Franchise or not?
At Fischer we decided to develop a franchise system, but only in France and not in Luxembourg. Because we realised that… we know Metz, maybe Nancy, but when we want to expand elsewhere, like in Reims for example, we do not know the best location, where it is most judicious to open a shop. To have the entrepreneur on site so that he can talk with the customer helps enormously in developing the business, that’s why we decided to develop a system of franchises in France.

The steps
A potential franchisee must like the Fischer concept and want to open a Fischer store in France. We welcome him, we show him the production, the shops, to see if he can identify with our values, feel good with our criteria and our way of working. If this is the case, we look at the financial aspect: does he have the budget to create such a business? And we start looking for a place to open a Fischer bakery. So, he must naturally come to our training to learn not just about our products, but also our procedures, our standards, our standards of hygiene. He follows a training of 6 to 8 weeks at home and then we obviously accompany him throughout all the preparation, and at the opening of the business, to make sure that the launch goes well.

Pros and Cons
One of the great advantages of working with franchises in relation to your own stores is that you have a person on site, who manages and is responsible for his team, who is in direct contact with the customer, and who is of course responsible for orders and sales. It is sometimes easier to have a business of which you are the owner, without a franchisee, because you can decide for yourself what you are doing. A franchisee is an entrepreneur, a person who has his own business and makes his own decisions, and this can sometimes conflict with his franchisor, because he may have other ideas and want to put them in place. We try to give them the opportunity to put their own ideas in place, as long as our concept is respected.

A tip to go international?
For companies that want to develop in the international market, it is important to conduct proper market research, to see if there is a demand for their products on the market and if they are suitable for the market; if there is a market where you can offer your products, and to know the rules of the market in question. As we are in Europe, there are many common standards, but also very specific rules. Regarding franchises for example, there is in France a great jurisprudence on this subject, and it is fundamental to understand everything before committing. It is very important for an entrepreneur to learn about the entire legal framework that he will be dealing with.