Tint World® continues U.S. franchise traditions
One name is synonymous with American franchising: Ray Kroc. In 1954, he acquired the rights to franchise McDonald’s outside of its original California territories, and the burger behemoth began its growth spurt to the publicly traded, global brand it is today.
Tint World® followed a similar, though more muted, path: Its first location opened in Florida in 1982, and 35 years later it has more than 60 window-tinting and auto accessories stores throughout the U.S. and continues its expansion to Canada.
But there’s another familiar name that is integral to American franchising history: Benjamin Franklin. Yes, that Benjamin Franklin.
Franklin was a founder of our country as well as a franchise pioneer. He first set up an exclusive relationship with a Charleston, S.C. printer who was contractually obligated to print only materials provided by Franklin. He reached similar arrangements with printers throughout the colonies, from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Antigua. This gave him outsized control of information and materials disseminated throughout the colonies and eventually the young United States, but it set a standard of sorts for such business operations to come.
Other franchises during the early years of the country and its settlement included government exclusivity agreements reached with the operators of stores and supply depots at federal forts and trading outposts.
Indeed, the principle of “manifest destiny” and westward expansion further fueled the expansion of franchises.
The country’s first semblance of a restaurant franchise was started by an Englishman named Frederick Harvey. He reached an agreement with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad that allowed him to operate his Harvey House restaurants at depots every 100 miles along the 12,000-mile railroad. It technically was a chain, not a franchise, but his operating principles — standardization and quality control — became hallmarks of the modern franchise system.
Following the rise of the railroad, another technological innovation began to make its mark and shape the U.S. in its modern form: the automobile. As highways increasingly crisscrossed the country, complementary franchises followed. A&W drive-in restaurants first offered franchises in 1924; and Howard Johnson’s and White Castle soon followed.
It’s apparent that the history of American franchising is linked to the country’s technological and transportation advances, such as the rise of the railroad and conquest of the country by cars.
What franchise innovations are next? Time will tell.
Visit our website for more information on Tint World® franchising opportunities, or call (888) 629-8777.