Canadian Business Franchise

Canadian Business Franchise

Canadian Business Franchise

Quality Control
And Franchise Development

Successful franchises are built, bought, sold and defended with the trusted advice of top foodservice consultants.

With a client list that includes McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, Cara Operations, Great Canadian Bagel, and Morton’s of Chicago Steak House, it’s not surprising to find consultants Doug Fisher and Liz Hollyer at the top of the foodservice and franchise consulting field. FHG International Inc., the company they founded in 1984, has provided franchise development, strategic planning, valuation and litigation support services to many leading restaurants in Canada and the U.S.

“We work with as many as 15 different clients every year — many of them year-over-year,” explains company President Doug Fisher. “So we’ve gained a unique insight into the business opportunities that abound.”

Working closely with senior executives and management, Fisher says he and Liz Hollyer, FHG’s Vice-President, have become trusted advisors to many large, established restaurant franchise companies, as well as with smaller operators that
only have a couple of units. “We’ve helped lots of little guys build successful franchise operations, for example Mandarin Buffet, Mr. Greek Restaurants and Williams Coffee Pub – just to name a few,” he says.

Building Francises
When it comes to franchise development, FHG first conducts an assessment as to whether or not the restaurant concept is “franchise-able”.

Once this is assessed, explains Hollyer, a 20-year veteran of foodservice start-up and development engagements, the firm highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the system and then addresses these to determine how the client can capitalize on the
unique selling proposition of its strengths.

“We move on to assist clients in developing operational manuals, location selection guidelines, standardize and cost recipes and work with them to fully develop their operating system,” adds Hollyer.

Given Fisher’s unique expertise on valuing restaurants, franchises and territorial rights, his firm is often retained by leading franchisors or major franchisees that intend to purchase or sell units. With three books and some 75 articles on the foodservice and franchise industry to his credit, Fisher already has an impressive resume, but a review of FHG’s work is even more telling.

Fisher’s even hand has ensured that values attained in transactions are usually within 5 to 10 percent of FHG’s valuation. “We have worked on deals that range from as little as $150,000 to over $60 million and have provided our clients a ‘peace of mind’ that what they are buying or selling is within a reasonable range,” he says.

Litigation Support
An unfortunate part of the franchise business is the occasional dispute that erupts between franchisee and franchisor or between franchisor and supplier. Often in these cases, there’s a need for expert testimony.

FHG has been retained in a number of cases by litigation counsel to represent the franchisor interests in such disputes.

“When it comes to the outcome of litigation, an expert witness is crucial to the success of any case. Over the years we have developed a reputation for being conservative in our approach and back our findings with solid and irrefutable facts,” says Fisher, whose impressive industry credentials make him a much sought after witness. “We have assisted clients in cases ranging up to $166 million in value.”

The results FHG has achieved assisting in legal cases have been consistently favourable, mostly due, explains Fisher, to the fact that his company understands the foodservice issues in the proper context — this is what makes them strong witnesses.

Consultants like FHG are experts in the field and provide ongoing advice to operators. “It’s expertise that comes from our ongoing interaction with the foodservice business on a true operations and management level,” explains Fisher.

Closing in on 20 years of consulting to the foodservice industry, Fisher and Hollyer have built what is unquestionably one of the most successful and well-known consulting firms in the restaurant and franchise business in Canada.

Doug P. Fisher, BAS, MSc, CMC,
CFE, FCSI, President of FHG
International Inc., is a
frequent guest speaker at
franchise conventions and
industry trade shows.