Situation: Des Moines, Iowa-based Maid-Rite Corporation, founded in 1926, is the nation’s oldest QSR restaurant franchise chain. Maid-Rite is known in the Midwest for its signature fresh ground beef loose meat sandwich with secret seasoning, and the diner-style restaurants. The franchise weathered turbulent times accross eight decades by focusing upon menu quality, friendly service, affordable pricing and helping its franchisees succeed. When the franchisor was purchased in 2002 the investors turned to Hanser & Associates to help expand in seven Midwest states and beyond.

Strategy & tactics: The firm helped attract new franchisees by communicating Maid-Rite’s growth plans, including revamped franchisee support program, new menu items and Maid-Rite University to train franchisees; key messages included healthy choices in the menu, and diner-style decor reminiscent of the 1920s. We created a media relations campaign to reach potential new franchisees via news stories about Maid-Rite’s history, success and growth. Messaging included: “…our only job at Maid-Rite Corporation is to help our Maid-Rite franchisees grow and prosper.”

Results: We placed feature stories and “franchises available” listings in business news media, including, Chain Leader,, Franchise Bison, QSR Magazine, and Small Business Opportunities. Within five years Maid-Rite grew to more than 40 franchisee-owned restaurants across seven states.