Ask Boston Pizza franchisee Steve Silverstone what he loves most about owning a business and he immediately replies “the commute.” In his previous life as a marketing executive, he used to drive an hour each way to work, on top of frequent travel. After 25 years, all that time on the road began to take its toll so he decided to pursue a second career as a business owner closer to home.

As a first-time entrepreneur, investing in a franchise seemed like a no-brainer. “I wanted a business with an existing infrastructure,” he says, citing the support he receives from head office as one of the main benefits of being a franchisee.

After researching different franchises, he decided on Boston Pizza, a company he’d previously worked for. “I already knew the franchisor was very committed to the success of the franchisees.”

He also believed in the brand’s longevity thanks to its ever-evolving menu and widespread appeal across Canada as both a sports bar and a family restaurant.

“The core of the brand is rooted in celebrating great food and sports together with friends and family,” he explains. “In this world of digital, on-demand viewing, sports is one of the last live events that people gather together to enjoy.”

So, when the opportunity to take over an existing Boston Pizza near his home in Vaughan presented itself, Steve jumped at the chance. His ten-minute commute is just one of the many benefits of working close to home.

“With a brand like Boston Pizza, you’re very connected to the community,” he says. Indeed, Boston Pizza and its franchisees have raised more than $27 million for local charities across Canada through the Boston Pizza Foundation.

Steve also loves that he’s ultimately responsible for his own success. “You see a direct line between the work you do and the results you achieve,” he says, noting that this isn’t always the case in a traditional job.

His advice for others considering franchising is to get to know the business before you invest. “Make sure it’s something you’re going to love doing every day,” he says. “Most franchises don’t run on autopilot. For it to work, there needs to be an engaged franchisee.”

Finally, get to know the franchisor. “You need to know that they’re going to be all in with you.” In his case, he had many years to get to know the Boston Pizza team before partnering with them as a franchisee, but for others, this means doing your due diligence.

A great starting point is the Franchise Canada Show, taking place October 13 & 14 at Exhibition Place. Here, you can meet face-to-face with representatives from brands like Boston Pizza (click here to see the full exhibitor list) and hear from successful franchisees like Steve during free seminars.

Click here to get your free pass now and get started on the path to successful franchise ownership!