Case Studies

Strategic plans, transformative solutions

FPG was built under the premise that franchising is a business unto itself and certain strategies to grow a franchisor will work across industries, investment levels and brands. Since 2002, FPG has worked with more than 100 franchisors to improve franchisor-franchisee relations, transform franchise recruitment, plan organizational growth, and develop solutions to strengthen financial results. By disrupting the status quo, we have been able to accelerate franchisors’ growth, drive revenues, increase royalties and build equity value.

FPG Case Studies

Marco's Pizza

Marco’s Pizza was founded by Italian immigrant Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco in 1978.  Restaurant industry luminary Jack Butorac assumed leadership of the company in January 2004 with his acquisition of the brand.

Jack Butorac, CEO of Marco’s Pizza, stated that, “In 2010 Marco’s had grown to 375 locations. We contracted with FPG to leverage their franchising domain area expertise. FPG worked with Marco’s MET (Marco’s Executive Team) and Marco’s ARLC (Area Representative Leadership Council.  FPG then was asked to assist Marco’s in increasing franchise sales by improving their recruitment process and franchise sales support program for our nationwide network of Area Representatives. FPG offered Area Representatives lead screen and franchisee recruitment services.  Additionally, FPG’s digital marketing team designed and implemented Marco’s lead generation and lead nurturing content strategy.”

Marco’s was a 37-year-old brand under new ownership but was plateauing as franchisee relationships became strained and existing franchisees were not opening new stores as planned.  FPG initially focused on helping to improve franchisee-franchisor relationships as part of Marco’s MET and ARLC committees and after 12 months, those franchisee-franchisor relationships improved.

Additionally, FPG provided core functional expertise and resources including; digital marketing services, strategic advisory services, strategic bank relationships for all franchisee lending types outsourced franchisee recruitment services and provided strategic advice to executive management.  Marco’s also entered into a very effective strategic bank partnership program in 2010 with a bank team lead by an individual that is now a Principal at FPG.

Mr. Butorac added that, “Marco’s has since become one of the fastest growing pizza chains in the highly competitive $40-billion pizza category.  During that time, Marco’s grew from 375 locations to over 900 locations in 3 countries.  System sales grew from $221MM to over $700MM. Royalty revenue increased from $10MM to about $27MM.  Marco’s is now the 6th largest pizza chain in the United States, behind Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Little Caesar’s, Papa John’s, and Papa Murphy’s.  At our current rate of growth, Marco’s should pass a declining Papa Murphy’s over the next few years.  Marco’s recommends FPG as a strategic partner.”

As of mid-2017, there are more than 800 franchised Marco’s Pizza locations in 34 states and Puerto Rico as well as the Bahamas, and India. Most recently, it was announced that Marco’s Pizza has doubled its size and expects to open its 1,000th store by the end of 2018.

In 2018, Marco’s Pizza was ranked at #8 on the Pizza Today list of the Top 100 Pizza Companies in the United States. The company was also named one of Marketing Quarterly’s Top 25 Pizza Chains and named by Franchising World as number eight on the magazine’s list of “Fast and Serious Growth Franchises”. The business operates locations in 33 states, as well as the Bahamas and Puerto Rico.

*Quotes taken from a testimonial provided by Jack Butorac, CEO of Marco’s Pizza 4/15/2019.

SportClips Logo

Sport Clips

FPG helped grow Sport Clips from 350 units to more than 1,500, providing strategic advice to the Vice President of Development, designing the franchisee recruitment process, and writing training materials and providing support for area developers. FPG also provided franchisee recruitment services for turnaround markets.

Christian Brothers Automotive

Christian Brothers Automotive grew from 80 to 190 units while working with FPG from 2012 to 2019. We designed a new lead generation strategy for the faith-based brand, stressing both the business model and company culture that makes Christian Brothers a unique opportunity. In addition to building a new franchise information website, we provided digital marketing strategies and advisory services to the Chief Development Officer.

College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving

College Hunks Hauling Junk (CHHJ) was started in 2005. They had the vision to grow a segment leading franchise company to overtake the then current market leader, 1-800-GOT-JUNK, and dominate the junk hauling industry. Between when they began offering franchises in 2007 and 2015, CHHJ had grown to 40 franchisees (averaging 5 per year) and was looking for a partner to help accelerate the growth of their brand by rapidly building their Franchise System.

