Fat Brands Blasts Off for Success

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This writer was honored to be invited to an all-franchisee gathering of Fat Brands corporate team members, franchisees, and partners.

Live events have made a comeback, as illustrated by the attendance of close to 2K people who enjoyed a close-up view of the Las Vegas Sphere, which was in keeping with the space theme of the gathering — “All Systems Go.”

The theme was especially fitting because today’s multi-location (MULO) restaurants need the perfect combination of high-functioning systems across their physical locations, operations, technology, products, and people. The “space captains” (i.e., the franchisees and regional managers) need to navigate dangers like wage and product price increases, uncontrollable weather, and tech glitches to land safely, hopefully with valuable “moon rocks” (profits and accurate and actionable consumer data).

Live events need to have the perfect combination of:

  1. Inspirational and educational content for large audiences on topics attendees can all relate to. Among the “big stage” speakers were Gary Vaynerchuk, Terry Bradshaw, Chris Hadfield (retired astronaut), Katherine Wolf (a survivor of a massive stroke who went on to become a public speaker, author, and mother), Selim Bassoul (President & CEO of Six Flags), and Michelle “Sonic” Ruel (Pentagon Director of Communications, U.S. Air Force, Afterburner). In addition, smaller breakout sessions tackled specific business issues that franchisees all face and offered case studies and cross-brand intelligence.
  2. Opportunities for attendees to learn from each other. Breakfasts, lunches, and after-hours events (see #3) allowed strangers to become colleagues and discuss common challenges.
  3. After-hours events. Sportstainment is a growing category in the MULO space, so an evening gathering at Top Golf seemed on-point.
  4. A philanthropic tie-in. Fat Brands has its own foundation, which helps local communities where the brands have locations. Among the items at the silent auction was a ride in a real fighter jet.
  5. An easy-to-use app that enables guests to navigate the activities. This has become table stakes for any successful event.
  6. A carefully curated partner showcase. The “exhibit” area was not overwhelming and was well-placed, so franchisees could explore and shop for solutions outside the main stage area, where refreshments were also deliberately located, creating a smart “walk-thru” area. (After all, brands that understand consumer traffic flow can apply this knowledge to their own events.)
  7. Accessibility to management. This may be the most important element. Fat Brands executives and team members were everywhere, and on opening night, at least one stopped at every chair and couch in the lounge area to hand out his card, encourage feedback, and meet franchisees. Speaking of feedback, the post-event survey was sent out almost immediately while memories were still fresh in attendees’ minds.

More insights from the event will be published in upcoming articles.

Especially as they scale, keeping close to teams is critical for MULO brands, as is encouraging “civilians” to see the entire solar system of tech innovations and solutions as they orbit. They may be looking at the lights of Vegas rather than the earth’s surface, but they’ll land knowing how to avoid meteor showers and shoot for the moon or Mars.

Speaking of events, details on the Street Fight LIVE Summit on November 7th will be shared shortly. Save the date! Registration is already open, and only 200 seats are available!

Nancy A Shenker, senior editor with Street Fight, is a former big brand (Citibank, Mastercard, Reed Exhibitions) marketing strategist and leader. She has been featured in Inc.com, the New York Times and Forbes.
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