5 Myths About Owning a Franchise

Keith Haywood, Bojangles' franchise owner

After 26 years of providing dining services to colleges, FDY Inc., a family-owned food service company, began to explore the world of franchising. In 2008, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based business purchased its first Bojangles’.

“We found the perfect opportunity to become a full-fledged franchisee with one of the fastest growing concepts in the business,” says Keith Haywood, vice president of sales and marketing for FDY. The company also provides staffing management services at Howard University and North Carolina A&T, and pursues other business ventures.

Led by Haywood’s father, Floyd D. Young, president and founder of FDY, the business spent about $500,000 to open the Bojangles’ venue at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. Haywood says his family members (his mother, Norma Young, is FDY’s vice president) ventured into franchising because they dealt with a lot of franchises in their work on university campuses.

“We saw that there was a demand for national, regional, and local quick-food concepts,” he says. They chose Bojangles’ because they liked the product and the level of support the franchisor offered. And since Bojangles’ headquarters is also in Charlotte, FDY spent three years studying the franchisor’s success, meeting with reps, and developing relationships.

Today, “We attract 1,500 customers per day and we are in the top percentile of all the food offerings in the airport in our food category,” Haywood says. The average Bojangles’ store does $1.7 million in sales a year, which is far ahead of fast-food brands “in our category,” notes Haywood. “Our Bojangles’ franchise at Charlotte-Douglas does almost twice that in sales volume.” FDY also opened a full-service Bojangles’ restaurant in Clemson, South Carolina, in 2008; and another Bojangles’ venue in Washington, D.C.’s Union Station last year.

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