When you find a product that appeals to a mass market, and develop a strategy to get it into the hands of the consumer, while creating an enjoyable experience as well, then you’ll have the recipe to create a fantastic franchise opportunity. Sometimes the simplest concepts work the best, and Paul Lyons, President and Co-Founder of Beef Jerky Outlet, is currently working to perfect his unique franchising recipe with one of the hottest new franchise companies in the country.
Beef Jerky Outlet opened its first store in 2010, and today there are 69 stores across the United States, with plans to open 100 more in the very near future. Together with his business partner, Scott Parker, Lyons capitalized on the growing popularity of jerky products as a lightweight and protein rich snack food. Now a billion dollar industry, beef jerky is one of the fastest growing segments of the snack foods market.
Beef Jerky Outlet is a franchise company growing so fast, in fact, that Lyons and his team have had to revamp their franchise owner training program to accommodate the larger numbers of investors. Franchise training used to take place in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Now, new franchise owners are assigned to one of five “mentor franchise stores”, where they will learn the ropes from already established Beef Jerky Outlet franchise business owners. New franchisees will have the opportunity to spend time in a successful franchise before they even identify their own franchise location.
The training manual, suitably titled, “Beef Jerky University,” serves as the core training curriculum for owners, store managers and key personnel. It details the products that are carried at every Beef Jerky Outlet, and outlines the standard operating procedures for each franchise store. From store layout and design, to ordering product, and outlining proper customer tasting procedures, the big book of beef jerky launches the education of the new franchise owners and prepares them to run their own Beef Jerky Outlet business.
Once a new store is ready to open, the corporate training team will be on hand to cross train store managers and employees on the POS system and to help the owner put a plan in place to maintain the Beef Jerky Outlet operating procedures once the business is up and running. Following the grand opening, franchise owners will participate in monthly business review calls, as well as maintaining contact with their mentor. These calls offer current case studies of what is working at Beef Jerky Outlet stores across the country, as well as discussing challenges faced by other franchise owners.
When asked what he thought the biggest challenge is when training a new franchise owner, Lyons responds with, “There's so many different personalities involved, and every new owner comes from a different background.” Some franchise investors have extensive business backgrounds, and some have zero business acumen. Some new owners are just excited to take charge of their futures, and have always dreamed of owning their own business, even if they don’t know the difference between a profit margin and an operating expense. Lyons states, “They don’t know what they don’t know.”
For those franchise owners that may need a little business training to supplement their franchise training, the team at Beef Jerky Outlet is ready to help. Each new owner is treated as an individual business and will receive training that suits their needs and their level of business knowledge.
When you walk into a Beef Jerky Outlet store you will find an impressive selection of jerky products and snack foods, with everything from Cherry Maple to Honey Barbecue jerky. Customers are encouraged to sample the different flavors, and stores will happily allow you to try any of their products before you buy. It’s this level of customer service that is instilled in all new franchise owners, along with the thorough onboarding training system, that has helped to create this solid franchise company. Beef Jerky Outlet stores have greatly contributed to the expansion of the snack foods category in retail franchising, and are on the path to making beef jerky, and similar products, more than just a convenience store impulse purchase. Beef jerky is now a destination.
About Beef Jerky Outlet
After noticing the growing popularity of beef jerky, Beef Jerky Outlet opened its first franchise store in 2010. Five years later, the Beef Jerky Outlet has 43 open locations and another 65 scheduled to open across the United States. Beef jerky is also one of the fastest growing segments of the snack food industry, as it appeals to consumers’ desire for lightweight, high-protein foods. It is popular among runners, weight lifters and hikers as people look for foods that are high in protein and low in calories, carbohydrates and fat. Beef Jerky Outlet finds the highest quality USDA approved beef and make the jerky in small batches to ensure freshness. In addition to beef jerky there are more than 200 varieties and sizes of jerky offered. Products include exotics like venison, ostrich and buffalo, with flavors such as honey BBQ, teriyaki and 3 Beer Rub. The experience is made fun by developing new products and giving away plenty of free samples for our customers to taste the best beef jerky available.
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