise opportunities:

Am I okay with not being in total control?

While franchisees do control a variety of operations in their restaurants, at the end of the day, the franchisor makes the final decisions about how the restaurant is run operationally, and to a lesser extent, financially. The franchisor sees the big picture and based on that is able to make decisions that benefit the majority of the franchise network.

That is not to say you won’t be able to give input and feedback to your franchisor, but there is no guarantee your suggestions will result in changes. So, if you like being in total control or want decision-making authority over all aspects of your business, franchising may not work for you.

Am I willing to make the ongoing investments?

When purchasing a franchise, the initial investment is costly. These start-up costs are usually understood by potential franchisees as they explore different franchise brands. What surprises many franchisees are the ongoing costs like royalties, marketing and technical fees, training, advertising, labor, and equipment replacement. These costs can add up quickly! In the restaurant industry, food and labor costs fluctuate and can be hard to control for even the best-run franchisee.

 Am I comfortable being financially transparent with my franchisor?

One of the main disadvantages of becoming a franchisee is the sacrifice of financial privacy. A franchise agreement almost always allows the franchisor to review and oversee most financial aspects of the franchise. Franchisors collect and analyze sales data in order to improve their business model and ensure accurate payment of royalties and other ongoing fees. While this oversight comes with financial guidance from the franchisor, some people may not be willing or comfortable with the transparent nature of the business.

Am I willing to accept the unpredictable nature of owning my own business?

Owning your own business provides freedom and fulfillment, but it also brings a certain level of uncertainty. Current events like the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and supply chain issues have rocked global corporations and small business owners alike. Higher costs and unexpected shortages make for a challenging business climate. But economic factors come and go and there will never be a perfect business environment, so if you need or want a steady, predictable income, then franchising may not be the right career choice.

Overall, franchising is a great model for the right person! Millions of small business owners have become very successful using this method with a variety of brands and industries. But it does not guarantee success and is not a one-size-fits-all solution. If the franchising model appeals to you, get all the information you need to be comfortable that you are making the right decision. We recommend you thoroughly research the industry and the concept you are considering.

If you want to learn more about the franchise model in general and specifically how to work with Dickey’s to sell great barbecue, visit

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