Franchising has proved to be one of the fastest growing business model with a high success rate and an emerging means of supporting economic growth. With this success has come increasing competition. Product and service differentiation is one major ways to competitiveness however franchise models seem to battle to standardize their point of differentiation and retain it consistently. Franchisees are important agents in this model and thus are the focus of this research.
This research focuses on the service brands in the Quick Service Restaurant franchise (QSR) system in South Africa. The aim was to gain insight in and understanding of standardization and consistency because these are regarded as key requirements for the success of both the service brands and future growth and survival of the franchise model. The study was motivated by the expanding competitive landscape of these service brands in the QSR sector and their need to achieve superior customer experience as a differentiation strategy.
A qualitative study was conducted through unstructured interviews with 12 franchisees from a multinational QSR operating in South Africa. Ethical compliance, validity and credibility were observed throughout the process ensuring that the integrity of the data was maintained. The data was analysed using computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (ATLAS ti.)
The study contributes to literature evidence that consistency and standardization of service brands in the franchise systems is necessary for their success. In this QSR service brand, product is still considered the main differentiator compared with service. This draws the focus away from the service experience and could compromise successful service brands. An absence of knowledge as to what makes service brands in the franchise model successful could jeopardise the survival of these brands in the service system.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.