Franchising Today - Summer 2016 - 79
Bahama Buck's pitches itself as a way for franchisees to
control their own destiny. "There's such an appeal to not
only loving your work but to work at something you love doing," Lee says. The typical Bahama Buck's location is able to
return two to three times what the standard industry franchise restaurant can do, he adds.
That return is possible because of the support the corporate team provides franchisees at each stage of development. Owners must participate in a weeklong program at
Bahama Buck's University in Lubbock where they learn how
to make the product and run their business. The company
then aids in site selection and sends in a fixture team to set
up, decorate and make the store functional.
"They [the franchisee] get involved, they get incentivized
and it's a win-win for everybody," Lee says.
In February, Bahama Buck's launched its latest support
initiative, a web portal for franchisees called Icebox. Icebox
provides stores with instantaneous data about performance,
online training videos, marketing resources, equipment support and a company newsletter. The idea stemmed from a
committee of franchisees that advises the corporate team.
When the interest in Bahama Buck's franchises started
surging in 2013 the company began to consider how it would
manage that growth. In November 2014, Bahama Buck's
consolidated the offices and warehouses it had spread
around Lubbock into a new 50,000-square-foot facility.
Its corporate staff count rose from 10 people to more than
100. "With that new growth coming on we knew we needed
more support," Lee says.
Although many franchisees are developing multiple
stores, Bahama Buck's is being careful not to push too fast.
The 166 planned openings are being paced out over the next
few years to avoid overwhelming everyone.
Bahama Buck's goal is to reach an average unit volume of
$500,000 annually and have 200 locations up and running
by the end of 2018. The company's investments and selection of franchisees who buy into the "blessing our guests"
philosophy is putting those targets in reach. "Both those
goals we set around 2012," Buchanan says. "We've had to
ramp up to make sure those goals happen."
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