Focus pictures system growth despite recession fears

Focus pictures system growth despite recession fears

ATLANTA —Armed with a diverse franchised restaurant portfolio, Focus Brands says it intends to grow its franchisee base by living up to the spirit of its name.

Even before the multiconcept franchisor bought Moe’s Southwest Grill last April, Steve Romaniello, president and chief executive of Focus Brands, said senior management was already taking up the issue of how to stay laser-beam sharp with each chain without diluting the unique market characteristics that made each concept a successful franchising vehicle. —Armed with a diverse franchised restaurant portfolio, Focus Brands says it intends to grow its franchisee base by living up to the spirit of its name.

Developing the strategy and leadership to make sure each of its brands—including Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s and the international outlets of Seattle’s Best Coffee—retain their distinct market profile has become an even more important goal for the 2,100-unit company when so many expect a recession. —Armed with a diverse franchised restaurant portfolio, Focus Brands says it intends to grow its franchisee base by living up to the spirit of its name.

Among the steps Focus Brands is pursuing is creating a corps of successful multibranded operators from within incumbent franchisees already familiar with Focus Brands’ systems; recruiting only experienced franchisees to reduce the amount of training needed; and pooling commodity expenses. —Armed with a diverse franchised restaurant portfolio, Focus Brands says it intends to grow its franchisee base by living up to the spirit of its name.

“When we just had Carvel and Cinnabon, we were pretty confident we managed fairly well,” Romaniello said.“But by the time we bought Schlotzsky’s, it began to surface that we needed to address staying singularly dedicated and focused on each brand if the company was going to remain successful.” —Armed with a diverse franchised restaurant portfolio, Focus Brands says it intends to grow its franchisee base by living up to the spirit of its name.

Romaniello said that while many multiconcept franchisors in the recent past have divested brands to focus on their heritage concept, Focus is taking an approach similar to that of Yum! Brands Inc., parent to several quick-service brands, including KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. —Armed with a diverse franchised restaurant portfolio, Focus Brands says it intends to grow its franchisee base by living up to the spirit of its name.

Although he continues to search for a president to lead Moe’s Southwest Grill, Romaniello said he knows exactly the job qualifications the person should have. —Armed with a diverse franchised restaurant portfolio, Focus Brands says it intends to grow its franchisee base by living up to the spirit of its name.

“We’re fortunate to have some great senior managers who live and die for the brands,” he said. “But more importantly, they have the authority to make the changes and to execute the strategic moves that are relevant to the brand and perpetuate the brands’ and our franchisees’ success stories.” —Armed with a diverse franchised restaurant portfolio, Focus Brands says it intends to grow its franchisee base by living up to the spirit of its name.

Romaniello said Focus Brand would likely acquire a new brand late this year or in early 2009. —Armed with a diverse franchised restaurant portfolio, Focus Brands says it intends to grow its franchisee base by living up to the spirit of its name.