Is Multi-Unit Ownership Possible?

More than 70% of our salons are operated by multi-unit managers

John and Patti Prichard are the largest multi-unit franchisees in the Fantastic Sams system, with 27 salons in the Minneapolis area. John knew from the outset he wanted to own more than one salon, based on the research they did before they joined our franchise family.

With such an easy-to-scale, simple business model, John, a former CFO for a national bakery, was impressed with Fantastic Sams’ performance in an already-stable industry. He and Patti appreciate the level of support offered to franchisees, which makes it easier to be profitable and own multiple units.

“We follow the guest services model very closely, as well as the operational model. We are very active and involved in leading our teams and holding them accountable to providing a high level of guest services, and we also expect them to take advantage of training to develop their skills,” says John. “We get great support from Fantastic Sams corporate, which offers a lot of coaching, mentoring and training.”

Multi-unit owners Richard and Laurie Upson were looking to replace their income from Richard’s job as senior VP of logistics for a large retail company. Like the Prichards, they were drawn to the stability of the salon industry, and they trusted the Fantastic Sams name. From there, it was a matter of scaling up sensibly.

Although many franchisees started with just a single unit, most of our salons are operated by multi-unit owners. That’s because Fantastic Sams operates in an industry with long-term economic stability, and we strive to make it easier for investors to own multiple units through financial incentives for purchasing more than one salon. Add to this our industry-leading financing opportunities, and prospective franchisees quickly understand why we’re still at the top of our game more than 40 years in.

“We looked at a break-even point for a salon and at what we thought we could accomplish as we got salons up and going,” Richard says. “We felt that we’d eventually need about five salons to do that. So we bought five license agreements right out of the chute. We figured if we were going to do this, we were going to be all-in. Also, we got a better price by buying multiple licenses.”

Manage the manager of your franchise hair salons

How do these individuals and our many other successful multi-unit owners manage? The short answer is our business model, which makes easy work of managing multiple locations. Our franchisees don’t need any salon experience; they just need a solid business background.

Owners typically hire licensed cosmetologists to manage the salons and work with the stylists day-to-day. A multi-unit owner can shine by staying on top of marketing and “managing the managers” for their salons, making sure customers always have a positive experience and always leave happy. One general manager often can handle two or three salons, so franchisees can create a tiered management system that makes it easy to understand what’s going on at any salon at any given moment.

Richard and Laurie, like most of our franchisees, had never worked in the salon industry before — but they didn’t need that experience. “We wanted something that was not beyond our knowledge technologically,” he says. “Also, we wanted a business model that would let us invest in multiple locations. Some franchises require more than $1 million for that level of investment, but we didn’t have that kind of money. We liked the protection of having geographic dispersion. If one salon is a little off, then you’re still OK.”


In the franchising world, there are almost limitless options to choose from. Savvy investors will be able to spot Fantastic Sams’ advantages almost right away.

“I looked at Fantastic Sams, along with a lot of business models, and Fantastic Sams stood out,” says John, a former CFO. “I did a lot of due diligence, talking to existing franchisees and going into a lot of detail with them so that I could get a feel for the profit-loss metrics and the cash-flow model — things that the franchisor is precluded from talking about. It was easy for me to come up with break-even points and see the upside opportunity. The financial exercise was key to me deciding to get into the business.”

If you’d like to find out more about becoming a multi-unit owner, please fill out the form at the right or click on the button below.

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