Franchising: a one-trick pony or the ingredient for proven success? Tuesday 23 March 2021

Wayback Burgers’ is an American company that has franchisees all over the world, from Pakistan and Ireland to Bangladesh and the Netherlands. Stefan is in charge of the Dutch branch of the international burger brand and honestly believes in the power of franchising “As a franchisee, you are supported every step of the way. From location scouting to the menu, purchasing, branding and marketing – you name it! Thanks to this support, you can focus on what you do best: making guests happy.”

Let’s take a step back first

When we asked Stefan why he chose to open the first ‘Wayback Burgers’ outlet in the Netherlands he told us: “I fell in love with ‘Wayback Burgers’ because they combined the two things I love the most: franchising and great food.” At ‘Wayback Burgers’ the product is of utmost importance. We use the best-quality, fresh beef and prepare all our orders on the spot, by hand. We don’t keep any stock. “On top of that, nothing is impossible in our restaurants.” Customers can craft their own hamburger: we can make almost 200,000 different burgers. “We don’t like dictating what our customers can and can’t have with a fixed menu. This is not only perfect for people who like variation, but also for those with dietary restrictions who are looking for halal, vegetarian and/or pescatarian options.”

Stefan Boers

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Stefan is Master Franchisee and Managing Director for ‘Wayback Burgers’ in the Netherlands. With his many years of experience in foodservice, unstoppable enthusiasm, and entrepreneurial spirit, he opened the first ‘Wayback Burgers’ restaurant in the Dutch city of Breda in December 2018. And that was only the beginning. 

The perks of being a franchisee

“I believe there has to be a real connection between the entrepreneur and the brand for it to work. Just like a marriage, actually.” For Stefan, this meant getting on a plane and meeting the people behind the brand, tasting the product and seeing if the marriage was meant to be. And it was. Stefan’s plans were given the green light, and together with the American team he set up a successful business. 

We know what Dutchies love

So is everything Stefan does dictated by HQ? Stefan laughs: “We have certain guidelines, but in the end we know best what our Dutch guests love and need.” One of the first things we changed was the size of our drinks and meals. “Servings in the United States are way bigger than in the Netherlands.” On the other hand, home delivery is far bigger in the Netherlands, so Stefan and his team set up their own delivery network. He trained his delivery people to be the best they can be, which meant delivering good food with a great smile and a personal touch. “If you manage to perfect those 10 seconds at the customer’s front door, you’ll boost customer satisfaction”

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When it comes to products and Limited Time Offers, Stefan works with Dutch private labels and tags onto corporate campaigns. But this doesn’t mean that he can’t make small adjustments. “In the States, people link Christmas to the taste of peppermint, so HQ introduced a peppermint bark milkshake for the Christmas LTO. In the Netherlands, peppermint is seen as a flavour for toothpaste and breath mints, so we turned it into a ‘speculaas’ (gingerbread) milkshake – a guaranteed hit!” 

Starting a franchise is hard work, there’s no doubt about it. Even if you include the benefits: having a big international team that supports you, boosts your social efforts and giving you enough room to implement your own ideas. Stefan smiles, “I wouldn’t want it any other way”.

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