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Gen Z in Franchising

The youngest consumer generation of working age is taking the franchising industry by storm… kind of.

While Millennials still lead the charge for franchising adoption, Gen Z is looking at franchise ownership as a valid career path in lieu of traditional career direction.

If you’re a young person wondering what to do with your future, then franchising might be a perfect fit. Let’s take a closer look.

a high schooler frershly graduated and ready to open his own franchise

A statistical examination of Gen Z in franchising

Let’s take a run at Gen Z in franchising by the numbers and trends.

Many Gen Zers want to be entrepreneurs

Gen Z, characterized by individuals born after 1996, is progressively making its mark in the franchising sector, distinguished by its unique set of preferences, values, and the drive for entrepreneurship.

According to the Pew Research Center, Generation Z is entering the consumer spotlight with significant economic and political power, especially as they become of voting age. This generation, having come of age during and after the Great Recession and amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, has shown resilience and adaptability.

A notable 62% of Gen Zers express an interest in starting their own businesses, leveraging their high college attendance rates, technological savviness, and a diverse background. Their inclination towards entrepreneurship is further evidenced by their significant presence on social media platforms, with nearly 85% discovering new products this way, and 53% having made purchases through mobile devices in the last six months​.

They’re tech-savvy and social

The franchising industry, recognizing the entrepreneurial spirit of Gen Z, sees them as a perfect fit. Franchising offers Gen Z the opportunity to be their own bosses while capitalizing on their characteristics like eco and social responsibility, a drive for technology, and the importance of work-life balance.

With franchisors increasingly seeking to attract this demographic, strategies have shifted towards leveraging social media, particularly platforms like TikTok, where an estimated 60% of users are Gen Zers. This approach aims to tap into the generation’s preference for engaging, short-form content to promote franchising opportunities, acknowledging that 65% of Gen Z entrepreneurs are interested in owning a business​.

The franchising industry needs fresh talent

Moreover, the changing dynamics of the franchising industry, with about 40% of the over 12 million small businesses and franchises in the U.S. owned by baby boomers who are retiring at a rapid pace, underscore the need for fresh entrepreneurial talent.

This scenario presents a significant opportunity for Gen Z, as franchisors are now more than ever, open to exploring innovative recruitment strategies and offering lower-priced franchising opportunities to accommodate the entrepreneurial ambitions and financial realities of younger generations.

Encouraging this trend, franchisors are advised to consider Gen Z’s preferences for technology, social media, and a balanced lifestyle when designing their recruitment and operational models, positioning franchising as an attractive career path for the most entrepreneurial generation yet​.

Gen Z values suit franchising to a tee

Gen Z values can align with the idea of becoming a franchise owner in several ways:

  1. Entrepreneurial Spirit: Many members of Gen Z are known for their entrepreneurial mindset. They value independence, creativity, and the ability to shape their own futures. Becoming a franchise owner allows them to tap into this spirit while still having the support and structure of an established brand.
  2. Social Responsibility: Gen Z tends to prioritize social and environmental issues. They are more likely to support businesses that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, diversity, and ethical practices. Franchise ownership can provide an opportunity to align with brands that share these values and contribute positively to their communities.
  3. Tech-Savviness: Growing up in the digital age, Gen Z is highly tech-savvy. This can be advantageous in managing various aspects of a franchise business, such as online marketing, social media engagement, and leveraging technology for operational efficiency.
  4. Flexibility and Work-Life Balance: While Gen Z is ambitious and driven, they also value flexibility and work-life balance. Franchise ownership offers the potential for autonomy in scheduling and operations, allowing individuals to create a lifestyle that suits their needs and preferences.
  5. Collaborative Mindset: Gen Z tends to value collaboration and teamwork. Many franchise models provide opportunities for collaboration with other franchise owners, sharing best practices, and learning from one another’s experiences.
  6. Adaptability: In a rapidly changing business landscape, adaptability is crucial. Gen Z has grown up in a world of constant technological advancement and cultural shifts, making them inherently adaptable. This adaptability can be an asset in navigating the challenges and opportunities of owning a franchise business.

Overall, while individual values and preferences may vary within Generation Z, many aspects of franchise ownership can resonate with their aspirations and priorities, making it a potentially appealing path for those who are entrepreneurial-minded.

Advantages in franchising for Gen Z

For Generation Z individuals considering becoming franchise owners, several advantages may appeal to them:

