Local Franchisees Turning to Warm Welcoming Packages that Fend off Competition
(RestaurantNews.com) The American economy may still be on life support, but the franchise industry is making a comeback. In fact, according to the International Franchise Association (IFA) Educational Foundation, nearly 14,000 (13,928) new franchise establishments will be created this year and franchise employment will increase more than 2% (a total of 168,000 jobs). And once again, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR’s) are leading the charge.
As statistics from the same IFA Educational Foundation suggest, by end of 2012, QSR’s will represent…
- More than 20% of total franchise establishments (151,347)
- 26% of total franchise industry economic output ($201.16 billion)
- 37% of total franchise industry employment (3,009,865)
While those numbers are fantastic for franchise development teams, job-seekers and hungry consumers, they present a scary proposition for established franchise owners. To established QSR owners, a resurging franchise industry led by QSR businesses in a down economy means there will be additional competitors fighting for customers who are still reluctant to spend.
In order to compensate and survive, these owners know it is more imperative than ever to find affordable and laser-focused marketing programs that will spark loyal, repeat customers. In today’s world of advanced technology, the options available to these restaurant owners are endless. However, many of these entrepreneurs have been underwhelmed by the performance of e-mail marketing and social media programs that reach too many local citizens who have already developed relationships with other restaurants.
“Many small business owners are disappointed with new marketing tools, like e-mail marketing and social media programs, because they’re not generating enough customer loyalty,” says Michael Plummer, Jr., CEO of Our Town America, the nation’s fastest growing new mover marketing franchise. “The problem is that those marketing messages are typically reaching customers who are already established in the area and are loyal to another business. These owners would see much better results if they employed new mover marketing programs that inspire customers to try their products and services while they are in that mode of change and are actively seeking new ‘go-to’ options. That is the key in GAINING new loyal, long term, customers.”
Tampa, Florida-based Jets Pizza owner, Jimmy O’Connor agrees. O’Connor turned to Michael and his team at Our Town America six years ago because they offer an economical, niche new mover marketing program that allows him to compete with larger pizza chains that possess much larger budgets.
“Jets Pizza is a national franchise, but most first time customers believe we’re a mom and pop shop,” says O’Connor. “We just don’t have the marketing budget other pizza franchises possess and we had to find a way to compete with larger national chain stores in our area at a price we could afford. Our Town allows us to do that because we’re able to reach and influence newcomers to town before they establish loyalties elsewhere.”
He says that Our Town America’s loyalty program, something introduced to him by Tampa-based Our Town America franchisee Mike Fisher, is the key to his success.
“On average, more than 20% of the 150-200 offers we send out each month are redeemed,” says O’Connor. “But Mike and Our Town America don’t stop there. With their loyalty program, they send each mover who redeems the first offer a follow up card thanking them for their visit and presenting them a different offer. This shows the new customer that we appreciated their business and is a catalyst for securing customer loyalty.”
Jimmy’s not alone. As Plummer suggests, depending on the type of offer, Our Town America’s new mover marketing programs, including the loyalty program, have delivered up to 30% response rates for QSR concepts.
“Jimmy’s story isn’t unique – a wide variety of QSR’s around the country are seeing similar, if not better, results,” says Plummer. “In fact, the true power of the Our Town America program lies in its consistency in reaching out to a new audience every month. Not only are our QSR sponsors seeing these figures, they are experiencing them month after month, year in and year out.”
Our Town America franchisee, Mike Fisher, agrees and points to the loyalty program as one of the many competitive advantages Our Town America has over other direct marketing companies.
“I’ve worked in this industry for more than twenty years and I know none of our competitors offer direct marketing programs as targeted and effective as ours,” says Fisher. “The program is working for guys like Jimmy because we are category exclusive, meaning we only represent one company in any specific industry within certain zip codes, and we work closely with our sponsors to help them create powerful offers that make a statement. This keeps the competitors out and allows sponsors to make a big impact before consumers establish loyalties – a winning combination.”
For More Information on Our Town America visit their website at http://www.ourtownamerica.com.
***IFA statistics available by request.
About Our Town America
For 40 years, Our Town America has been providing new movers with traditional hospitality by mailing warm gifts from neighborhood businesses in a premium gift certificate package. Since the company started franchising in 2005, Our Town America has consistently been placed in the Franchise Top 50, ranking #8 in 2010 for franchisee satisfaction.
One of the catalysts for this success has been Our Town America’s dedication to the “sponsor exclusivity” concept, meaning they will only recommend one of each business type in any specific zip code. Additionally, Our Town America allows businesses to focus only on the zip codes they’d like to reach, whether that is as small as one or as large as the entire country.
Due in large part to Our Town America’s devotion to those concepts, thousands of satisfied business owners throughout the United States attest to the success and effectiveness of the program. Additionally, dozens of locally owned franchises validate Our Town America’s concept as a viable business opportunity.
It is Our Town America’s mission to assist new movers adjusting to their community, help businesses gain new and loyal customers and provide franchisees with an excellent opportunity. The eight million households who received Our Town America’s welcoming envelopes over the last year prove that Our Town America is committed to following through on that mission statement.
For more information, visit the Our Town America website at http://www.ourtownamerica.com.
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