The Faegre Baker Daniels Franchise Summit in Review

Photo of Franchise Summit at Faegre Baker Daniels

re:group was proud to be a sponsor of the Faegre Baker Daniels Franchise Summit, which took place last week in Minneapolis. With the largest attendance ever, nearly 150 top franchisors, multi-unit franchisees and suppliers joined to discuss the current trends, opportunities and difficulties facing franchising. It was an impressive line-up of speakers, from Troy Bader, COO of Dairy Queen International, to Greg Nathan, founder of the Franchise Relationships Institute.

Here are some of the highlights:


  • The largest growth in franchising will continue to be in multi-unit franchisees and international growth.
  • As time moves on, there will be more transfer of activity of units vs. acquiring new units for multi-unit franchisees.
  • Franchise brands that have been around for a long time have a growing segment of mature franchise operators in their system.
  •  With increased expenses, franchisors are lowering costs by reducing their field support. Good field consultants cost money. Strong general managers and field support are key to running their business, but franchisees are suffering because they rarely see them. To combat this, multi-unit franchisees are hiring their own general managers and field support to help run their business.
  • Successful multi-unit franchisees are hiring local marketing representation to develop local digital, mobile and social programs.
  • With 20% of the baby-boomers being over age 65, and 10,000 people joining this age group daily, Millennials are maturing and have become a key audience to attract and retain as customers.
  • The fast-food category is under strong legislative scrutiny when it comes to employment. Right now, the National Labor Relations Board Division of Advice has proposed that restaurant-level employees be considered dually employed by both the franchisor and franchisee. If passed, the franchising industry could be headed towards unionization, which would forever change the industry as we know it. The IFA is leading the charge to get this dismissed, and is requesting support from the IFA community to do so.


  • Franchisors will need to engage with the large multi-unit franchisees that are with other brands to see if they could be a good fit for their franchise.
  • Franchisors need to have discussions with their mature franchisees. What does their legacy look like in years to come? What is their exit strategy?
  • Franchisors need to determine what skill sets are lacking with their field consultants and change their model of how they are hiring these individuals.
  • Millennials prefer urban lifestyles. They are influenced and reached through technology. The franchising industry needs to be adopting new ways to reach and communicate with this influential market. Mobile, social and digital marketing are key to reaching and engaging with this segment.
  • CEOs need to be visionaries, willing to take risk and attract, retain and reward talent to lead their organization.
  • Strong leadership and the ability to articulate the company mission, vision and values still remains key to a successful franchise.
  • CEOs and managers have an opportunity to create a healthy rapport with their employees. When open communication is lost, there is no room for the business to grow.

As the franchise industry continues to grow and evolve, re:group commits to chronicling and understanding the implications of those changes. To share in the learning alongside us, we encourage you to attend our next Franchise Business Network. To be alerted of event registration, please email to be added to our mailing list.

We look forward to connecting soon.


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