FRANCHISING 101: Interview with Jeff Young, vomFASS Franchise Development Director

Everyone has questions about franchising. Jeff Young, the vomFASS Franchise Development Director, took some time to answer a few questions the other day.

Toni Jakovec:Good morning, Jeff. Franchising is a daunting concept to a lot of people, so how do you manage to demystify it?

Jeff Young:Thank you, Toni, for taking the time to talk with me. Actually, we can provide a lot of information to prospects because of our very detailed franchise disclosure documents. The Fair Trade Commission closely regulates franchising. In compliance with those regulations, we gather extensive documentation on the performance of our franchisees, which gives us a lot of liberty to share invaluable information with prospects. This demystifies the process and gets people excited about an amazingly successful franchise opportunity.

TJ:One of the things I’ve learned while talking to franchisees was the concept of “franchise brokers”. This was new to me. Would you like to talk about the role of the “franchise broker” in relation to a vomFASS franchise?

JY: Actually, I was a franchise broker for several years, which is part of the 25 years of franchising experience I bring to vomFASS. A franchise broker represents several franchise concepts. The role of the broker is to match the perfect franchise opportunity to the perfect prospect. It’s my relationship with these brokers that helps to get the word out about vomFASS franchise opportunities.

TJ: So, how does someone figure out if vomFASS is the right franchise for them? Is there a checklist you go through with people?

JY: On any checklist, of course, the financials would be extremely important. Also high on any checklist would be compatibility with the concept, as well as a person’s skills and interests – in other words, is it their “cup of tea”, so to speak. I think a passion for the product line is essential, as well as the ability to understand and relate to “foodies” and individuals who are excited about using our products in their homes.

Also, I like to get to know people and find out where they are in their life. It helps to get a good understanding of their goals, both personal and financial.

TJ: It sounds like, besides being a franchise director, you become a life coach!

JY: Oh, absolutely. When you’re talking to people, you really have to listen for the passion. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the process is to send samples of our products to a prospect and have a “virtual tasting” experience.

TJ: A “virtual tasting”? You’ll have to explain that.

JY: I send them a package with a clear sticker on it saying, “DO NOT OPEN UNTIL THE PHONE CALL.” I call and have them open the package while we’re talking. So I am listening when they are tasting for the first time. If I don’t hear a “WOW!”, then that sends a very strong message to me. That virtual tasting is a kind of litmus test when answering the all-important question, “Is this franchise right for me?” If a prospective franchisee can’t get excited, how will they ever excite their staff or customers about our products?

TJ: That’s such a good idea. I was interviewing Julie Ginsler [vomFASS North Carolina franchisee] recently, and she was telling me about opening up the package while you were both on the phone, making sure you shared the experience. I just love that idea.

JY: That’s something we started doing recently, and it’s proved to be an incredible way to gauge a potential franchisee’s compatibility with vomFASS, in addition to the questionnaire, the open webinar, and the financial pro forma. Prospects also are afforded the opportunity to call our franchise partners to hear how they are doing.

Perhaps the most important next step in the process is to come to Madison for “Experience Day”. This is no simple franchise “discovery day”, but a truly over-the-top experience. Not only do they get a chance to experience the front of the store and the excitement for the products, but they also experience how to operate the business, the back end of the business, the ordering of the products, the delivery, the inventory, and countless other critical aspects.

TJ: One final question about working with prospects. You maintain a relationship with franchisees long after this process, right?

JY: Yes, and it’s a very important, ongoing relationship. They receive phone calls from potential franchisees, so they become a strong component in the growth of vomFASS nationwide. When you join a franchise company, it is part of your responsibility to talk to prospects and relay your experience to them. Our potential franchisees want to hear from current owners to see that they are still having fun, love the products, love the people and are ensuring the vibrancy of vomFASS.

TJ: Let’s move on now to everyone’s favorite topic: food!

JY: I love to talk about food.

TJ: What is your favorite vomFASS product?

JY: No question… Maletti! I have Maletti in my veins. I don’t eat pizza without drizzling Maletti on it. My favorite recipe is Maletti Fire Roasted Tomatoes. They give the appearance that you have actually “fire roasted” the tomatoes. It’s simple, it’s flavorful, and it adds a totally different dimension to anything you add them to.

TJ: Thanks for everything Jeff… and here’s your recipe.


2 T. vomFASS Maletti Aceto Balsamico

1 C. Cherry Tomatoes, halved

In a shallow fry pan, drizzle vomFASS Maletti Aceto Balsamico over the tomatoes, then sauté until tomatoes have softened and the vinegar has thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.

Picture features Maletti Fire Roasted Tomatoes on pappardelle pasta with basil and Parmegiana.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for information purposes only. Currently, the following states in the United States regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are a resident of one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements in your jurisdiction.