Some support systems make a measurable difference in owners’ profitability, while others are no more than words in a sales pitch. So how can a franchise candidate know for sure what type of system he or she is entering? Read on!

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The answer comes down to the brand’s fundamental philosophy on support. Is the brand’s goal for its support system to keep owners in line and on brand - or is it to help owners become more masterful business owners?

These two potential perspectives represent the difference between a compliance-based support model and a consultative support model. The latter focuses on setting achievable goals and maximizing unit-level economics, while the former centers on maintaining established procedures.

I’m drawn to the consultative support model because it is inherently optimistic. Instead of giving franchise partners a list of do’s and don’ts, it harnesses their desire to succeed and gives them the tools and expert advice they need.

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Consultative Support in Action

I sing the praise of consultative support models because Capriotti’s has had much success with this approach. We invested heavily in a new tiered support program, CAPMastery, which helps our franchise partners boost profitability and become more confident business owners. CAPMastery involves both online and field training, so participants don’t have to travel to headquarters to develop their business skills.

Our program has a few qualities I believe all franchise systems should adopt. Here’s a breakdown of what sets it apart.


It’s Voluntary
Capriotti’s franchise partners are not required to participate in CAPMastery. The program requires a significant investment of time and energy, so owners can opt in when they’re ready to take their businesses to the next level. Right now, about half of our franchise partners are enrolled.


It’s Scaled and Incentivized
Scaled goals and incentives are marks of an effective franchise support program. Franchisors who avoid measuring the efficacy of their programs likely don’t have much confidence in their results. Capriotti’s uses specific goals and benchmarks to track progress, and our entire program is metrics-driven and results-focused.

Our corporate team worked with Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to develop benchmarks for operations, customer service, franchise partner engagement, cost control, revenue growth, and profitability. Franchise partners set goals for their performance in all six of these areas. Once they achieve a score of 80 percent or more in each category, they’ve achieved CAPMastery, and they earn even more incentives, like marketing dollars, cash for employee incentives, free products or test products.

Owners also create quarterly, one-year, three-year, and ten-year plans to chart their long-term objectives and set clear paths to get there. Our business coaches work with them to create actionable plans, putting their ultimate business goals within reach.


It’s Led by Experts
Unlike many franchise brands, Capriotti’s business coaches are high-level employees integral to the day-to-day life of the company. The people in charge of our support program have decades of experience with major QSR and fast-casual brands, giving them the necessary expertise to offer strategic advice.

Our business coaches meet with CAPMastery participants quarterly to check in, update goals and review progress, but franchise partners can turn to them at any time for advice and support.

That brings me to my top piece of advice for aspiring franchisees - When evaluating franchise support systems, pay close attention to the brand’s commitment level. Do you see engagement among the senior team, or is the support program run entirely by lower-level employees? If senior leaders don’t seem invested, the brand’s support system may not have teeth.

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Whose Goals Are at the Forefront?

The cornerstone of a good consultative support system is the franchise partner’s goals - not the goals of the franchisor. By putting owners’ objectives first, franchise brands create support systems that are energized and effective.

We took the time to build a consultative support model because one of our brand’s five core values is genuineness. We talk a lot about unit-level profitability and ongoing business education, and we like to practice what we preach. CAPMastery exists to help franchise partners get what they want from their businesses.

So next time you’re looking at a potential franchisor, ask yourself - Is this support system built around my goals - or is it designed with compliance in mind?

To learn more about Capriotti’s ongoing innovation in the franchising space, visit our website.

David Bloom is the Chief Development Officer of Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop.