MULO Brands With Soul: A New Mini-Series Street Fight

MULO Brands With Soul: A New Mini-Series

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The term “soul” is all relative.  Many MULO (multi-location) brands today aim to stay in business and thrive. They incorporate new technologies into their operations, aim to hire and retain competent and loyal employees and ensure they are selling/serving the products/foods/services that today’s consumers want (and that their marketing is well-targeted and cost-effective).

So, where does soul factor into all of this?

It takes on many forms.

  • Corporate philanthropy takes place at a high level. Parent companies decide what causes to support, what grants to write, and how to publicize their giving programs. Some companies are designated B Corps, and they prioritize social good in their business missions.
  • Local giving is part of many MULO brands’ strategy, but some leave that up to their regions and locations. However, some are starting to create their own foundations within their businesses to facilitate “giving back” to communities. See the Fat Brands case study below.
  • Getting serious about and reinforcing employee respect and care (and ultimately satisfaction and retention) is another aspect of soul. The founding of Glassdoor in 2008 gave workers a very visible online voice, so prospective employees could peek behind the curtain and see how companies REALLY treat their employees. As we know, one insensitive leader or store manager can sully a brand’s reputation and, even if a company values a supportive and kind employee culture, reinforcing behaviors across thousands of locations can be daunting.

Over the next six months, we’ll showcase “Brands With Soul” and highlight specific actions they’ve taken to give back to communities and better the lives of the people who work for them. Please get in touch if you’d like your company to be considered (either a MULO brand or an agency/technology that works with MULO brands).

June Brand With Soul: Fat Brands

Just named Non-Profit Executive of the Year, Jessica Wiederhorn has spearheaded an effort to donate $250K to causes in the areas where Fat Brands has locations. The gifts went to 43 different non-profit causes.

Says Chris Khaleghian, a Johnny Rockets franchisee:

“Our philanthropic efforts are a key defining point of my Johnny Rockets location. When guests come into the store and know my name and how we are involved in the local community, I know we are truly making an impact. Our focus is tied to the local schools and also a foundation called the Friendship Foundation. The youth are extremely important to me, and also, I have a special needs child, so I am particularly fond of the work of the Friendship Foundation, which focuses on transforming the lives of special needs children. Every year, we participate in approximately 40 fundraisers. The community recognizes all we do in the area and will try to frequent our store. Being involved in your respective area is critical to remain relevant amongst the competition.”
Their model of supporting locations and communities makes their program more relevant to individual location operators.
Watch this space for more MULO brands with soul and join us on November 7th for the Street Fight LIVE Summit 2024!
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, the New York Times and Forbes.
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