If you’re looking to start a budding career in business but don’t want to create one from scratch, then becoming a franchise owner is the perfect option. And in terms of franchises, you can’t get much better than Chick-fil-A.
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Why is Chick-fil-A such a popular choice?
Well, first off let’s talk investment. If you want to put down that initial investment for most franchise fast-food restaurants, typically you’ll need to have a fair amount of money in the bank. For example, McDonald’s requires upwards of a million dollars in investment.
How Much Does It Cost to Open a Chick-Fil-A Franchise?
For Chick-fil-A, you only need $10,000 which is minuscule in comparison. Chick-fil-A also does pretty much everything for you too! You won’t have to purchase the equipment for the store, they pick the location, and they are responsible for maintenance, marketing, you name it.
They actually do a considerably higher amount of work for you than many other franchisors, and all for a fraction of the investment! So you may be thinking…where’s the catch? It sounds too good to be true.
And to some degree, it is. Less than 1% of applicants for Chick-fil-A franchises are successful, so it’s extremely competitive, to say the least. So it’s clear that the selection process is pretty difficult. So how do you up your chances of being within that just under 1%?
What separates you from the 99% of unsuccessful applicants? While I can’t guarantee that following these tips throughout this article will definitely get you that converted franchise owner position, they will help you become a much better contender.
5 Key Steps for Becoming a Chick-Fil-A Franchise Owner
1. Attend an Informational Session About How to Open a Chick-fil-A
While this step is technically optional, I really recommend it. Knowledge is everything, and having a deep understanding of the business and how it runs before you even think about applying will be massively advantageous. It is also important to note that things run a little differently with this franchise compared to many other fast-food services.
This is not a passive investment, and if you do become a Chick-fil-A franchisee, you’ll be expected to fully commit and devote yourself to the store. They look for a pretty hands-on approach and they want hard workers. During these informational sessions, you’ll learn more about the brand’s reputation, values, and expectations.
Furthermore, you’ll learn a lot more detail about the application and interview process, and given the ridiculously low success rate, you could do with all the help and insider information that you can get.
These sessions will help you astronomically when it comes to the application process as you’ll know exactly what they are looking for and expecting. You should then be able to much better articulate your answers and higher your chances of success.
2. Submit An Expression Of Interest
Now that you’ve got a better understanding of what it means to become a franchise owner, you can start thinking about submitting your Expression of Interest form. Keep in mind everything that you have learned at your session, as it is through this form that the company will decide whether they think you are a good fit for the role.
You’ll also want to remember that you’ll need to be fairly patient when it comes to your submission. This is the initial step of your application which can take anywhere between 1-2 years to complete.
3. Complete a Follow-Up Application
If you are lucky enough to be chosen to continue with the application process after submitting your Expression of Interest form, the next step is a follow-up application. Essentially this will be a more detailed application that will consider many other factors that were not discussed during the stage above.
You’ll be asked questions based on your finances, work experience, education, leadership style, and engagement with the community. How this is judged is applications that meet their requirements and strategies for target markets will be prioritized over those that do not. Again, this is where the informational sessions can be advantageous.
You can at this point in the application also indicate your preference for the location of your store. Since community engagement is important to the company, listing reasons why you have links to a certain area, or ways in which you think you could tie the community and the store together may help your application.
4. Interview Stage
If again, you are lucky enough to move on to the next stage, it’s time to purchase yourself some professional-looking clothes and prepare yourself for your interviews.
You will need patience again, as these can take more than a year to complete because there are several rounds. You’ll have a telephone interview, video chat interview, and an in-person interview. If you make it to the in-person interview, your family may also be invited to interviews to verify both your credentials and your character.
A tip for you, you’ll hear the question ‘why do you want to own a Chick-fil-A franchise restaurant’ quite often throughout the interviews. Each time you answer, they’ll be expecting growth and maturity from your previous answer.
5. Attend Training
If you’ve made it to the fifth and final step, I have some exciting news for you. You’ve made it into that tiny 1% and you’re officially on your way to becoming a Chick-fil-A franchise owner. And if you thought the application process was difficult, well, this is where the real work begins.
You’ll participate in a 6-week training program that will get you exactly where you need to be to start running your store. You’ll learn how to make the sandwiches on the menu, all the legal aspects of being a franchise owner, how to hire employees for your store, how to develop your business, and accounting.
There’s a lot to get your head around in just 6-weeks so you’ll need to buckle down and concentrate while training.
Chick-fil-A is an amazing franchise to invest in. The only issue you have is that everybody thinks so, and with great popularity comes fierce competition. You’ll need to be patient when applying and understand that there is a high likelihood that the application will be rejected, after all, 99% of applicants are turned down.
With that being said, you have a 100% chance of it never happening if you don’t try. So if it sounds like something you’d like, give it a go. The worst they can do is say no.