Nick Friedman, CEO/Founder of College Hunks Hauling Junk shared that, “In 2015 College Hunks hired FPG as a growth partner to accelerate franchisee recruitment. FPG helped establish College Hunks’ value proposition as a franchise opportunity. FPG developed and executed a lead generation and lead nurturing strategy which created a breakthrough in lead generation results. FPG designed a franchisee recruitment process and staffed with 2 full time FPG recruiters and a fractional department leader.”

Additionally, FPG provided core functional expertise and resources including; digital marketing services, strategic advisory services, strategic bank relationships for all franchisee lending types, long term fleet lending and management, outsourced franchisee recruitment services, and provided strategic advice to executive management. FPG deployed its strategic bank partnership and fleet leasing programs with CHHJ in 2015 with a team lead by two individuals that are now Principals at FPG.

CHHJ grew from 40 to 110 franchisees in the first 2 years as a partner with FPG, a 175% increase. The brand also grew from 100 territories to over 200 territories in 2 years, a 100% growth in territory sales.

Mr. Friedman also added that, “We completed our relationship in early 2019. During that time, FPG helped College Hunks grow from 40 franchisees to over 100 franchisees. Average unit volume sales increased from $400,000 to over $700,000. Systemwide sales grew from $15 million to almost $100 million. Franchisor royalty revenues increased from $700,000 to over $5.2 million. College Hunks is now ranked #1 in their category by Entrepreneur Magazine and #143 out of all franchisors ranked. We recommend FPG as a growth partner.”

*Quotes taken from a testimonial provided by Nick Friedman, CEO/Founder of College Hunks Hauling Junk 4/1/2019.

i9 Sports

Born out of a desire to break free from the constraints of corporate America, founder Frank Fiume launched i9 Sports in 2003. Fiume created i9 Sports out of a passionate drive to create youth sports experiences in well-organized and high-quality sports leagues alongside developmentally appropriate instruction for all age groups. i9 Sports has created a business opportunity that franchise owners can feel passionate about running, while also offering work-life balance and continual franchisor support.

With over 2 million registrations in over 130 communities across the country, i9 Sports offers youth sports leagues, camps and clinics for boys and girls ages 3 and up in today’s most popular sports such as flag football, soccer, basketball, baseball, and ZIP Lacrosse™.

Frank V. Fiume II, Founder of i9 Sports Corporation had this to say about his experience with FPG recently:

“In September 2005, out of desperation to turn things around quickly, I attended a franchisor conference in Hollywood, FL to learning everything I could to get us back on track. FPG was moderating that session. Our company was in dire financial straits, only six months from extinction. Worse yet, I had an erratic management team and dozens of failing franchisees that had not amassed enough critical mass for us to survive on royalties.

FPG’s opinion was that our business model was strong, but we were deficient in basic fundamentals. We hired FPG to revamp of operations model, retrain staff, tighten support, and fine-tune every aspect of our operation, “blocking and tackling” as they described it. At the time we completed the basic consulting project with FPG we were down to our last $15,000 in the business.

First, FPG recommend we clean house, removing unproductive employees and leaders who lacked the capacity to help us turn around. Next, we revamped our operating system, making it more of an easy-to-follow “cookbook” for success. FPG and i9 worked together to revamp our ramp up strategy, increasing first year registrations by 300% out of the gate, making the franchisees time to breakeven much shorter. FPG went into their network of executives to bring on a marketing expert to crystallize our consumer value proposition and to recreate our customer experience, which we now call “the i9 Experience” which also includes the parents’ experience. Based on recommendations, we raised prices, driving revenue and cash flow.

If I had not taken the risk of swiftly bringing in FPG, we would have failed.

In 2017 we hired FPG again to reinvent our struggling franchise sales program. We had only recruited 1 new franchisee over the previous 9 months prior to FPG. FPG saw we gotten off message and were not communicating our value correctly to our target franchisee. They reinvented our franchisee recruitment program, staffed the department with two FPG recruiters, and developed and implemented national resale to help franchisees exit. FPG designed a new franchise opportunity content strategy, digital marketing lead generation program, sales presentation, lead nurturing content, and recruitment process. Within 90 days, i9 was onboarding over 1 franchisee per month and kept that pace for almost two years.

We highly recommend FPG as a strategic growth partner and franchising domain experts.”

With FPG’s involvement as a strategic partner between 2005 and 2018, i9 grew from 25 to over 130 territories, systemwide sales grew from $5 million to $70 million, and EBITDA grew from under $100,000 to $2.8 million. Currently, i9 Sports has more than 130 franchise locations across 28 states. It is the nation’s first and largest youth sports league franchise business in the United States, according to data presented in the 2016 issue of Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500.