Frequently Asked Questions About the Sam & Louie’s Franchise.
The answers to the following frequently asked questions will help you further evaluate our franchise opportunity and make a fully informed decision concerning its benefits to you. This information is not intended to replace the information contained in our Franchise Disclosure Document, which we will provide access to once your Application is complete, and which you should thoroughly examine prior to entering into any agreement.
Why pizza and what makes Sam & Louie’s so special?
The pizza and pasta categories have been two of the fastest growing food service segments over the last 10 years. The average American eats pizza or pasta two to three times a month. Just over a third of the U.S. population eats pizza or pasta once a week (source: National Eating Trends). The unique taste of our products, along with our knowledge and experience in the food service industry, have enabled us to develop an operating system and franchise opportunity that are as carefully planned and harmonious as the ambiance in each Sam & Louie’s restaurant. We not only franchise Sam & Louie’s restaurants, but also operate three locations. This makes us a participating party in the ongoing development of the concept. We believe in the long-term opportunities offered by the food service industry and Sam & Louie’s.
Do I need prior restaurant experience to own a Sam & Louie’s franchise?
Prior restaurant experience is not required to own or operate a Sam & Louie’s Franchise. In most cases, it is in your best interest to include in your core team at least one member with some level of prior restaurant experience, but this is not a requirement. The systems- both operational and marketing, tools, training, and ongoing support needed to successfully operate your Sam & Louie’s franchise will be made available to you. You must be willing to learn and follow the model. Owner/operators or general managers with an equity interest are preferred and recommended.
How many Sam & Louie’s restaurants may I operate?
Multi-unit ownership is encouraged, but only if a franchisee is on a sound operational and financial base.
Does Sam & Louie’s provide potential franchisees with an Earnings Claim Statement?
Yes. Our Franchise Disclosure Document contains “Statements of Actual Sales and Earnings” that reflect the results of specific company-owned Sam & Louie’s restaurants. (Important Note: Future results of any franchise location are dependent upon a number of significant variables. They include location, competition, overall market conditions, utilities, fluctuations in food costs, availability and cost of labor, cost of other operating expenses, and the operator’s expertise and dedication.)
How can I determine what geographic area is available for franchising?
The availability of geographic areas is continually changing, so we ask you to list your geographic preference(s) and submit it (them) to us. After we review the information, we will contact you about the specific areas in which you are interested. (Special Note: Sam & Louie’s approves locations and sites. We may suggest development in certain areas, and veto areas we feel are not feasible.)
Can an existing building be remodeled?
Yes, subject to the approval of Sam & Louie’s. The typical building for conversion will need to be in the 2,400 – 3,500 square foot range with on-site parking for 35+ vehicles.
How do I select a location?
Once the Franchise Agreement has been executed and all applicable fees paid, we will schedule a site trip to your area to discuss the various options and approve a location. Additionally, demographic reports are furnished by Sam & Louie’s to provide a more thorough location analysis.
How is my restaurant designed and plans drawn?
Architectural prototype plans and restaurant layout design support is provided by Sam & Louie’s and an approved equipment and furniture supplier. You may need to have the plans stamped by an architect at an additional fee.
Who is responsible for each restaurant’s advertising?
Local restaurant advertising is the financial responsibility of the franchisee. To help in the local advertising effort, we have a marketing development fund which is used to: (1) produce marketing and advertising materials, including the attractive “point of purchase” materials for local use; (2) promote brand awareness; and (3) evaluate the impact of marketing expenditures through research. Additionally, cooperative advertising associations may be formed in any market.
What types of advertising programs are utilized by Sam & Louie’s?
Sam & Louie’s places a large focus on guerrilla style community marketing. We recommend direct mail, print, radio, television, digital, and outdoor advertising and social marketing to compliment and expand the community marketing efforts. Media coverage is on a local or regional basis. Sam & Louie’s is a regional organization that does not purchase national spots. The primary source of advertising materials is the in-house marketing department of Sam & Louie’s. You may use your own advertising material when it is approved by Sam & Louie’s.
Do I purchase food products and supplies directly from Sam & Louie’s?
No. Sam & Louie’s has contracted with an independent supplier to provide purchasing and weekly distribution of all food products, paper products and operating supplies to company and franchise restaurants. And the best news is … every location, company-owned or franchised, benefits from the volume purchasing power of Sam & Louie’s system-wide operations. Sam & Louie’s reserves the right to approve all products, suppliers and purveyors to ensure that quality standards are followed and maintained.
Where do I purchase the equipment package?
You may purchase the equipment from any of the suppliers approved by Sam & Louie’s. Currently all supplies are purchased from Sysco.
What training is provided by Sam & Louie’s?
A 4 to 6 week training program at the corporate headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, is provided for the owner, the management team and 2 to 4 additional staff members. This program has been designed to cover vital areas of importance to your success as a franchise owner. It covers the operations manual, library of training videos, methods of inventory control, equipment maintenance, standards of quality, service and cleanliness, personnel policies, effective training techniques, operational techniques and marketing. During the opening of your Sam & Louie’s restaurant, on-site training will be provided at no additional expense for up to 10 days.
Does the owner need training?
Yes, even if the owner is not going to work in the restaurant, he or she must complete the Sam & Louie’s two-week owner training program.
Does Sam & Louie’s provide any ongoing training?
Yes, we offer various seminars throughout the year, some conducted at regional sites.
What form of continuing operations guidance will I receive?
We want you to have the advantage of our ongoing research and development. Therefore, you will be periodically updated and kept current on all new products, suppliers, equipment, inventory control, advertising and much more through our company intranet, newsletters and regular direct contact from our staff. In addition, you will be provided ongoing supervision and support through periodic visits. The consultant will discuss important aspects of your Sam & Louie’s restaurant operation with you and your management personnel. You may contact our staff whenever you desire advice, and you may exchange ideas and information with other franchise owners.
How soon can I be in operation once I have been awarded a franchise?
Securing a location is typically the determining factor. Once a mutually agreed upon site has been secured, constructing and supplying your new business for its opening generally takes 12 to 20 weeks.
Can I sell my Sam & Louie’s franchise?
In the event you desire to sell your Sam & Louie’s restaurant and the franchise rights pertaining to it, you must first disclose the sales terms to Sam & Louie’s. We have a right of first refusal to purchase your restaurant. In the event we do not purchase your restaurant, you will be free to seek another buyer, who must be approved by Sam & Louie’s.
Who are the top executives at Sam & Louie’s?
They are individuals with years of experience in the food business. The experience, continuity and depth of the Sam & Louie’s management team constitute one of our biggest strategic assets. Our management team has worked together for many years, leading the company to become a dominant force in the food service industry, and building long-term relationships with employees, customers, suppliers and existing franchisees.
What’s the next step if I am interested in a Sam & Louie’s Franchise?
Complete the application in the Opportunity Center. If your application is accepted, you will be invited for a one-day introductory visit to Omaha. Your meeting in Omaha will include discussions with key personnel from the franchise department of Sam & Louie’s and visits to Sam & Louie’s restaurants. Once you are formally approved as a franchisee, a Standard Franchise Agreement will be sent to you, along with an invoice for your initial franchise fee. You will need to select a certain site for approval.