  • Established Brand Recognition: Franchises typically come with well-established brand recognition. For Gen Z, who are just starting their entrepreneurial journey, being associated with a recognizable brand can provide credibility and trust among consumers.
  • Proven Business Model: Franchises offer a proven business model, which reduces the risk associated with starting a business from scratch. Gen Z individuals may find comfort in following a model that has already been successful, especially if they are new to entrepreneurship.
  • Training and Support: Franchise owners receive training and ongoing support from the franchisor. This can be valuable for Gen Z individuals who may lack experience in business management. The support provided can include assistance with site selection, marketing strategies, operational guidance, and more.
  • Access to Financing Options: Franchises often have established relationships with lenders who are familiar with the franchise model and may be more willing to provide financing to franchisees. This can make it easier for Gen Z individuals to secure funding to start their business.
  • Networking Opportunities: Franchise ownership provides opportunities for networking with other franchisees within the same brand. Gen Z individuals can learn from the experiences of others, share best practices, and build a supportive community of fellow business owners.
  • Flexibility and Autonomy: While franchises operate within a set framework, franchise owners still have a degree of flexibility and autonomy in managing their business. This can be appealing to Gen Z individuals who value independence and the ability to make decisions.
  • Potential for Growth: Many franchises offer opportunities for growth, such as opening additional locations or expanding into new markets. For ambitious Gen Z entrepreneurs, the potential for growth within a franchise system can be motivating and rewarding.
  • Adaptability to Changing Markets: Franchises often have the resources and infrastructure to adapt to changing market trends and consumer preferences. This can be advantageous for Gen Z individuals, who are entering the business world during a time of rapid technological and cultural change.

The benefits of franchising are evident no matter what the age of the person, it’s just about finding the right fit for yourself and putting in the hard work!

Fibrenew is values-driven and always on the cutting edge

Having a positive impact on the environment, the community, and the brand is compulsory for the success of every member of the Fibrenew family. If you’re also tech-savvy, driven, and ready to put in the hard work, we’d love to hear from you.

These are the values that keep us successful at Fibrenew, so get in touch if a career where unlimited earning potential and protecting the planet and community go hand in hand sounds like a dream come true to you. Stay tuned!



Gen Z in franchising FAQ

What is Gen Z, and why are they significant in franchising?

Gen Z refers to the demographic cohort born roughly between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, succeeding Millennials. They are significant in franchising due to their increasing purchasing power, tech-savviness, and unique preferences that influence consumer behavior and business trends.

What are some key characteristics of Gen Z that franchisors should be aware of?

Gen Z is highly digitally connected, prioritizes authenticity, values sustainability, seeks experiences over material possessions, and tends to have shorter attention spans. They are also more socially conscious and diverse compared to previous generations.

How can franchisors attract Gen Z as franchisees?

Franchisors can attract Gen Z by offering flexible business models, embracing technology in operations and marketing, providing training and support tailored to their preferences, emphasizing social responsibility and sustainability, and fostering a sense of community and purpose within the franchise network.

What types of franchises are appealing to Gen Z entrepreneurs?

Franchises that offer unique and Instagrammable experiences, such as specialty coffee shops, artisanal food concepts, eco-friendly fashion brands, and innovative tech-driven services, tend to appeal to Gen Z entrepreneurs. They are also drawn to franchises that align with their values, such as those promoting diversity and inclusion or supporting social causes.

How can franchisors effectively market to Gen Z consumers?

Franchisors can effectively market to Gen Z consumers by leveraging social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat to create authentic and engaging content, incorporating user-generated content and influencer partnerships, prioritizing mobile-friendly and visually appealing branding, and embracing interactive experiences and storytelling in their marketing strategies.

What are some challenges in franchising to Gen Z?

Challenges in franchising to Gen Z may include addressing their preference for independence and autonomy while still maintaining consistency and adherence to brand standards, navigating their high expectations for technological integration and innovation, and effectively communicating the value proposition of franchising as a viable career path amidst alternative opportunities like gig economy work and entrepreneurship.

How can franchisors adapt their operations to cater to Gen Z franchisees and consumers?

Franchisors can adapt their operations by offering virtual training and onboarding programs, implementing digital tools for communication and collaboration, incorporating sustainable and eco-friendly practices into their supply chain and operations, optimizing their online ordering and delivery systems, and continuously seeking feedback from Gen Z franchisees and consumers to stay relevant and responsive to their needs.

Are there any successful examples of Gen Z entrepreneurs in franchising?

Yes, there are several successful examples of Gen Z entrepreneurs in franchising, such as David Casarez, who founded several successful businesses including a mobile laundry service franchise called ‘LaundroMat’ targeted towards college students, or Emma Chamberlain, a popular YouTuber and social media influencer who recently launched her own coffee brand and plans to expand through franchising.

What role does diversity and inclusion play in franchising to Gen Z?

Diversity and inclusion play a crucial role in franchising to Gen Z as they value authenticity and social responsibility. Franchisors that prioritize diversity and inclusion in their recruitment, training, and marketing efforts are more likely to resonate with Gen Z franchisees and consumers, leading to increased brand loyalty and success.

How can franchisors stay informed about Gen Z trends and preferences?

Franchisors can stay informed about Gen Z trends and preferences by conducting market research, engaging with Gen Z consumers and franchisees through social media and online communities, attending industry conferences and events focused on youth culture and entrepreneurship, and fostering relationships with influencers and thought leaders who have insight into Gen Z behavior and preferences.

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Meet the author

Julian Foulds

Marketing Communications Specialist

A marketer first, a writer second, I enjoy finding unique, data-driven ways of demonstrating Fibrenew’s values while providing our community of franchisees with the resources they need to be consistently successful.

See other posts by Julian Foulds