Why Don't Franchisees Follow The System?

We have franchisees that don’t always follow the system. They conveniently follow things they like and ignore the things they don’t, what should we do?

The essence of franchising is to have the customer receive a similar experience from one location to the next. When franchisees don’t follow the system or are selective in their implementation of the franchise system there are two obvious impacts:

  • The customer does not receive a similar experience from one time to the next or from one location to the next.
  • The franchisee will not be able to optimize their own results for sales or profits.

These impacts need to be clearly communicated to the franchisee in as many ways as possible and as often as possible.


Why does this happen? Why do franchisees sabotage their own success?

There could be numerous reasons, amongst them:

  • Franchisee does not fully accept the Company vision and Customer vision.
  • Poor selection process.
  • Expectations.
  • Lack of clear processes, policies, procedures and promotions outlined in the Operations Manual.
  • On-going communication with franchisee is not focused on brand promise and importance of consistent systems.
  • Franchisee may feel that systems are not in place and as such they move to fill the vacuum by creating their own systems and processes.
  • There is no system in place to channel ideas from franchisees to improve the business.
  • The franchisor does nothing to ensure compliance of system standards.

What should be done?

For the future, ensure you have a clear profile of your ideal franchisee and that you recruit smartly by adhering to your profile. In addition you have to review your initial training, your operations manual, and your on-going training and support to see where gaps exist that can be corrected to improve communication and to ensure that you have clearly articulated systems, processes and policies in place so franchisees are not tempted to fill the gap for you.

For existing franchisees, a serious conversation needs to take place to bring everyone in compliance to system standards. Franchisees need to understand what it means to be part of a system and the importance of all franchisees following the system. However, in order for this conversation to begin, the franchiser needs to ensure that all systems are clearly articulated and in place including whatever training that may be required by the franchisee and their staff.

Once you have communicated expectations, provided a methodology for the franchisee to follow and provided the training necessary for the franchisee and their team to implement, at that time the franchiser needs to protect the system by enforcing compliance to system standards.

Your system cannot grow if there is no consistency. The integrity of the brand is at stake, protect it.


Harish Babla, Managing Director of Franchise Mind Corporation based in San Diego, USA.

Harish is a successful entrepreneur, a business visionary, an inspiring franchise leader, a mentor to many companies and a growth strategist who has honed his franchise skills in various capacities since 1983. Harish is passionate about growing franchise companies and helping others achieve their dreams of building successful global franchise companies by ensuring the highest standards of franchise excellence with a strong focus on growth and operating results.

Harish is a Certified Franchise Executive as designated by the International Franchise Association and conducts learning events and mentoring for numerous companies all over the world.

Harish can be reached at harish@franchisemind.com.

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