Many systems have a franchise advisory council (FAC), which is a committee of franchisees who provide input to the franchisor on ways to improve the system.
The name given to this committee may vary from one brand to the next, but the underlying principle of a panel of franchisees who advise the franchisor on system improvements remains the same, irrespective of title.
A good FAC will have a written charter by which it operates. This will establish how the FAC is formed, nomination, selection and election processes, details of meeting frequency, nature of meetings, acceptable (and unacceptable) discussion items for meetings, and so forth. The charter will generally outline how the FAC interacts with the franchisor’s personnel, and how it reports back to its stakeholders (ie, the franchisees).
A good FAC will actively canvass the franchisees for issues to be presented to the franchisor, but only issues that are relevant to the system as a whole, and not the unique circumstances or regionally specific issues of individuals.
A good FAC will be transparent and report to its constituents by keeping them informed of meeting dates, agenda items, and minutes of meetings.
A good FAC will seek positive action to improve the system, while at the same time upholding the system’s vision and values, and encouraging all franchisees to continue to meet or exceed customer expectations.
However, good FAC’s don’t come together by themselves, or without some commitment from franchisors. Good FAC’s don’t work in the long-term if franchisors fail to acknowledge that FAC’s can and do add value to a network and provide useful suggestions for the benefit of all stakeholders in the franchise relationship.