7-Eleven takes franchisees back to school with C.O.O.L. training program
By Janay Robinson
2/2/2016

 
 
 
 

Could you imagine what it would be like to contribute to the world's largest convenient store chains? Well, 7-Eleven is making it pretty easy to join the team. With just about 58,300 stores in 17 countries that are operated, franchised and licensed by 7-Eleven, it's a great first step for those just entering the franchise space, or just another great investment decision made by the experienced. 

7-Eleven Inc. was founded 89 years ago in Dallas, Texas. In 1927, Joe C. Thompson, Sr. identified the need for products such as bread and milk to be more convenient in order to reduce the long distances traveled for basic items. The first outlets were named "Tote'm Stores" because customers "toted" away their purchases. In 1946, the chain's name was changed to 7-Eleven to reflect the company's new extended hours, 7:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Nowadays 7-Eleven is most popularly known for their Slurpee drinks, first introduced in 1967. Along with everyone's favorite frozen treat, 7-Eleven's other products include: 7-Select private-brand products, coffee, fresh-made daily sandwiches, salads and bakery items, hot and prepared foods, gasoline, dairy products, carbonated beverages and energy drinks, juices, financial services and product delivery services.

Even with 7-Eleven's longevity, they continue to rapidly grow as a franchise. This can be accredited to their experience and vast knowledge of the industry, as well as their proven successful systems. 7-Eleven promises all franchisees six crucial success factors: brand strength, turnkey franchise, faster start-up, technology, gross profit split and ongoing support. 

  • Brand strength - 7-Eleven's brand is known and loved around world and they are consistently ranked as a top five franchisor.
  • Turnkey Franchise - 7-Eleven provides the store, land and equipment needed.
  • Faster start-up - 7-Eleven gets new franchisees up and running in 3-6 months.
  • Technology - 7-Eleven has invested millions to provide franchisees with technology that not only makes running a store easier, but also more profitable.
  • Gross profit split - Rather than sharing royalties on sales, 7-Eleven shares profits. Which means franchisee success is important to 7-Eleven.
  • Ongoing support - 7-Eleven assists with many of the day-to-day details to help franchisees focused on their customers.

How does 7-Eleven train their franchisees?

 
photo from corp.7-eleven.com
    
7-Eleven is taking new franchisees back to school with their C.O.O.L. (College of Operational Leadership) training program. After a three-day orientation in Dallas the training begins, and once complete each franchisee will know exactly what it takes to run their own 7-Eleven store.

Mike Dutrieux, 7-Eleven Regional Franchise Sales Representative, gives more insight into the C.O.O.L training program, "We make sure they have a tremendous foundation through our training program. Our five to eight week program gives the franchisee the ability to execute on Day 1." C.O.O.L is a skills-based training program designed to teach everything a franchisee needs to know about running a franchise. The program combines classroom learning with self-paced workbooks, e-learning modules, and valuable hands-on experience that takes place in a 7-Eleven store where trainers and actual store staff members contribute to the learning journey.

"C.O.O.L. consists of a five to eight training program. During this period, franchisees will eagerly learn through on-the-job training, manual training, and computer-based training", Dutrieux adds, "We start everybody off by learning how to be a sales associate." Franchisees will learn everything from customer service basics and forecasting sales to stocking, pricing and food prep.

Next, franchisees are taught how to successfully manage the business and a team, which includes how to manage cash and inventory, understanding back office operations, and hiring, developing and leading a staff. During this final phase, franchisees are given the title of "Manager of the Day" and the opportunity to put everything they've just learned into action.

When asked about ongoing support, Dutrieux explained, "During initial training each franchisee is given their own dedicated business consultant who can answer questions, give advice and walk you through the program. That same dedicated business consultant is available even after initial training. They are ready to offer ongoing support and work with you on a weekly basis to make sure goals are aligned and being hit. Our ongoing training is there for you two years, five years, even 10 years down the road."

7-Eleven's new franchisees are often surprised at the amount of resources provided to them initially. "Communication is an important factor to success at 7-Eleven." Dutrieux continues, "We continue to evaluate and evolve our training based on franchisee feedback. Each franchisee has access to 7hub where communication is made easy. 7hub is our internal website that includes store resources, job aids, tools, news, and much more."

The initial franchisee fee for 7-Eleven ranges from $50,000 to $700,000, depending on a number of factors, including store and location. The current national average initial franchisee fee is $190,000.

For more information on 7-Eleven Inc. franchising, visit franchise.7-Eleven.com.

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About the Author    Janay Burch, Connection staff writer
    Janay Burch is a content writer for Latitude's Connection Newsletter. Burch has personally blogged for over 10 years and contributed to a professional marketing blog for 3 years prior to her position with Latitude in Saline, Michigan. She received her B.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University and enjoys reading, listening to podcasts and writing. She currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

For more information about Janay join her circle on Google+ and visit her LinkedIn page.


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