Growing Your Franchise System with Matt Sheppard

Matt Sheppard (square)

Matt Sheppard is the Chief Operating Officer of The Hummus & Pita Co., a fast-casual Mediterranean concept geared toward national expansion. Before stepping into this current position, Sheppard held multiple senior leadership roles at McAlister’s Deli, including Vice President of Operations for Franchise Operations and Senior Director of Company Operations.


Key Takeaways:

[0:27] Today’s episode is brought to you by Franchise 5! The key to long-term success is through smart, strategic growth. To learn more about this program, head over to

[0:58] Our episode today features Matt Sheppard, the COO of The Hummus and Pita Co. Matt leads the company’s franchising efforts and today he sheds light on the methods they used to expand at a manageable and strategic rate.

[3:15] Matt gives an overview of The Hummus and Pita Co. and gives insight on what makes this concept so unique when compared to other fast casual restaurants out there.

[6:20] Before getting started with The Hummus and Pita Co., Matt moved through the ranks at various franchise systems.

[8:07] Matt views franchisees as an additional partner who is well-qualified to be running a segment of the franchisor’s business. You don’t just want to get numbers, but someone who is like-minded and will run your business well.

[10:45] It is so important to flush out your concept before franchising. Even if people are breaking down your door wanting to join your concept, you are doing them a disservice by not making sure your foundation is well built.

[12:24] When your concept is thriving, people will come to you for the opportunity to get involved as a franchisee, even if you aren’t yet offering franchises.

[12:50] The Hummus and Pita Co. has developed a branding strategy that involves Area Developer Agreements where they sell their franchises 5 locations at a time, which is where they get their target of 100 franchises in a year.

[14:45] With an Area Developer Agreement, you agree to open a certain amount of franchise locations over a definitive timeline, but you don’t necessarily have to have each specific location mapped out when you sign on.

[16:29] For Matt, the biggest surprises in franchising has been overcoming the growth phases. Sometimes you have to realize that when you have a plan in place and then you get franchisees who open the doors, you may have to admit that things need restructured a bit and accommodate for those changes.

[17:59] The ideal franchisee for The Hummus and Pita Co. is someone with an entrepreneurial spirit while also being able to navigate the operational challenges that come with franchising.

[20:08] If you want more information on The Hummus and Pita Co. head over to

[20:29] Thanks again for listening, and please, reach out to Josh anytime through email at If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a review on iTunes.


Mentioned in This Episode:

About the author, Josh

Josh Brown is a franchise and entrepreneurial attorney that helps buyers, owners, and expansion-minded businesses find success through franchising. When not working on his two businesses, you can find him on the golf course or spending time with his wife and three beautiful daughters.

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