Founder & CEO
Jeff Johnson understands the experience of franchisees because he has more than 35 years of experience in the industry. Jeff founded the Franchise Research Institute in 2002 to provide franchise executives with data on franchisee opinions using science-based research methodology. FRI is the original auditor of franchisee opinions. Today their clients include many leading brands in a variety of franchise business industries.
Jeff’s entrepreneurship began when he left a Fortune 500 company to invest in a franchise at the age of 29. Jeff was Schlotzsky’s New Franchisee of the Year in 1985. As a multi-unit owner, he made the national Top 20 rankings regularly. As an Area Developer, he opened 19 franchises in 10 years, earning him an award for Area Developer Excellence. He has served on the Franchise Advisory Council (FAC), the Franchise Marketing Council (FMC), and the Presidents Council.
From these experiences he learned that franchisees often do not share important insights with executives out of fear of retribution. This lack of open, honest communication can prevent a franchise brand from attaining its true potential. He founded Franchise Research Institute because he saw the need for an independent survey that goes “behind the curtain” and asks crucial questions of franchisees (while guaranteeing confidentiality). The FranSurvey© obtains critical information, valuable to the company and to franchisee candidates.