The concepts from elsewhere often dream of the candidates to the franchise. But we must consider their chances of success in France.
Want to sell burgers american, belgian waffles, Spanish tortillas ? This is the time to think about it. After the american Steak 'n Shake (in 2015) and Five Guys (in 2016), the canadian franchise Copper Branch landed in France with its fast-foods vegan ! Side of waffles, the belgian Waffle Factory has rolled out its first points of sale in france in 2018, as the network of Spanish tapas Cañas y Tapas, or the sign of decoration Italian Coincasa. All recruit franchisees with the firm determination to reproduce their success with us. But before you fall for a foreign concept, as attractive as it is, make sure you ask the right questions. Because all will not know the dazzling successes of the american Mac donald or the Spanish Mango in France.
The head of bridge is it solid?
"Personally, I will never accept to be the first franchisee hex if the seat is far away, as my charges only cover ever the cost of plane tickets to a moderator", stated David Borgel, country manager [in charge of developing the activity of an enterprise in a country where it was not yet present, ED.] of the platform Franchise World Link. This specialist of the international is joined on this point by Samuel Burner of The Observatory of the franchise.
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"It is important to have references easily accessible." It may be a French subsidiary, or a master franchisee, a company that purchased the brand the right to run with us. "Even if legally, a driver abroad is enough, it is good that the master franchisee has opened its own point-of-sale test," says David Borgel. It should not embark on an expansion at all costs in the hope of keeping the clause of purpose which requires it to ensure X openings per year or to be paid as royalties to the headquarters. "It should also have the means to accompany you to the place of the franchisor foreign," adds Charlotte Bellet, a lawyer with the firm BMGB.
the extent to which the concept has been adapted?
"What is your knowledge of the French market ? ": this question arises in discussions with a foreign network. "The franchisor has to know the typology of French towns, the tastes, the modes of consumption," says Samuel Burner. Addition to sandwiches too fat, ready-to-wear not suitable for our weather or our morphology... A network of real estate must recalculate its rates because the commission is an agency is about 5 % in France, compared to 2% in the United Kingdom. A brand mexican will have to revise its revenue, with less spices.
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the question for many, "to the neutral, it would be a mistake," says Samuel Burner, for which there must be "a differentiating concept" with a subtle dosage between markers foreigners and adaptations to the Hexagon. Station also to the French standards, which are very different from other countries : "It would be a shame to end up with the goods stuck in customs," warns Charlotte Bellet.
What about the logistics?
The franchisor must ensure to recreate a supply circuit in France : "The perishable commodities may suffer from long journeys," recalls Samuel Burner. And for the textile or costume jewellery, you can't expect a refill by steamer.The customer wants the new. "Make sure that there is a buffer stock in France", recommends David Borgel. "And in any case, check the supply contract, in particular conditions in case of loss or damage," adds Charlotte Bellet. Finally, see if the cost of transportation and customs duties will enable you to keep competitive prices without too much impacting your margin."
Y a-t-he clauses prohibitive?
It sounds crazy, "but we still see plenty of franchise agreements written in English," sighed Charlotte Bellet. Do you agree that, in the light of a DIP and a contract translated ! And make sure that you will have a training and an operating manual in French. Also make sure that the brand is well protected in france. "Franchisors are afraid of France, they do not always know the law, deemed to be more protective of the franchisee," observes the lawyer.
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the Station, therefore, the clauses which provide that in the event of a dispute, the foreign law will be applicable and the competent court will be located in the country of the franchisor. "Accept benoîtement would be delusional : this is equivalent to signing without understanding the law that will apply, and without knowing the amount of damages that could claim the network often hundreds of thousands of dollars in the United States." Unless you be well advised, or have the means to offer you a French lawyer and another foreigner, you would not only struggle to attack in the event of litigation... but you could not even defend you!