What is Tandem Franchising?

Tandem franchising is an effective empowerment mechanism.


What is Tandem Franchising?

With a strong focus on mentoring, tandem franchising is particularly effective for the implementation of black economic empowerment (BEE) initiatives. This mentoring process occurs in a joint venture arrangement between a franchisor-appointed mentor and a franchisee.

The franchisee buys a minority stake in the business, and receives mentoring from an experienced franchisee until the new franchisee has gained the necessary knowledge and experience to run the business efficiently on their own.

The candidate uses profits generated in the business to purchase additional shares. Eventually, the candidate becomes the sole owner of the business. At that point, the mentor withdraws and the arrangement converts to a standard business format franchise.

This type of programme should take place over a pre-determined period of time, and can be effective in ensuring empowerment initiatives are effectively implemented and skills transferal takes place. There is much potential for tandem franchising to achieve transformation in the franchise sector, as it makes entry into franchising possible for individuals who do not have the skills, capital or collateral to do so on their own.

Tandem franchising has the unique advantage of empowering individuals to learn about the business, and become more aware of the necessary components and requirements of the business, while being “attached” to a person who understands the industry thoroughly.

It also addresses the issue of a lack of capital at the start-up stage. Franchisees are usually able to increase their shareholding over time and while this process takes place, they have the opportunity to increase both their skills and confidence in running the business.

A good example of tandem franchising in practice is the Pick ‘n Pay “twinning” programme, in which talented employees attend intensive training at the Pick ‘n Pay Franchise Academy. Selected employees are given the opportunity to become involved in a store on a tandem basis.

Anita du Toit
About the Author
Anita is a partner at Franchising Plus.

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