Franchise growth continues to drive healthy retail real estate activity in much of the country. In fact, by some estimates, franchises account for 40% of all retail sales in the United States. From 1 and 2-store locations to mega-franchisees with hundreds of units and multiple concepts, franchises are as important to the retail real estate industry as they have ever been. Jersey Mike’s has been consistently making the news over the past couple of years as one of the top franchises and fastest-growing fast food chains in the country.
Back in 2015, when Atlantic Retail’s Boston office began working with Jersey Mike’s, there were only three New England locations and no active franchisees. Our process began with market planning: identifying ideal markets and trade areas for the corporate team ahead of the company selling territory to franchisees. Since then, we have completed over 60+ deals on behalf of the company with over 15 active New England franchisees.
Real estate requirements for franchises are very similar to their corporate counterparts, but the road map to sourcing sites and finalizing deals often looks different.
Brokers must manage several franchisee real estate preferences and experience levels.
Atlantic Retail managed the Jersey Mike’s market entry process for the company’s real estate manager, often serving the go-between from the franchisees to landlords. Supplementing Jersey Mike’s’ already robust franchisee support, Atlantic’s main role was to guide franchisees through the competitive, complex process of commercial real estate deals.
Jersey Mike’s works with a wide variety of franchisees, from experienced business owners to first-time operators, all of whom have their own real estate preferences. While some prefer higher-profile markets with expensive real estate, others have seen success taking inline spaces in lighter markets. With our vast market knowledge and experience rolling out new tenant programs of all sizes, Atlantic was able to successfully work with various operator requirements while still meeting corporate real estate guidelines.
For franchisees, getting the deal done is just the beginning.
While corporate real estate guidelines provide an excellent road map, for a franchise operator finding a quality site is just the initial step of their enterprise . Opening and operating existing locations, hiring, managing a territory, and securing the financing needed to fuel future growth are just some of the hats a franchise operator must wear.
Being pulled in many directions makes it challenging to focus solely on the real estate as a corporate real estate manager would. A real estate broker who understands this divided attention can help shoulder the burden and is essential to navigate through a real estate process that can often be longer and more complicated than most realize at first.
A strong tenant representation broker qualifies franchisees in front of landlords.
One of the challenges in any franchise expansion is the competition for space from a variety of users including corporate-backed concepts. To landlords, chasing corporate credit can often seem like the more attractive option for leasing space, particularly with brands that have not yet proven themselves in the market.
Though Jersey Mike’s was new to the area, Atlantic’s long-standing relationships with developers of all sizes and local property owners helped to open doors and provide franchisees with a competitive edge in both finding and creating unique opportunities.