Rise To Launch Franchise Program

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rise Biscuits & Donuts has partnered with franchise development company Fransmart to launch a worldwide franchise program.

Rise founder and owner Tom Ferguson said he built the brand on a platform to stand as a franchise or an independent store.

"Doughnuts are pretty hot right now and so are biscuits," Ferguson said.

He said that Fransmart approached Rise about the franchise opportunities and that he doesn't worry about diluting quality as the brand grows.

"When we make changes, quality is at the forefront of our mind," Ferguson said. "We've streamlined and are a juggernaut now." Fransmart has developed brands such as Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Qdoba Mexican Grill.

Ferguson said the primary focus for growth right now is the South, and he has developed a new ownership group for the franchise company with Brian Wiles, Rise store manager, overseeing operations and Andy Seamans as chief financial officer.

"It's shocking how financially successful the brand is," says Dan Rowe, founder and CEO of Fransmart.

He said the company reached out to Rise after seeing it on a television program and then researching it.

He said Fransmart was impressed with the strength of Rise's social media presence and online reviews.

"It was all unusually positive, specifically for a one-unit concept," Rowe said.

Fransmart has already received franchising interest in Rise from two airports, one in Houston, Texas, and another on the West Coast.

Initially, Rowe said the plan is to grow Rise in a concentric circle in the Carolinas and southern Virgina, while retaining a small and focused menu. He said the margins on a concept like Rise are large due to the simplicity of doughnut and biscuit ingredients, primarily flour and water.

"What drives (Rise) is that it's a better version of what people are used to," Rowe said. "People have been eating biscuits and donuts forever." Before starting Rise in 2012, Ferguson operated Durham Catering Company and started Only Burger, which he sold in 2011.

He is currently testing The Rollout, a handmade pasta and salad concept.

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