Great Harvest stores focus on providing customers with freshly baked bread that's made from Montana wheat. Bakeries mill wheat on site and bake bread and other items from scratch daily. Most locations are a combination of retail store and restaurant, offering customers bread, muffins, scones, cookies, and buns for purchase. There are also several options for take-out or eat-in food items, including sandwiches, salads, breakfast items, soups, and sweets. Available food items differ between stores, as each owner is encouraged to source local ingredients and choose a menu that matches his or her region's culinary tastes.
Throughout the Great Harvest franchise history, the brand has centered on the concept of a "freedom franchise" that allows owners to adapt certain elements of the Great Harvest system to their own tastes. Franchisees may make aesthetic decisions for their stores, set prices, and change menu offerings to meet local market conditions.
While the franchisor does provide extensive training and an approved list of suppliers, it allows entrepreneurs to customize their stores and adapt to their communities. Franchisees may enjoy this level of freedom (that is different from many franchise systems) while also benefiting from the strong community of owners who are encouraged to share their expertise.
Ideal candidates must meet strict financial requirements, including liquid capital of at least $1,000,000. The franchisor is actively pursuing new "hub and spoke" agreements in certain territories, so potential franchisees should be willing to invest in developing at least one hub and one spoke store in the area. Though single bakery café opportunities may be available, the franchisor appears to prefer franchisees who wish to open more than one bakery café within a certain period of time. Ideal franchisees are those who have the desire and creativity to customize their stores under the brand's "freedom franchise" policies.
Training And Support
Training is available for two people, the franchisee (or main operator) and a manager. Training includes courses at the company headquarters and on-site at the franchisee's new store. Franchisees must complete required online coursework before beginning official training. The entire training program covers food safety, bread-making, equipment usage, and various other topics related to running a Great Harvest store.
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