Franchise Insights: How These Franchises Are Navigating the 2020 Holiday Season

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Christmas is always a busy time for businesses, but this year, the pressure to increase sales is even higher. We’ve collected some of the best franchise insights from across the sectors to support entrepreneurs wondering how to navigate the 2020 holiday season.

Running a business during Covid-19 restrictions isn’t easy, but lots of our franchise partners have been making adaptations to stay afloat and even thrive this Christmas. From incorporating new services to giving back to the community, there are plenty of ways to add real value for the 2020 holiday period. 

How to navigate the 2020 holiday season - franchise tactics 

Here are just some of the changes our franchisees have made in the past few months. Just click on the links to read more about each story. 

1. Adapting the business’s services

Although many businesses have been forced to close their doors throughout November and December, The Christmas Decorators has still been able to grow its operations during the festive season. In fact, the franchise’s Cheshire branch saw a 50-percent increase in demand for its services this year, particularly among homeowners. So, it adapted its model to cater to a higher proportion of residential customers. 

2. Adding extra services 

The pandemic has caused challenges for everyone, young and old. SportsCool recognised the growing risk of mental health conditions among children, and decided to incorporate yoga classes into its selection of sports sessions. 

To achieve this class addition, the franchise’s leaders completed a course and became MiniMeYoga’s first male ambassadors in the UK. Now, SportsCool coaches can incorporate nuggets of the wellbeing support into their daily sessions to help keep children both physically and mentally healthy. 

3. Using digital resources

Taking advantage of technology and cloud-based software has given many franchises the ability to continue operating throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns. When the time came for Radfield Home Care to deliver its biannual conference, it organised a virtual event. Franchisees were able to enjoy a packed schedule of feedback sessions, breakaway group discussions and five-year planning meetings. 

It goes without saying, 2020 has been a challenging year. This does not mean that the support we provide to franchise partners has to be impacted though - even if that support has traditionally depended on face-to-face contact.
— Dr Hannah MacKechnie, Radfield Home Care co-founder and franchisor 

TaxAssist Accountants has also implemented new technologies this year. The financial services franchise reorganised its six-week franchisee training programme into a four-week course investors could complete online. Senior Training & Communications Manager, Samantha Skyring revealed the virtual induction scheme has proven so effective the franchise is hoping to use parts of it permanently. 

4. Incorporating delivery and collection services 

Being able to continue serving customers through delivery and collection services has been incredibly helpful for food and restaurant franchises forced to close their dining areas. 

One Auntie Anne’s franchisee in Atlanta, Georgia, decided to launch his new pretzel store as a mobile business. In the process of setting up his twelfth unit, Dan Trickel realised the Covid-19 pandemic had created the need for more flexibility. Now, he sells the franchise’s famous American pretzels from a branded food truck, which he can take to areas of high demand. So far, it’s proven incredibly successful and Dan has changed his plans to run it as a full-time business as opposed to part-time. 

Meanwhile, Japanese restaurant franchise Shoryu Ramen has turned its attention to DIY food kits, which customers can buy to recreate their favourite dishes at home. Twice a week, the business releases delivery slots for its recipe boxes filled with ingredients and step-by-step instructions. Plus, it capitalised on the Black Friday weekend by offering a 20 percent discount on every kit. 

5. Introducing Covid-19-friendly facilities

Many businesses have adapted to Covid-19 restrictions, and Dunkin’ Donuts has done it with style. One of its newest branches, based in Texas, was designed as a ‘store of the future’. The exciting franchise unit has atmospheric lighting and a contactless drive-thru, allowing customers to get their hands on all Dunkin’ Donuts’ classic drinks without stepping inside the store. 

6. Using franchise insight to provide extra information

Some brands have been able to stay relevant and familiar among consumers by using their expertise to help others. 

Full Circle Funerals’ Director, Sarah Jones, used her contacts to collect words of wisdom from more than 60 professionals working across the industry. With a bank of useful insights, she was able to create a care handbook for those who have recently lost a loved one.  

It’s about recognising [people] might have some really basic needs, they might be self-isolating and not have any food, and being more proactive with checking-in, make that slightly more human connection and give more practical support that normally people would have got from friends and family.
— Sarah Jones, Full Circle Funerals Director

In the finance industry, TaxAssist Accountants developed a guide to encourage readers to support their local businesses during the 2020 holiday season. With ‘Small Business Saturday’ approaching, the franchise suggested people take advantage of click-and-collect opportunities, share business profiles on social media and visit virtual Christmas markets, among other acts of kindness. 

7. Supporting the community

In a time of widespread hardship, several businesses have gone out of their way to donate vital supplies like food and drink to worthy causes. 

Wok&Go promised to give a monthly £2,000 food voucher to Cheshire community group The Port Grocery, which is based opposite one of the franchise’s noodle bars. Now, its members can enjoy dishes effectively free of charge. This charitable act should resonate with consumers, who appreciate brands’ philanthropic gestures. 

Find more franchise insights 

Hopefully these case studies have given you some ideas for running a successful business during the holidays. When it comes to protecting your franchise and raising your profile, there are lots of options open to entrepreneurs - and at Christmas, the more inventive they are, the better. 

If you’re struggling to find ways to make a difference this December, considering the expertise and resources available to you can be a great place to start. Whether you choose to add a new income stream or help those in need, you can get the ball rolling by reviewing your business’s current strengths and weaknesses. 

For more information and advice on navigating the 2020 holiday season, see Point Franchise’s other articles.

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