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Biggby's training practices: From a franchisee's perspective
The Franchise Training Series shares real training practices from various franchise organizations on how they train their franchisees. Latitude interviews c-level, or like executives in order to provide the most accurate information. Today's feature is a bit different than the rest, as it provides insight into Biggby's training practices from the perspective of a new franchisee.
James Connor, owner and operator of a Biggby franchise location in Trenton, Michigan, was new to the food-industry when he began the process of becoming a Biggby franchisee owner. Connor opened his first Biggby location in the summer of 2015 and felt as though he was well prepared for the journey ahead. Connor explains, "Biggby does a very good job of covering all aspects of what it takes to run a successful Biggby, as well as all the food safety that comes with it." He went on to comment, "Biggby offers the opportunity for someone who has no prior knowledge on food safety, like myself, to be successful because they assume you know nothing and walks you through the entire process during training."
photo from facebook.com/Biggbytrenton
How did Biggby train franchisee James Connor?
Connor was required to attend an onboarding training program that consisted of ten weeks. Biggby's new franchisee training program incorporates a number of different forms of training including on-line, classroom and in-store. Connor comments, "Our initial training kicked off at Biggby's home office in East Lansing. The majority of the training in the beginning was classroom and elearning training." At this stage in training, franchisees learn basic operating procedures and food/equipment safety.
The hands-on training during this ten week process includes training at a nearby location as well as in Biggy's home office cafe. "Inside the home office is a full operational cafe with the same equipment you will use at your own store including brewers, espresso machines and refrigerators." Connor says, "
The idea of learning in a classroom setting and then being able to apply it in a real world environment with a fellow operator was the most successful part of training for me."
After onboarding training is complete, Biggby sends a team to accompany the new franchisee at their location. The franchisee, managers and staff will undergo on-the-job training in order to prepare for their grand opening. When asked about the support he received after onboarding, Connor replied, "Communication is key to success and what was really unique about Biggy's ongoing support program is that they offer a Franchise Community Line resource for each location." Connor explains that the Franchise Community Line is a centralized communication line that is staffed daily from 5:00am to 10:00pm and is a very helpful resource for most questions/problems. "Anyone in the store can call for help, whether it's me as the store owner, or a shift manager, or even a barista." Connor elaborates, "If equipment starts to malfunction, the register goes down, the health inspector walks in, if we don't how to make a drink, literally whatever road block any team member faces, we can call for help."
Biggby also provides franchisees with a platform for ongoing support and training. Connor explains, "We participate in an intranet, or operating portal as we call it. Here everything gets communicated between franchisee and the corporate office. For example, the most recent communication was a regulatory change post. The FDA now requires calorie range count to be posted on all menus. Biggby provided us with a timeline of when this requirement must be completed and resources on how and where to get new menus." Offering an engagement platform for franchisees, or any partner relationship, helps Biggby stay an innovator leader in their industry.
Biggby originated in East Lansing, Michigan in March 1995 as "Beaner's". Its creators were Robert Fish and Mary Roszel. The company changed its name to Biggby in 2007. Biggby was named the fastest growing coffee chain by CNBC in 2011, outpacing Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts and Caribou Coffee at that time. It was also named a top 30 food franchise by Franchise Business Review in both 2011 and 2012.
In the United States the franchise fee for Biggby is $30,000. The total estimated investment ranges between $181,850 - $358,100, with a liquid capital requirement of $70,000.
For more information on Biggby franchising visit
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The Franchise Training Series encompasses a wide variety of franchise topics designed to help franchisors and potential franchisees gain knowledge of business practices.
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About the Author
Janay Burch, Connection staff writer
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.
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