Questions to Ask Franchisees

Feedback from franchisees can give you straight answers to the questions most on your mind about the “suitability” of the franchise as the right choice for you.

Hearing it from those that have been through the process and are actually ‘doing it’ will help you understand the franchise, and the franchisee / franchisor relationship that you may soon be in. Don’t short-change yourself by not reaching out to as many as you need to get answers to your questions.

In the back of every Franchise Disclosure Document is a list of active franchisees and those no longer with the system. They have no legal restrictions on the type of information they can share with you, unlike the franchisor. Go for it.

Our advice is to speak with franchisees in different stages of their relationship with the franchisor:
• A recently joined franchisee
• One of the first franchisees
• Someone in the middle of their multi-year agreement

This should give you a good variety of where they and their business are, according to the business plan and forecast models you have for the franchise.

Franchisees are active business owners, so please respect that they’re probably busy and have a number of things going on at any given time. Therefore, please make sure it’s a convenient time to chat.

Whether the franchisee is doing well, average or bad in their business, doesn’t necessarily mean you will as well. Running your own franchise can have many highs and lows, and you just might catch a franchisee on a bad day, so don’t let this affect your judgement of them or the franchise.

If time is short, when you speak to franchisees, here’s a short list of important questions:

  • Is the training sufficient?
  • Does the marketing work?
  • Is the franchisor good to be in business with?

And finally, the one question that beats them all is: ‘Given what you know now, would you do it again?’

That said, here’s a list of fairly detailed questions to guide you, but please do not keep franchisees on the phone for hours. Many of these questions are answered in the Franchise Disclosure Document or other presentations you’ve received. Make sure you’re prepared to learn more than what’s been shared already.

About the Franchise

  1. How long have you been running the franchise?
  2. How many franchisees do you have?
  3. What is your average customer spend?
  4. What is your annualized sales?
  5. What percentage of franchisees fall below, meet or exceed the growth goals in their business plans?


  1. What was the training like?
  2. Did it allow you to start your business effectively from day 1?
  3. What did you find most useful?
  4. What did it lack?
  5. How long was the training, including both in-house and field training?
  6. Where was the training held and who was the trainer?


  1. What is the franchisor like to be in business with?
  2. Have they delivered everything they said they would, and on time?
  3. Has your business met your initial expectations?


  1. Does the overall mix of marketing offered by the franchisor work?
  2. From the different programs available, which one works the best for you, and why?
  3. Have you used all forms of marketing, or just a few?
  4. How quickly did the franchise supply you with all marketing materials?
  5. How are print/digital adverts processed with regards to art work and print specification
  6. Do you need to organize this, or does the franchise support team do it for you?


  1. What is the support from the franchisor like?
  2. Who is the support manager or your point of contact for first line support?
  3. How often does the franchisee network get together? Quarterly, bi-annually, annually?
  4. How quickly does the franchisor respond to your questions?
  5. How often do you report your figures, and do they feed back any comparative network figures or percentages?
  6. Does the level of support meet or exceed your expectations?